Integrating Technology for Teaching English and Developing Critical Thinking Skills



– But we're excited to have
a conversation with you. We're going to be presenting first Joohee Son's center in Seoul, Korea, and then I'll talk about the center that we have here at Teachers College. But we really wanna make
sure we have plenty of time for you to talk about
things that you may have, and this is what we wrote up in the overview for this session, ideas that you had, that
you wanna put into play, things that you dreamed about when you were writing
Master's or your Doctorate. A lot of people have those
big ideas and those big dreams and it's very hard sometimes once you get out into
that cold, cruel world after the warm (chuckles)
and supporting world of TC to find that pathway. So we're really here almost
as a resource for you. But we thought it'd be
important for you to see what we've been able to do in terms of responding to some
critical needs of our times and for the 21st century. Okay? So I would like to
introduce Dr. Joohee Son, who was an award winner from this morning. How many of you were
at the morning session? Oh, so everybody saw
her and heard her, okay. She is here all the way from Seoul, and her dear husband is
joining us from the back as the support team. We appreciate all the
effort they've gone to to join us today. Thank you. – All right, okay. Can I have a seat? (chuckles) Thank you so much for coming and having trust about our studies. I feel more than pleased and honored because she was my advisor. And as I said in the morning, she made a word, once an
advisor, forever advisor. So even after graduation,
we continue the relationship about building up the centers and also the getting the advices from her, and even about the family matters. So now we are here. Most of all, both of us will talk about each center we are running. And then hopefully, from today's talk, we can find next step for both of us. Thank you so much. – [Ellen] For all of you. – Yes, yes. – Can I see how many of you are looking or thinking about a next step? How many, okay. Great, oh, great. We'll see how we can do this. (Joohee speaks off-microphone) – Ah. Okay, good. All right, so. (laughs) – That was her cue, I thought. (Joohee laughs) The original title of the talk was Integrating Technology
for Teaching English and Developing Thinking Skills, because that is what
Joohee, Dr. Son, does. But what we came to after she arrived here and we were able to sit down and talk about the session in person, it's really about inquiring together. She's on her journey,
we're on our journey. But we have similar questions in terms of how to use
the learning sciences to build learning
environments for our students. So that's what we ended up with, a learning together and inquiring together presentation for you today. – Okay, so we will start
first as an interview. So we will ask some questions. – Thank you. That was the other thing
we decided to change. Instead of her just presenting, we decided that she was going to be the, I was going to be interviewing her and asking her questions, like? – Okay, so like this. – What brought you to
Teachers College, Joohee? – Thank you for asking. (audience and Ellen chuckle) – That took serious prompting. I just put the word limitations because I can tell limitations in my life, every step brought me up to here. It was 1990s in Korea. I was a teacher. I've been a teacher more than 20 years. So at that time I was teaching
English in Korea, happily. But it was mostly about grammar. So I thought, "I need something
more for my students," because grammar is important, but listening, speaking, writing, those are things I needed
but I couldn't teach because I didn't learn. So that's why at that time
I decided to study abroad. At that time I went to Ohio
State University to study TESOL, Teaching English to
Speakers of Other Language. After that, I went back to Korea
and I established a center. And I was running Center for seven years and I was teaching again. Happier than before, because I could teach
speaking and writing. So felt like a live something. But after seven years, I
felt another limitation which is about thinking skill. 'Cause I realized when students
are talking in English, pronunciation or intonation speed, those things are important. But that was not all. There was an invisible ceiling. So, get to the point. How I can deliver the
message with a key concept. But students were struggling, but I couldn't teach
because I didn't learn how to, you know, to teach
about the get to the point. So that's where that
limitation brought me to TC. – [Ellen] So you were dissatisfied and were looking for an answer? – Yes.
– Yes, exactly. Talk about, if you would be so kind, your journey at Teachers College and what you found along that journey, what was important to you and why? – Okay. Good question, I think, always. As I told you now, thinking skills, critical thinking skills, those are things I wanted to learn. And I can tell exactly those are thinking skills
I could learn here. So what is the systematic thinking skill? What is an ah-lah-dic thinking skill, creative thinking skill? All those are thinking skills. And which subject is working
and not and how, those things. So I was very happy. And sometimes I could even, you know, try, because before that I was
struggling in my brain. But all other scholars,
either they finished their research studies. So I could get some
proof, data and confidence which gave me more confidence
when I was teaching. So that was about the first,
critical thinking skills. And also, I don't know how
many of you are Korean here. But when I was a student in Korea, middle school and elementary school, we were not supposed to ask
a question during the class. See, if I asked a question and then teacher will
think, "You are very rude." And also if I ask a question and then other kids, "Oh, you think "that you are that much
smart," you know, like that. So atmosphere is not
about interactive talking. It's just one way of talking. So maybe because that's why
the students had a hard time in making questions and thinking, think itself was difficult. So definitely these critical
thinking skills were needed for my students and also for myself. So I could learn that part. And also next one is important, presentation skills in English. As I told you, I studied TESOL. So I could teach the
speaking and those things. But I realized when I came
to TC as a doctorate student, but even before, I was
running my English Institute, which means I had many
chances to speak in public. But still it was challenging to me. And then I found American students. They made their
presentation as their show. They enjoyed. So I liked it. I wanted to learn and I wanted to teach how to present to my students. And also I wanted to change the focus from, like, only speak-based presentation to getting to the focus presentation. So those are things I
could learn and study here. So this one, I would say, Korea is the habit of learning which is from short-term
memory to long-term memory. Is all about the memorizing part. So Korea is one of the countries that mothers have very strong passion for their children's education. So after school, most kids, since they were elementary school, they go to academy, sometimes seven or eight
academies, different subject. So learning part, they're good at it. But after that, from
long-term memory to transfer, which is full understanding, that part we're struggling with. So that part I could learn. So yeah, I was happy. Yes. All right. – So you go through, you found the courses that you wanted, you found the knowledge,
really, that you wanted. And you were able to begin to address some of the questions that you had and some of the frustrations. Then what happened? – Okay, good. – After graduation? – All right, thank you. I promised myself and to my students, "I'm gonna learn and teach
how to get to the point." So I established center, which is called Center for
Education and Technology. Students from kinder up to 12th grade. And CT, the Center for Education
and Technology, our center, has the goals about enhanced
transfer and thinking skills based on cognitive theories. And second goal is improving proficiency based on research and technology. And third, provide self-regulated
learning environment. So we designed a curriculum and then we're trying to embed
thinking skill into areas, reading comprehension and writing. So for example, like
reading Sherlock Holmes. And then we'll asking student, "Okay, what if Holmes
couldn't find this clue. "And then what would happen?" Like that. So we designed. And also that's the
focus, thinking project. I'm gonna show you some
project we did, two things. This one was about creativity
thinking skill in English. So we gave the task to the students about, "Okay, creativity is
all about changing the angle, "out of box. "And then let's be an ant. "So draw a picture with
ant's point of view "on a rainy day." And then they were the second graders. And 95% of the students,
just they drew the ants with their eyes. So just ants on a rainy
day, just walking, right? But 5% of the kids changed the angle and they looked like that. So they were drawing with ant's view. And then, this is English learning also. So we told them to write,
to describe your picture. And then presentation. So all the task is
ending with presentation. And this one is another the task, project. This is about problem-solving
skill in English. So we give the mission, like, we give the problem situation. So last one, this creativity activity, is based on Stoneberg's studies. But this one (mumbles) studies about the problem-solving part. So we give the problem situation. This one was, okay, interview
foreigners on the street and ask them what is the
most inconvenient thing when you visit Korea. (audience chuckles) And then a lot of things, you know, money change, those things. So low graders, they
ask, that means speaking. So interview. And they find out what is
the most difficult problems, which was sign. Because in Korea many signs
are written in Korean. And then pass to higher grader. And higher graders, they
have to find a solution. So divide into teams, so group project. And then winning team
is no homework one day. (audience laughs) But they were really working hard. So the solution at the
time, like Google glasses, so, you know, like this and then changing into
English, you know, like that. So just all the students have the vote, raise their hand. And all like that team. So then that will be the winner. So that was like a offline
project, thinking project. Okay? Okay, oops, I'm sorry. I moved to next question. (chuckles) Okay. – Where are you left? Where are you at this very moment in time and how have you gotten there? – Thank you. After I went back to Korea, after finishing doctoral study here. And then this center was
doing the thinking projects as an offline. And then I realize a certain point, even though we keep telling the students, "Oh, you speak too fast," or, "oh, you don't say any reasons or details "about your opinion, would
you please say that?" Like, we give some feedback so often, but they don't listen. They look like listening but they don't. They are making the same mistakes. So I was thinking, "Well,
then we have to make a system, "like a feedback system." So we made a system, which is students get the question. So they're using cellphone. All using the cellphone. So then with ID and password. And okay. So this is called the TEOS, I made memory. Oh, before explaining that system, I'm gonna tell you what it is. Those system is based on
my doctor dissertation and about 20 years of practices. Got together and made CT
Online Speaking System. Big difference is that,
about the feedback, it's not only English. It's accuracy, fluency and thinking skill. So if they, oh, so this is a tales. So will help you get to the point. And then we give the feedback about thinking skill and English. So this one. If they go inside a
classroom, they get the topic. For example, do you
prefer to be a only child or to have sister or brother? They have to think. And they're using their cell phone. They don't have to change the screen, just click the button and then record. But if they don't like it and
then they can do it again. And upload it. If they upload it in here, center, the teachers look at the video file and then write down the feedback about accuracy, fluency
and thinking skill. So about the feedback, the
good thing about that is that we made it the teachers,
when they give the feedback, they can pinpoint out. So, "Oh, this part, like
between the beginning "and the 10 second, you are mumbling," you know, like that. And then when they look at the feedback, they can just click the button. They can match. "Oh, I was really mumbling." Or, "Oh, I spoke too fast." So with the written feedback
and then video file, match and matching. With this online feedback system, the one thing is amazing thing is that since last September, a
small group, 40 students, of school, they started to use
that online feedback system during one term. Which is five times of the feedback. So each one lesson took two weeks, which is one month and half. But one thing we found then,
and we didn't know that, is with our CT students,
they were offline center, which means we were teaching the reading and storybook and speaking all together. But the online is only
focused on speaking. So we could see the big difference before and after feedback. Was amazing. So after that, they started
40 students at school. And then after that they
said, "Oh, we need more." So now, since two weeks
ago, 120 students started. Before, 40 students, five times lesson, which means 200 data. Based on that, we analyzed the data. So we made a system. This system is, if we study like about 100 and then six times lessons,
and there will be 600 datas. So the feedback will be rich. I will show you the sample. I got an agreement from him and his parents
to show. (chuckles) Okay, so this one is before feedback. Okay. All right. There we are, show you. – Hi, my name is (mumbles). To my good friend, we need
to be good friend first. Second, listen to friend (mumbles). Third, respect friend friendly. Fourth, spend time. The friend like to homework together or hang out with friend. Fifth, we need to say
good words to friend. But we should say no if they do nothing. When we do like this, we
can have a good friend. Thank you. – So he's fifth grade. So this was the first recording for him. I can tell his phonics is not bad. He can speak English. But he needs more confidence and also at the time when you see, I think this is good thing
about looking at just the video, not only audio, he's reading, not talking. And then, 'kay. – Go to the next slide.
– Yes. This one, after two feedbacks. So he got two feedbacks. First of all, he's smiling. (chuckles) – Hi, teacher. If I have a brother or sister, I want to have a younger brother because we can play soccer,
listening and video gaming. My friend has a younger brother. He's so funny and cute. Sometimes he is annoying. But is fine. (audience chuckles) I think younger brother is
better than a younger sister. (audience chuckles) Thank you. – Is amazing.
– Bye-bye. – So he got more confidence. And I'll show you another boy. I love him because (chuckles) this boy, I had a brief talk with his mom. He didn't have enough
chances to learn English. But this boy shows a lot of passion, want to say something, just
to want to say something, a few words just spit out. So that's before feedback. – Dear, the good friend is honest, kind, helping sick and upset people, always happy, and not selfish. – Okay, the previous boy, to him, we told him more
about the fluency area, with thinking skill. But this boy, we're trying to give him more thinking frame feedback. So even though we didn't
teach pronunciation, but he could learn about how to talk. After that. Okay, after three feedbacks. So he got the format. – Hi, (drowned out by ambient noise) do their homework because (drowned out by ambient noise) I can study to homework, for example, if I (mumbles) homework, then I can study science one more time. And second, I can understand the story today. It's why I (drowned out by ambient noise) student, students do their homework. – Okay, so still he
needs to improve English. But he got more confidence and he could make his own thinking frame and he could deliver the message. So happy for him. Yes, so this is what we are doing. Next, can he move on? Actually, that answer your question. – Your next steps? Your next steps, looking into the future. – All right, thank you. I put the word equality 'cause in Korea, I can tell, have you heard about
the Gangnam Style music? So Gangnam is the center of Seoul. My center is located at Gangnam. But I can tell there is a huge gap between local areas and Gangnam areas, especially about English education. The teachers and students, they don't get the
equal feedback and input about their language. So I really want to help them. So this online program doesn't have to be limited by the space. So we can offer the online program. Our first and second projects are going on with schools. So we can, right now,
we can knock the door to the schools in local areas, and also, why not to the countries who want to lean English? So for equal, equal input and quality of English education, we want to spread out and planning for it. And second one, also I was
thinking teacher education. For me, Bachelor, Master, Doctor study, subject groups were teachers. I'm very interested in teacher education. I've been a teacher more than 20 years. Still I can say that I'm a teacher, too. So teachers should learn
how to ask a question to help the students explore their ideas. I believe Dr. Meier can help us about the teacher education. So we are seriously talking about opening up the courses for the teachers. So, you know, how we can, because for example,
about that online course, and then if the teacher can help, assist, and that will be wonderful. So yeah, that's all about it. And then last, I'll show you about our, (Ellen speaks off-microphone) our students SET. This is the one (mumbles). (samba music) (jazz music) Oh, here we go. Thank you. (chuckles) (audience applauds)
That's all about our center. Thank you. – I think we should open
it up to questions briefly, or that you might have and if some people
(speaks off-microphone). (Ellen speaks off-microphone) If you wanna take one and
don't wanna raise your hand and I know you don't wanna raise you hand if you have a question. Are there any questions
(drowned out by ambient noise)? – [Man] Can you use a microphone? – Do you have any questions
for Joohee? (chuckles) Yes, please. – [Man] We just saw a documentary on college, the anxiety
over college acceptance. Do you have that in Korea? Do they have (drowned
out by ambient noise) available for most students? – Actually, I couldn't
watch that documentary. So your question is that whether we ha– – [Man] Is there still anxiety about getting into college and then being able to afford it? – Yes, yes, sure. – [Man] (drowned out by
whispering) affordability? – Um-hm, um-hm. We do have those programs. But still I can tell in comparing local and the Seoul areas, I can tell because I have two sons. First son is a high schooler in Korea and second one is a middle schooler. So high school kid is
all about thinking about, you know, they're going to college. So I'm very interested in those help. But I would say that is not that much systematic at the school. There is a counselor, but
in Korea, Seoul areas, there's a huge business
about helping students how to go to college, currently. So rather than getting help at the school, the kids getting help from
outside of the school. That's very sad. So for me, I'm a working mom, I'm busy. So I'm not good at getting all the, you know, going to college information. So my son has to take care of it. So I would say that we do
have, but not that much, you know, desirable inside a school. – [Man] Is it expensive? – Pretty much. Yes, yes. – [Man] Is there legislation in progress to address that issue, to
make it more affordable? – Yes, yes, yes. Yes. Specifically, I don't
have specific information. But there's a huge, a huge needs. To be honest, there was a drama in Korea about criticizing current
system in education. So there is a lady, gets a lot of money to give the advice about
how to go to college. In the middle of the drama,
some characters suicided. You know, those are sad stories, right? But what happened is that after that, those businesses (chuckles)
became much better because even the people didn't know whether that kind of
service there said, "Wow. "Is there that kind of services? "We should get it." So it went opposite way. So, yes, yes, is
expensive, yes. (chuckles) Okay. – [Woman] Thank you. I'm sorry I was late.
– Thank you. – [Woman] Always late. So I missed sort of the
beginning in your presentation, like, don't have that information with me. But anyhow, thank you for being here. – Thank you. – [Woman] Do you have experience with this similar type of school or model for teaching outside of Korea and in other areas of the world? Just out of curiosity. – So your question is the difficulties of teaching outside of Korea? – [Woman] Oh, no, no, no. It's more of what you've done and the work that you're
doing and showing us, are you familiar with
similar models or experiences in other places in the
world, other countries? – I don't have experience teaching abroad. But I believe, because I
have international friends when I was a student here. So we shared stories,
how they were educated. So I can assume many students
from Oriental countries, so Japan or China, I think here many Japanese and Chinese students. So could have similar problems. I believe so. – [Woman] Thank you. (woman speaks off-microphone) – Thank you. (woman speaks off-microphone) – Thank you very much for being here. Two questions, one of them being the fact that I see that you have a lot of work that you have done and
performed with younger students, children, school age. What is your thinking about students who come in of older age? Adult education, primarily those who come from all over the world and they are in an institute
here in the United States, trying to acquire the language, whether it's for their own purposes to go back to their countries, or because they want to go and do pathways to universities? What would be your take on that? – Okay, thank you for asking that one, because that's a very good question. We have the students from
kinder up to 12th grade. But the thing is that, as you've asked, as the kids going up to bigger, is high schooler, thinking
about a university, and the mothers, even though they agree the importance of thinking skill, but if their kids become
the high schoolers and then they just go back. "Ooh, we have to think about the score, "going to college." So that's why realistically,
I want any age. But elementary kids
are free from big test. So that's why mothers could
send them, their kids. You know, more, just freely. So that's why. But I was a student, a foreign student to prepare studying abroad. So I know how much is challenging. So I really want to help those students who want to study abroad. First of all, we opened actually a TOEFL speaking section online course because in Korea, comparing
to other educational software or online courses, they have the programs for helping them how to prepare the TOEFL test. But the feedback is not full enough, is not helpful at all. This is what I experienced
with my high school students, to prepare studying abroad. TOEFL perfect score is 120. But if the kids score over 100, they can apply for good
schools, like Columbia. But I can tell between
the score 100 and 120, English level is similar. They good, pretty good, over 100. But is very hard to increase
the score after 100. Why? Not because of language but because of thinking part, getting to the point. So writing and speaking,
there's a section. So even though they're good at it, they can write very long and fast. But there's no point. And the speaking, they talk very well. So a conversation so good, but no point. So yes, so we help them intensively. So there was some groups. And then the students show over 110 score. So I think that's a pretty good population we can offer online program. But this one, especially the
TEOS online feedback system, we're just the beginning stage. So surely we are open. Yes, um-hm, thank you. – I have a question. It sounds from what you're saying, it sounds to me as if you focused on providing the feedback system and a certain level of engagement by virtue of the using the
critical thinking questions that you used to create
engagement and creativity and not simply kind of rote responses. How else might you use this program in anything else other than basically teaching English in Korea, because both of those
items are very important and a kind that any
instruction need to provide? The second part of my question is, I'm curious as to what
your center does as well. So maybe you could
explain that a little bit. But if you could help us with, because I think everybody would agree that if we could keep
kids engaged, creative, and getting feedback quickly, we're going to improve performance. How else might we apply this? – That's a very promising question. I have to think about,
is another next step. So actually our center's vision is to be an international Christian school. So our center stage is a membership stage. We are becoming to a school itself. So personally, I'm very interested in teaching other subject too. And I believe so this
feedback system can be applied to other subject, too. For example, about the writing, students, when they write, brainstorm, and then they may have some problems in getting to the point. Like three reasons and the three examples, say like that. But the writing courses can be used. And also for math, if a
students makes a mistake in solving the math, and then usually they check the answer. And then they realize, "Oh, this is right. "Right, yes." And then when they solve another question, they make a similar mistake. So the problem was that, in that case, if a learner makes the mistake and the brain is getting
used to that mistake path. So if a student gets a wrong answer, rather than checking out the right answer, before, they have to check out why they chose the wrong answer. And then from that point, they may not go back
the same path like that. So, huge potential. I can tell. But we started from English learning. So that's why we are
using teaching English. But this can be used for other subject and also various age group, yes. – I think we are gonna move on and do exactly as you asked and talk a little bit
about the Center here for Technology and School Change. And I'm gonna ask, if
you can just advance it, I'm gonna walk around a little bit. But basically Joohee's
talked about her contribution to working with folks, the children who want to learn English, but she embeds the
critical thinking skills in that process. She's ready now, as she just
said at the end of her talk, to reach out to other teachers. We have an approach for doing that. And that's where we come together and that's why we had
talked about collaborating and Joohee starting
essentially a sister center. So I'm going to move quickly 'cause I really wanna save enough time for those to talk about your dreams and what you would like
to do to act on them. But this is Dr. Shawn Peters, who's one of our facilitators. We have quite a group of facilitators. We're working with 50 schools this year and three internally. We're working in three
different countries, about to be four. Our emphasis is moving
from theory to practice and then back from
practice to theory again, because we enter the field, and I'm gonna be describing that, with a lot of theories. But we test that. And then we come back and say, "That theory really needs to be adapted "or adopted in the following way, "changed in the following way." We emphasize, we work in
three different areas. We do a lot of research, we have a National Science
Foundation grant, second one, and I have a little video
on that to show you. We do a lot of evaluation work. Because we're focused on technology, there are a lot of software companies that want to know, is this
effective, does this work? But we do a lot of other evaluation work with people who are trying
to do the same thing or similar things, want to get into schools and help teachers think more deeply about what they're doing in terms of practice. And then to do that, we thought we needed to do the professional, learn how to do professional
development ourselves. You can't just talk the talk, you really need to walk the walk. So we're in the schools every
day, in those 50 schools, working in various ways, which
I'll describe immediately. Here's our mission statement. We're committed to creation of innovative learning environments. We really want to help
break the mold, if you will, for all students,
recognizing that technology is a catalyst for
transforming instruction. Contrary to what you might
think with the title, we're really about how
you can use technology. Technology is not the end. It's merely a means to get to a richer pedagogical
environment for our kids. It's a catalyst for
transforming instruction. Therefore we engage in
research and practice to reimagine approaches
to an equitable education in the digital age. So as I said, we start with theory. The learning sciences have
really come into their own in the last decade or so. There are three things here. The second book, by the way, just came out and it has just come out. And I'll think of the name momentarily. But it goes more deeply
into the learning sciences and where we are. It's a very accessible group. If you're a practitioner,
if you're a theorist, it'll appeal to you. But for instance,
traditionally what we do is, learners treat course materials unrelated to what they already know. You walk into a biology class and voila, you're gonna start from scratch, you're gonna learn all about biology. But if you're in, say, 11th grade, you come to that classroom
with lots of information. You know about how grass grows, perhaps. You know a lot. So one of the things we don't do very well is build on existing student knowledge. And in deep learning, which
is on the right-hand side, what they're saying, so
deep learning requires that learners relate
new ideas and concepts to previous knowledge and experience. Therefore the challenge becomes, how do we help our teachers
do this kind of teaching and not assuming a blank slate when our children walk
into our classrooms? Similarly, on the left side, in a tradition classroom,
learners memorize facts, we know in different countries
that's still the practice, and it's very much the practice here, and carry out procedures without
understanding how or why. We're just doing it. That lab, that chemistry
lab, we just do it, right? But deep learning requires
that learners look for patterns and underlying principles. They are there to find those patterns, not just go through a process. Last, learners treat facts and procedures as static knowledge handed down from an all-knowing authority. Yes, that physics book contains everything we ever needed to know about physics. But now we know that learners understand that learning itself,
that knowledge itself, is a process of dialogue. And we create knowledge
and examine the argument, the logic rather, that
argument, critically. So that's a very different
way of looking at learning. It's a huge paradigm shift,
paradigm shift for all of us. But it's especially pressing and difficult for teachers who are still caught in the very traditional
cycle of teaching and testing and teaching and testing, that we have to break this. We know about how the
synapses connect now. And so we have to find ways to open up those pathways for teachers. (man speaks off-microphone) Sure, sure. – [Man] Number five,
does that really speak against online learning as an isolated learning from a student, versus having dialogue with other people and having a context in
which other people speak? – Do you want my
politically correct answer or my other answer? (audience laughs) I realize that, I think online learning is still in its infancy. I think we need a lot more work in understanding how
to connect more deeply with our students online. And the way many platforms,
and I've written about this, are set up is, here's the information. Take the multiple choice test. Not to denigrate a lot of online courses, because many of them are richer than that. But the way the platforms
themselves are written really promotes that kind of learning. And I'm seeing some new and very exciting interfaces right now. So there is hope. But right now I think we're
just beginning to find out how to teach and work with people online. – Thank you.
– Yeah. Good question. The question for us was, how can we use these learning sciences? Yes, we're learning about
how learning happens. But how can we use it for
pedagogical information? That's the huge cavernous leap. So here just three things, for instance, that are sort of applied. We need, just as we were talking about, to understand the preexisting
knowledge of our students. So how do we do that? How do we teach subject matter in depth and show the links between concepts? Teachers haven't been asked
to do this necessarily, right? How do we help them start to do that? And finally, how do we
integrate metacognitive skills into the curriculum? It was just what Joohee was talking about. She was saying kids
don't reflect necessarily on the wrong answer, they just go on. We need them to stop and think about lots of things in the classroom. From the learning sciences,
we've learned more about how to create optimal
learning environments, but teachers have been prepared
to teach traditionally. And the school structure
reinforces traditional teaching. Two bad things. What we have found is a process, really, of trying to introduce a
different way of thinking. Project-based learning is not new. It's been around for a long time. But what we found and what
the literature talks about is the fact that it hasn't
been done very well. It hasn't been done
very deeply, (chuckles) to use the other term. It's a very, if you're
not familiar with it, it's three big ideas, desired results. As the kids walk up to the
classroom, what do they know? But how are you going to know that? What evidence will be meaningful to you? And from that you plan
the learning experience. Usually happens the exact
opposite direction, right? You plan what you're gonna do and then you hope the kids learn it in some way, shape or form. So we do bridges and we find that technology can be a catalytic tool. A lot of teachers wanna
learn how to use technology. We don't teach technology
without linking it to this other way of learning. This is our model, design, situate, lead. Teachers need to be
prepared to be designers, not consumers of curriculum
or perpetrators of curriculum. They need to be designers of curriculum. We situate our work. It's very important to us that each classroom is
considered an entity unto itself. Each school is very different. And so we work very hard to make sure that we're meeting the
needs of individual teachers in the culture of particular school. And finally, lead. We wanna support leaders in guiding and sustaining these changes. We want them to make structural
changes in the school, introduce block scheduling. One school introduced
Friday as a STEM Friday, just for all the teachers could
be doing projects together. So there are a lot of
things that can happen, that principals have power
over within their school. I'm gonna leap ahead
'cause we're running out. This is our NSF grant. I think we'll just keep going? – Okay.
– Yep. We're working with 13 schools. I don't know if we have
time for this video. But basically it shows
a classroom working. I think it might be important
just to show the classroom. Okay, it's three minutes long. – [Joohee] Oops. – Ah, yeah. The video link maybe? I don't think so, actually. Yeah, there, (mumbles). And then if you (drowned
out by music from video) (gentle music) (students chattering) – This video highlights our project is systemic transformation of inquiry learning
environments, or STILE, for STEM. (students chattering) The need for STEM education grows out of a real need for today's educators. How do we prepare our students to become creative problem solvers, problem solvers that use
disciplinary knowledge in a (drowned out by ambient noise) way to address 21st century problems? (students chattering) This project uses a model that we have developed
over the last 15 years, an approach that highlights
three critical areas of work for us, design, designing the
project with the teachers, situate, situating the work in the lives of each
school and each classroom, and lead, the need to really
engage our administrators, our leaders in the building and beyond, and also our teachers. We're really asking teachers to teach or engage with their students in new ways on STEM projects. They need to be co-investigators
with their students. They need to be able to
identify authentic problems that will engage their students and help them move effortlessly between the different disciplines in the investigation process. We're trying to accomplish several things in the STILE 2.0 (drowned
out by ambient noise). The first, we want to
develop a refined STILE (drowned out by person sneezing) that can be tested for efficacy and skill and that can contribute to a broadly adaptable curriculum for STEM teacher development. Second, we want to develop
a suite of resources, digital case studies, that capture the essential
components of the STILE approach and can support schools in
developing STEM teachers. We also want to develop a framework for a successful STEM facilitation that can be used by schools and districts to support and to identify
STEM instructional leaders. We also want to improve teacher capacity to develop authentic STEM
learning experiences for students. And finally, from a research perspective, we want an improved understanding of our own STILE implementation across multiple teacher orientations and across many schools. As we continue to
collaborate with teachers in designing inquiry-driven classrooms, we believe this NSF research is an important investment
in our children's future. Thank you. – Full confession, we had to make this to put up on the NSF site. So of course we had to make sure they knew how important the work was. And it is. It's really–
– You know how to go back– – Great–
– To the next– – Yeah, that's okay. I think I'm gonna wrap up here. (students in video chattering loudly) Yeah, may or may not be possible, sorry, because I did wanna have some time for you guys to talk and to share ideas that you might have in terms of, I think the work that we're
doing is really very important. I think the work that Joohee
is doing is very important. I think staying in touch with each other has been meaningful to both of us. But I think we have a lot of work to do as an educational community. There is just miles to
go before we can sleep. So I'm interested in
hearing about your ideas and seeing if there are ways to help any of them move forward. So is anybody really brave? Yes. (man speaks off-microphone) – [T.C.] T.C. Grad. We were at school together. I remember you. – All right. – [T.C.] Yeah, instructional
media technology, 2006, I think, was when I graduated? But what happened to me recently actually changed my perspective. I was diagnosed with cancer and while I was in recovery,
I actually found out there were a lot of children who were in the families with cancer and started working with them and formed a robotics club at one of the Gilda's Clubs. And that became the beginning of what I do a lot of now,
which is called Wellbotics. I work with children in trauma through this idea of those
kinds of connections. So the whole problem-solving
thing comes up. There's a lot of other kinds of ways that I find that that
environment helps people to be able to connect with each other. And then also to kind of
give 'em some perspective on what it means to have a problem and even a problem you can't solve and how to think about it differently. – Right. Yeah, I think that's very, very powerful. I also think that, and I'm sorry to hear
about your situation, but I think it's wonderful
what you you're doing. Woo! (chuckles) (audience applauds) (woman speaks off-microphone) That's great. I lost a sister to
cancer, so I understand. One of the things that I think
is really important for kids, and we played around with this idea, we weren't able to get funding for it, but when you're isolated
as a child with an illness, like we were talking
about reaching out to kids who are going dialysis, which
is a very lonely experience, they really need to connect to each other and share their stories. Because they're ostracized, right? So if there are ways to connect them and if there are ways to
connect them to other people, if there are ways to connect them to children around the world, I mean, it's a very powerful way to utilize technology and to give them courage,
maybe, or inspiration or any of the things that we all need when we're battling a
major illness like that. Were you looking for ways to move forward with that idea, or are you? – [T.C.] Yes, definitely looking for ways to move forward. I've done some work
with Riverside Church– – I'm sorry. – [T.C.] Oh, sorry. Yeah, no, definitely looking for ways to move forward. I've done some work with
Riverside Church up the street. And it's become, like, now the
adults wanna be a part of it. – Yes–
– Because they are– – That's wonderful.
– Looking at kids. (laughs) So I would like
to definitely find a way to move forward with it. – Okay. I don't know that we
have a help desk set up for this particular. But leave your name and we will see what we can do. Who knows, there might be
some funders in the room, for instance, who would
be interested in helping, or other paths for you. But I think it's important to see that there's a way forward. I really do. Yes. – [Man] Just riffing on this question of isolated learners. Have you looked at what
home schooling parents do to leverage technology, and the kind of technology that kids own? They have cell phones,
they may have a tablet. – Right. – [Man] Most likely they have a laptop. – Right. – And then along those same lines, using maker spaces in local libraries. – There's a lot of work going on to, I like to call them the
educating institutions, museums, public broadcasting
ways of reaching, libraries, all of those, other institutions. By the way, for New Yorkers, in New York uniquely,
the Board of Trustees is over all of those
educating institutions. And I co-chair a advisory
council to the Board of Regents to help think about how
all of those institutions can use technology as a
unifying force, if you will, for learners throughout
the New York state. The home schooling has been, I don't know enough about
it to speak eloquently, but I do know that there
are packages for them. I mean, there are ways in which that work is provided to children. And it's on a district-by-district level. So it really depends on how the district innovates around it. But very often, and the same way we were talking about online learning, there is information and then the kids have
to send things back, you know, multiple choice or, it's sort of, it can be
perfunctory in a certain way. And so I think there
are huge potential there to do more interesting things and to get them engaged in authentic projects around the home. But I'm not sure right now that many of the home schooling systems are set up to do that. But the potential's there, absolutely. – I have a question. You pointed out earlier that it's the way we've taught teachers and it's the way we've
structured the classroom that creates some of the problems. Now that video that you just showed us addressed the issue of
how students engaged in different kind of classroom structure. A lot of teachers would look at that, and I shouldn't say a lot. I know many teachers I've worked with would look at that and
say, "Oh, this is chaotic. "These kids aren't really
learning," et cetera, et cetera, which I don't believe. But the one thing I thought was missing at the end of the video which I would have loved to have seen is, were there any academic results
that you can report out on that would say this is what's happened with that group of kids
in terms of performance, that would kinda close the loop? When you say to people,
"If you do this and this, "you should get better outcomes," they're gonna wanna know,
"Yeah, well, prove it." And I'm just wondering if you either have any
of that kind of data. – Well, that is the $24,000
question, of course. (audience chuckles) What is the proof? We are in the midway in our NSF grant. So the proof is still a few years away. However, what we know, and I
had another video at the end, what we hear from our teachers is that these kinds of project
engage our children. What you have to avoid is a busy project, a project where kids are
just doing activities, and they're fun activities so everybody's having a good time, but nobody really can
tell you what they learned at the end of it. There's a very famous apple project that Wiggins and McTighe write about. Everybody goes to the
orchard, they pick apples, they come home, they make applesauce, and everybody's happy, happy, happy. But what was the point
of all of that, you see? And so one of the things, we've been called in many times by schools who are trying to do
project-based learning. And they're dissatisfied with the rigor. You have to have a very rigorous project and it means that the teachers
really have to be prepared to do really thorough and thoughtful designing around standards. So if we can start to
link some of these things, we believe, we know
that engagement happens. We know that our teachers
find out new things about their students. And the other video I
had was with a school, a middle school in Bedford-Stuyvesant. And 80% of the kids are homeless. So, you know, they're
not coming to school, they have all sorts of issues. And what the teachers reported at the end of the project that we did, which was, the essential question was, where do I come from? For eighth graders, you can imagine what a powerful question,
where do I come from? That's exactly what
adolescents are asking. And right now they are coming from a homeless shelter for the most part. The teachers reported seeing new things in the way their kids were working, new skills, new strengths
that they had never noticed, because from a traditional standpoint, a lot of times it's very difficult for kids who are in
that kind of situation. For any kid. So I think that we know
that certain things happen. We know that the three
schools that we worked with in our first NSF grant
made structural changes. They saw so many good things happening that they changed the way they were going about the school day in order to make sure that
more of this could continue. So I think it's part of the future, I think we have to think
very carefully and deeply about how to move
forward with that future. But I think also the accountability and the way we think of
achievement has to change. And testing has to be rethought so that it can become meaningful. I'm a big fan of portfolio. Again, that can be a silly exercise or it can be very powerful and meaningful. We need to think that through and see how we can help
teachers make it meaningful to the kids and to the parents and to the institutions
that everybody reports to. We have one minute. Anything else that, yes? – I'm sorry to ask again. But this is in my mind. And for several years, we know each other and we have discussed the need that, or the impression that we
do have the technology, the technology exists, and the major challenge is that the people in
charge of the technology to deliver curriculum
are not properly trained. Now, my question is that I
know that there are many ways to train teachers and I try to
do my share with my teachers. However, this comes
already after the fact, when they already have so many things that are embedded in their
own way of old style teaching. So it's a lot harder to just take them from that point and bring
them to a new perspective. Now the question is, is Teachers College, is it putting something in
the pre-service curriculum for teachers, a course,
a something, a class that is specifically going
into teaching teachers in the new way of
teaching with technology? – (chuckles) Another $64,000 question. (audience laughs) My answer is, I believe yes. I oversee a Master's program for preparing technology specialists who are essentially change makers who go into school and help
teachers use technology in the ways we want them to use them, with project-based learning. I think we can always do more and I think they would
say we can always do more. One of the problems
that I always hear about is that people are grad, not necessarily even Teachers College, but graduates of teacher
training institutions graduate and they go into traditional classrooms. And they're required, I remember working with another project and they
were teaching project-based and they said that the young people said, "Yes, I'd love to use this. "I'm committed to it. "It's changed my life, it's
changed how I'm thinking. "But the first three years,
I have to get tenure. "So I'm gonna use that textbook "and do it the right way." So it's part of a systemic change that we have to think about. All the different pieces have to shift. The accountability, I
think, most importantly, because that's what
everybody uses to measures. But all these other
pieces are important, too. So if you'd like help or
would want to talk further about your ideas, maybe it's a hard forum to do it because everybody's here, but come on up and we'll take your names and see what we can do. – Let us thank Dr. Meier and Dr. Son for their help today. (audience applauds)

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