Author Archives: aaroneff

New Blog: Tech Tips for Teachers


For those looking for ideas or strategies for integrating technology into instruction, you might want to check out World Education’s new blog- Tech Tips for Teachers.
http://techtipsforteachers.weebly.com/index.html

A few years ago, EFF updated their Technology standard– which used to focus mostly on computer literacy- to more broadly think about technology and, of course, the breadth of new technologies that continue to arise. You can take a look at the Technology standard here: http://eff.cls.utk.edu/fundamentals/standard_use_information.htm

What are some of the challenges you face integrating technology into your instruction? What about challenges in knowing how to use these new technologies yourself (something I know I struggle with)?

What about successes and/or technologies you are currently implementing now?

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In the News: More on Algebra!


Here’s something we found online that seems like a good math resource for adult education practitioners:

Check out this article/lesson plan from Patrick Honner in the New York Times:
N Ways to Apply Algebra With The New York Times *

In this article/lesson plan, Patrick shares some real world applications of math that can be investigated using information in the New York Times (or many other newspapers), such as:

  • Mathematically Modeling Mortgages
  • Ranking and Evaluating Colleges
  • Calculating Car Costs
  • Algebra of the Election
  • Olympic Algebra
  • Solving for Stocks

All too often workbooks teach the algebra embedded in these examples with a “one-right-way” plug-it-into-the-formula process. The examples in this article foster a much more open ended, problem-solving approach to applying Algebra in real-world settings.

This approach fosters the development of algebraic thinking, not just the short-term ability to plug numbers into formulas.  As we stated previously:

Algebraic thinking involves recognizing and analyzing patterns, studying and representing relationships, making generalizations, and analyzing how things change. It is about making predictions based on patterns or relationships, making decisions, and solving real problems. It is about creating models based on phenomena that occur around usDonna Curry  (emphasis added)

What creative and innovative approaches have you used to teach these traditionally ‘formula-based’ algebra problems?  What other types of meaningful real-world applications have you used in teaching algebraic thinking?


*Part of The Learning Network: (Teaching and Learning with the New York Times)


Have you recently found something interesting ‘in the news’? If so – let us know at eff@utk.edu.

In the News: Engaging Beginning Writers


Here’s something we found online that seems like a good resource for adult education practitioners:

Aaron Kohring
Manager, EFF Project

I recently read an Education Week Teacher article, Motivating Reluctant Writers With Journals. The author, Laurie Wasserman, offers suggestions for supporting “…students who are hesitant to share their thoughts in writing.”

Although drawn from her experiences with K-12 students, I saw in her article many applications for our adult education learners. She recommends  journaling — which I have used many times with my hesitant adult education writers, as well as the use of peers/teachers as scribes for individuals with more severe writing barriers (including learning disabilities) to help get them started in the writing process. She makes several other suggestions including ‘relatable topics’ – relating writing to the real-world (or contextualized instruction).

This article also reminded me of how useful the Language Experience Approach (LEA) can be in supporting hesitant writers, as well as in providing both reading and writing practice.  All of which then (of course), leads me to wonder about your own experiences in motivating hesitant writers:

What are your experiences with journal writing? Do you have other ways in which you engage learners to start writing?

Have you used the Language Experience Approach with Adult Learners?  What tips might you share with peers about this strategy?

 


Have you recently found something interesting ‘in the news’? If so – let us know at eff@utk.edu.