1. Jianwei Zhang
  2. http://www.albany.edu/etap/Jianwei_Zhang.php
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program and the Discovery Research K-12 program
  5. https://tccl.arcc.albany.edu/wpsite/
  6. University at Albany
  1. Mei-Hwa Chen
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program and the Discovery Research K-12 program
  4. https://tccl.arcc.albany.edu/wpsite/
  5. University at Albany, University at Albany
  1. Guangji Yuan
  2. Doctoral student
  3. Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program and the Discovery Research K-12 program
  4. https://tccl.arcc.albany.edu/wpsite/
  5. University at Albany
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 11:11 a.m.

    Very interesting! I noticed classroom talk, both all-class and that when using the software the kids and their laptops were clusted closely and I assumed were encouraged to talk to each other. I wondered about the writing: is this a challenge for some 5th graders? And I noticed what appear to be notebooks in the discussion circle: how are notebook entries the same and different from entries in the online thread?

    How much of a pedagogical shift is this for teachers? How much support do they typically need?

    I look forward to this discussion! thanks for the video.

    Sally

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Jianwei Zhang
  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 03:40 a.m.

    Excellent questions.  I'm definitely interested in the writing differentiation and ways kids are using writing in this video clip.  The metacognitive reflection is so powerful through the use of writing.  I loved seeing the use of an idea mapper, computers, and the large concept maps on the wall at the end.  How do we know what students are thinking/ learning??? Writing is such a great way to get into the minds of students! Or should I say, students sharing their "thoughts" with others! 

  • Icon for: Jianwei Zhang

    Jianwei Zhang

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 10:22 a.m.

    Hi Sally and DeLene, 

    Thanks for your comments and questions. 

    Re. your questions about writing online and in notebooks: Yes, in our collaborating classrooms supported by Idea Thread Mapper (interoperating with Knowledge Forum), students write a lot! They use productive writing skills on a routine basis to take notes from sources, write down reflections, and contribute to the dialogues online to understand complex scientific problems. This level of writing is challenging/demanding. We used several different ways to scaffold:

    (a) In the online space, students write their notes using a set of scaffolds/sentence starters, such as My Theory... I need to understand... A better theory... (these are customizable scaffolds provided by Knowledge Forum); 

    (b) We co-designed a set of scaffolds with the teachers to support student note taking using two columns: What... (info from source) So what ... (personal thinking and questioning);

    (c) After the initial phase of online discourse, teachers often work with their students to do a metacognitive meeting to review the most helpful online posts and co-develop a set of guidelines, such as using informative titles, writing ideas with details, and do not simply repeating the source/ideas already said by others...

    You can see examples/analyses in the following papers:

    Zhang, J., & Sun, Y. (2011). Reading for idea advancement in a grade 4
    knowledge building community. Instructional Science, 39 (4), 429-452.

    Sun, Y., Zhang, J., & Scardamalia, M. (2010). Knowledge building and vocabulary growth over two years, Grades 3 and 4. Instructional Science, 38 (2), 247-271.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    DeLene Hoffner
  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 01:31 a.m.

    Thank you for your wonderful reply.  What rich opportunities for writing on a variety of levels and purposes.  Thank you also for sharing your resources.  I'm going to check those out more closely.  

  • Icon for: Acacia McKenna

    Acacia McKenna

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:42 p.m.

    This video was very impressive and interesting. The use of technology, mapping, and hands on learning was embraced by both the students and teachers. Are there any specific tools for students to guide them through the use of TM automated analysis and idea threads? How early would you recommend integrating this type of teaching with elementary students?

  • Icon for: Jianwei Zhang

    Jianwei Zhang

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:05 p.m.

    Thanks Acacia for your comments. We've been working/thinking hard to come up friendly designs for young kids, and we should do more.

    ITM (https://idea-thread.net/) uses a visual interface for students to co-organize their collaboration and conversation. Idea thread analytics are embedded in the online discourse environment to help students reflect on their progress, connections, and directions. We have used ITM in as young as 3rd graders, who were able to use it for rich inquiry after the teacher demoed it (with a few key features written on a board as reminders). 

    More tech details were shown in our STEM for All 2018 video: https://stemforall2018.videohall.com/presentations/1256

     

     

     

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 04:06 p.m.

    Thanks for the links and references. I enjoyed reading the papers on knowledge-building. The subject of vocabulary always comes up in teacher workshops and we have to make the case for not having a vocabulary lesson before the investigations begin. In classrooms that have established knowledge-building communities we see students pick up language for describing their ideas very quickly. To be sure, the Focus on Energy and Inquiry Project curricula do not require much reading other than prompts and scaffolds in the student notebooks. 

    thanks for the references!

  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 01:40 a.m.

    Your video and project really are powerful!  The ITM gives students ways to co-organize their collaboration and conversation. That is fantastic! I appreciate the way Idea thread analytics are embedded in the online discourse environment. It really does help students reflect on their progress, connections, and directions.

    What do you see are your biggest challenges with students use of your materials?  Have you come across any challenges which became key points of learning for you and your project?  

    Thanks,

    DeLene 

  • Icon for: Guangji Yuan

    Guangji Yuan

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 08:31 a.m.

    Hi DeLene:

    That's an excellent question! Since it is an inquiry-based study, students conduct their hands-on research experiments which relate to their inquiry interests, one of the challenges that students are facing is how to pass the newly gained information from the experiment to the rest of their classmates. So ITM and face-to-face metacognitive meeting play crucial roles for each group members to share their new progress and further co-identify their research gap. Teachers always encourage them to post their latest insights on ITM and share their results in face-to-face meetings, which will trigger more connections with others and deepen their understandings. For more details, please check this 2018 paper.

    Thank you!

    Guangji

  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 10:01 a.m.

    Wonderful!  I love it.  I'll have to check our your 2018 paper.  Thank you for that link.  It is powerful that students are co-developers of their direction too.  I noticed the description on your video shared their role in the development of their learning and next steps.  This is so critical for students to feel they are valued in the learning process, have ownership through choices and self direction, and empowered by sharing their own learning/ results.  

     

    Do you have student quotes or feedback you could share?  What are students saying about their cyberlearning, discoveries, and the whole process??

     

  • Icon for: Guangji Yuan

    Guangji Yuan

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 01:59 p.m.

    Hi DeLene:

    We haven’t conduct students’ interview for this year yet since the learning is still going on. But I would love to share a piece of interview excerpt that we did last year with a different set of students but used the same inquiry-based learning approach with ITM. In the interview, we asked “Looking back at your science work in grade 5, what has been your experience as a scientist trying to find answers to the hard questions and was there a moment when the work felt very difficult?"
    And student S said: “My experiences as a scientist during the year is trying to find answers to hard questions, it’s been an exciting experience for me. I was always eager to learn more and to build on to what I already know. It was always fun for me to learn more information, and try to figure out where the information would lead me to. My work was a bit difficult in my research. It was hard when like I was studying organ that wasn’t known well. Like something that was a major in the human body. Like the appendix of the spleen the pancreas. It was kind of hard for me to research on those small things if there wasn't that much information on it, like if it was the appendix, then it was unknown….work hard, do research and you will love science. Once you start something, it will lead you to something you didn't even know existed.”

    Best,

    Guangji

  • Icon for: DeLene Hoffner

    DeLene Hoffner

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2019 | 02:42 a.m.

    Thank you, Guangji.  That is a wonderful quote from a previous student. We hope students will feel that impact within their learning. (and to see that learning is FUN too!)  Thank you for your wonderful response to my question.  

    DeLene Hoffner

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.