Thursday, December 7, 2006

LoTi Mentor Certification Day 1 - Union, New Jersey - Reflection

Since part of the day was spent "LoTizing" video clips and related learning activities, I wanted to provide you with some additional suggestions when conducting classroom walkthroughs or reviewing student products.

1.Having students apply what they have learned to a new authentic situation involves more than just depositing the information into a webpage, blog, wiki, or multimedia presentation; it requires students applying the pertinent concepts or skills to a situation that directly impacts the learner, his/her immediate surroundings, and/or the larger community. If this is not the case, then you most likely have either a LoTi 2 or 3 learning experience.

2. The easiest way to discriminate between LoTi 2 and 3 is the presence of (1) Higher Order Thinking Skills (Bloom's Taxonomy) or (2) one or more Complex Thinking Strategies. If a learning experience is teacher-directed and engages students exclusively at the Knowledge/Comprehension levels, then it is almost assuredly a LoTi 2 lesson. Conversely, if a learning experience is teacher-directed and engages students at the Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and/or Evaluation level or enables students to exercise one or more complex thinking strategies (i.e., Problem-solving, Creative Problem-solving, Decision-making, Investigation, Experimental Inquiry, Reasoning, Personal Reflection), then it is almost assuredly a LoTi 3 lesson.

3. Reaching consensus about the "learner-centeredness" of a classroom experience is sometimes difficult. The easiest way to achieve some type of consensus is to first divide the learning experience into three components: Content, Process, and Product. If you detect that a minimum of two out of three of these components is "learner-centered" then we call the entire experience a learner-centered activity. Conversely, if you detect that a minimum of two out of three of the components is "teacher-centered" then we call the entire experience a teacher-centered activity.

3. Whenever possible, use the modified version of the LoTi "Sniff" Test to help approximate the LoTi of any lesson plan, web-project, or instructional unit.

• Is technology being used by students as part of the learning experience? - Yes/No
• Is there evidence of higher order thinking by students tied to the content? - Yes/No
• Are students applying their learning to solve a real world problem or situation or resolve an issue? - Yes/No
• Is the learning experience student-centered? Yes/No
• Is there two-way collaboration with experts outside the classroom? - Yes/No
• Do students have unlimited access to technology during the school day? - Yes/No

4. A truly differentiated classroom has LoTi 0-4 occurring on a daily basis.

5. The appropriate or target LoTi should always be commensurate with the content standards being addresssed and at the desired level of student cognition.

Also, think about LoTi as Levels of Teaching Innovation rather than Levels of Technology Implementation. It will prove most beneficial as you begin to implement LoTi on your campus or in your region.