Sunday, July 22, 2007

LoTi Mentor Certification Day 3 - Murray, KY - Reflection

I wish to compliment each of you for your intensity level, dedication, and commitment to high level "teaching innovation" during the LoTi Mentor Certification Institute at Murray State University. You folks were great!

On our third day of certification, we focused on H.E.A.T. Walkthroughs (remember Mr. Mayorga - "...that was big, big, really big."), "Focus" Strategies and Engaging Questions, EBAM (Experiential-based Action Model), Certification Tasks #5 (EBAM), and Certification Task #8 (Next Steps Action Plan). During the Focus Strategies intervention, I articulated critical differences between Essential Questions and Engaging Questions. A summary of Essential and Engaging Questions appear below:

Essential Questions:
They are open-ended and resist a simple or single right answer.
They are deliberately thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and/or controversial.
They require students to draw upon content knowledge and personal experience.
They address the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Evaluation).
They invite inquiry by students throughout the year.

Engaging Questions:
They often lead to students solving a real world problem or resolving a personal situation .
They are the result of dissonance in the student’s perception of his/her world.
They allow students to draw upon content knowledge and personal experience.
They give students purpose and meaning to their inquiry.
They are student-generated.

During the past three days, I modeled different professional development interventions including Focus Strategies and Engaging Questions and the Few Computer Classroom (e.g., Monster Exchange, 270 to Win, Reaction Time) as well as described how you can use both your LMC CD and Manual to create dynamic professional development interventions for teachers. I coined these interventions, LoTi Skill Sets. These skill sets appear below:

LoTi Skill Sets - Extreme Tech Makeovers
• Evaluating Web Projects Handout
LMC Manual - Page 89
• Introduce Makeover Candidate (e.g., lesson plan, instruction unit, learning experience, Web project)
• Conduct Makeover
• Show Before/After

LoTi Skill Sets - Performance Tasks
• Evaluating Web Projects
LMC Manual - Page 145
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #8
• Supersizing Lesson Plans
LMC Manual - Page 102
• Designing “High-Octane” Performance Tasks
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #7
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #9

LoTi Skill Sets - LoTi Framework
• Classroom Technology Case Study
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #1
• LoTi Framework
LMC Manual - Page 55
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #2
• LoTi Observations
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #3
• LoTi Review - Manatee Cards, Teacher Narratives, WebQuests, Sample Lesson Plans, LoTi Mentor CD -
Session #4

LoTi Skill Sets - Thinking Skills
• Bloom Review - Discrepant Event (e.g., Spiderman)
LMC Manual - Page 40
• Bloom Workout Videos
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #3
• Complex Thinking Simulation
LMC Manual - Page 46
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #6

LoTi Skill Sets - Differentiated Instruction
• Roll the Dice PowerPoint Simulation
LMC Manual - Page 163
• Evaluating Web Projects - Differentiation
LMC Manual - Page 98
• High/Low Simulation
LMC Manual - Page 162

LoTi Skill Sets - Target Tech Units
• The Great American Apple Pie Simulation
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #10
• Apollo 13 Presentation
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #11
• Experiential-based Action Model Units
LMC Manual - Page 164
LoTi Mentor CD - Session #12

LoTi Skill Sets - Rubrics
• Clapping Simulation
LMC Manual - Page 139
• Good, Better, Best Simulation
LMC Manual - Page 142
• online Rubric Makers (e.g., RubiStar)

Thank you again for becoming an active participant in the LoTi Mentor Certification Program. As a reminder, your LMC submissions are due no later than October 31st, 2007. In the meantime, if there is any aspect of the program that you would like clarified, please let me know. I hope all of you given serious consideration to becoming LoTi Project Schools for the 2007-08 school year.


Chris Moersch

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

LoTi Mentor Certification Day 3 - Murray, KY - July 19th, 2007

Good Morning and welcome to Day 3 of our LoTi Mentor Certification Institute. Provided below is today's agenda.

H.E.A.T. Walkthroughs - K/HS Levels
LoTi Sniff Test Review
Focus Strategies & Engaging Questions
Certification Task #4
Certification Task #5
ABC Middle School School: Case Study
Certification Task #8
LoTi Project Schools
LoTi Mentor Submission Date/Process
LoTi Skill Sets & Resources
5 C’s of Instructional Leadership

Have a great day!



LoTi Classroom Teacher Online Course
Login: loti1
Password: loti1

LoTi Mentor Certification Day 2 - Murray, KY - Reflection

Today, we focused on several areas impacting instruction, assessment, and technology use in the classroom such as how to model LoTi 3 investigations (remember the Monster Exchange for Elementary School, Reaction Time for Middle School, and Electoral College for High School ) as well as how to conduct an Lesson Plan Analysis on a sample web-based project (i.e., WebQuest - And They Came to the Streets that were Paved with Gold).

We also reviewed the procedures for your staff to complete the DETAILS for the 21st Century Questionnaire and then completed Certification Task #2 (Individualized Professional Development Plans) for a sample teacher.

I introduced another concept called H.E.A.T. to help us think about ways of implementing LoTi and 21st Century Skills/Content in the classroom. Based on the Partnership for the 21st Century, these 21st Century Skills/Content include:

21st Century Learning Skills
Information and Communication Skills
- Information and Media Literacy
- Communication Skills

Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
- Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking
- Problem-solving
- Creativity and Intellectual Curiosity

Interpersonal and Self-Directional Skills
- Interpersonal and Collaborative Skills
- Self-direction
- Accountability and Adaptability
- Social Responsibility

21st Century Content
Global Awareness

Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy

Civic Literacy

Health and Wellness Awareness

I used a lava lamp as a metaphor to represent the different levels of LoTi in the classroom. What causes one lesson to be at a higher LoTi level than another relates directly to the amount of HEAT generated.

- Higher order thinking
- Engaged learning
- Authenticity
- Technology tools

Keep in mind that the H.E.A.T. acronym represents four of the dimensions from the larger scoring guide that we use to evaluate lesson plans and instructional units. The reasons for addressing only four dimensions are threefold: (1) KISS principle, (2) reduce the amount of staff anxiety-already too many competing priorities going on in the classroom, and (3) hit the critical elements first.

We ended the day with conducting a H.E.A.T. observation of a middle school science classroom focusing on heat transfer.

May the LoTi Be With You Always!


Requested Links:

Survey Monkey
Zoo Tycoon
Explore Learning - Gizmos
National Budget Simulation
Baby Name Wizard

LoTi Mentor Certification Day 2 - Murray, KY - July 18th, 2007

Greetings and welcome to Day 2 of the LoTi Mentor Certification Institute. Provided below is today's agenda.

Certification Task #1 - Review
21st Century Learning
LoTi Sniff Test
DETAILS for the 21st Century Questionnaire
Certification Task #2
Extreme Technology Makeover - WebQuest Edition
Certification Task #3
LoTi 3 Case Study - Elementary School
LoTi 3 Case Study - Middle School
LoTi 3 Case Study - High School
Complex Thinking Strategies - Hollywood version
H.E.A.T. Classroom Walkthroughs

Leave a comment about any questions from yesterday's program or today's agenda.

May the LoTi Be With You!


LoTi Mentor Certification Day 1 - Murray, KY - Reflection

Since most 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 LoTi "Sniff" Test to help approximate the LoTi of any lesson plan, web-project, or instructional unit.

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.

6. As a reference, I have included the citations from "Issues with Technology Use" from yesterday's program.

A. Technology use coupled with effective instructional strategies can improve student achievement.

Marzano, Robert. J. What works in schools: translating research into action. ASCD: Alexandria, Virginia. 2002.

Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET). ISTE.

LoTi Connection. Learning Quest. Inc.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation. http:

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

eMints National Center. http:///

B. Technology increases the complexity of the tasks that students can perform successfully, raises student motivation, and leads to changes in classroom roles and organization.

Baker, E. L., Gearhart, M., & Herman, J. L. (1994). Evaluating the Apple classrooms of tomorrow. In E. L. Baker H. F. O'Neil, Jr. (Eds.), Technology assessment in education and training (pp. 173-197). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dwyer, D. C., Ringstaff, C., & Sandholtz, J. (1990). The evolution of teachers' instructional beliefs and practices in high-access-to-technology classrooms. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Boston.

Means, B., Blando, J., Olson, K., Middleton, T., Morocco, C.C., Remz, A.R., & Zorfass, J. (1993, September). Using technology to support education reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.

C. Technology can enhance both what and how children learn when used in conjunction with: (1) active engagement, (2) participation in groups, (3) frequent interaction and feedback, and (4) connections to real-world contexts.

Roschelle, J.M. Pea, R.D., Hoadley, C.M., Gordin, D.N. and Means, B.M. (2000). Changing how and what children learn in school with computer-based technologies. The Future of Children, 10:2, 76-101

Papanastasiou, E., Zemblyas, M., & Vrasidas, C. (2003). Can computer use hurt science achievement? Journal of Science Education and Technology, 12 (3), 325-332.

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 district.

I look forward to your comments.


LoTi Sniff Test

Is technology being used in the classroom? - Yes/No
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

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

LoTi Mentor Certification Day 1 - Murray, KY - July 17th, 2007

Today, we will begin Day 1 of the LoTi Mentor Certification Institute at Murray State University. The agenda will consist of the following events:

LoTi Mentor Certification
Issues with Technology Use
Extreme Technology Makeover
Think about Bloom
LoTi Framework
LoTi Classroom Observations
Certification Task #1
Lesson Plan Analysis
Certification Task #3

Let me know of any concerns or questions you have with the agenda or the institute itself. Your comments are greatly appreciated. By the way, check out some of the links below:

21st Century Resources:
LoTi Connection
Partnership for the 21st Century
Questioning Toolbox
LoTi Schools Bookmarks
LoTi Lounge