Ideaphora now has over 15 thousand pieces of vetted-open content available for educators and students to use in creating their concept maps. Our unique granular search allows learners to explore resources not only by title or tag but down to the level of keywords and key phrases we generate automatically.
Using Ideaphora’s Granular Search with over 15,000 pieces of vetted-open education resources
Project-Based Learning: Planning with Eyes on the Prize
Since Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe published their signature book, Understanding by Design, the idea of planning “with the end in mind” has become an important part of educational parlance. There are few endeavors where this advice is more important than Project-Based Learning.
Because a project, by definition, has a prescribed outcome, it’s tempting to focus on the material objective rather than the accompanying learning. Regardless of the nature of the project, the important questions are:
New Teacher Resources Available: Lesson Plans, Video Tutorials and More
Never ones to rest idle, our staff have been busy creating resources to help teachers easily incorporate Ideaphora into their lessons. Educators can find video tutorials about using Ideaphora’s features, lesson plans and examples of student maps – and more coming soon! – on our new Teacher Resources page.
Project-Based Learning: Essential Questioning
Small children learn by asking questions and testing the answers they receive. This tendency forms the roots of critical thinking. Unfortunately, question-generation eventually takes a backseat to receiving and storing information both at home and at school as children mature. In a traditional classroom, questions are the provenance of the teacher. In a project-based learning classroom, however, questions drive the entire learning process.
Purposeful Planning: Making Curriculum Useful
In my last post, I covered the importance of satisfying students’ curiosity about why they “have to learn” various skills, facts and processes by connecting curriculum to real world applications. Project-Based Learning (PBL) is one important approach that accomplishes this task and far more.
Get Access to New Templates and Additional Resources
On the heels of our PledgeCents partnership announcement, we are rolling out new features and enhancements that deliver a more robust and rich concept mapping experience for both teachers and students. These changes include concept mapping templates, additional open education resources, and improved search functionality.
Ideaphora Partners With PledgeCents
School districts spent more money on digital content and curriculum last year than ever before, according to a recent survey report from The Learning Counsel. With increasing use of digital content in the classroom, it’s imperative that schools support students in deeply engaging with the material so they not only understand the concepts presented but also are able to apply what they’ve learned. We created Ideaphora to address this pressing need.
To ensure that all schools are able to use Ideaphora Classroom, we’ve partnered with PledgeCents, which offers a streamlined way for school leaders and educators to easily raise the funds needed to cover the cost of purchasing annual subscriptions. We want every school and educator regardless of their financial situation or budget to have the opportunity to use Ideaphora to empower their students as they prepare for work and life beyond the school walls in today’s digitally driven world.
Creating Connections = Meaningful Learning
You know the saying “I’ve got too many irons in the fire”? Well, I have my own personal twist on that saying - ”There are fires everywhere, and I’ve got irons in every one of them!”
Being a professional in the field of educational technology, those fires might look like helping other teachers use technology, working with an administrator, negotiating with a vendor, or even working with a family member who knows you can help sync his/her latest device.
One thing we can all agree on in this busy edtech world is that we like resources for integrating technology that engage students, cover standards, promote higher-level thinking, and are (at least close to) effortless to implement. Ideaphora’s web-based concept mapping platform is one of those resources.
I’ve spoken before of my mentor in graduate school, Donald Graves. He used to say that one of the most important questions we could ask, as educators, citizens or even humans, was: What’s it for? Whether an educational policy or a political stance, he’d tell us, “What it’s for has everything to do with what we’re for.”
A Farewell Tour of 2016
This year marked several milestones for Ideaphora - we launched our product out of beta with versions for individual and classroom use. We also have more than 175 classroom pilots in progress. Over the course of 2016, we've shared numerous updates, concept mapping strategies and tips for using Ideaphora with learners of all ages, but our blog readers responded most to the articles listed below. While these posts spanned various subject areas and instructional strategies, they all had one thing in common. They illustrate that concept mapping is an increasingly critical in the age of digital learning as educators prepare students for the college and future careers.