Assignment: As a supervisor, how would you use this site to professionally develop teachers on the newly revised taxonomy of educational objectives?
As a supervisor, how does this site help provide teachers with practices about classroom assessment that are linked to the taxonomy? If it doesn’t directly address assessment, how would you extend the content to include classroom assessment strategies (either formative or summative) that could be taken back into the classroom?
How does the site lend itself to professional collaboration?

Use the following criteria as a guide -

  • Does the site allow for two-way communication, such as a blog or wiki format?
  • Is the last post or entry on the website recent?
  • Who is the author? Is the site from an individual, a group of educators, a business, or an organization?
  • How relevant and useful is the information? Would you be able to get ideas for using this site in a department meeting? Would your teaching staff be able to use the information in their professional practice?
  • Who is the site targeted for?
  • Is there an RSS tag? If so, would you subscribe to it? Would you make it part of your PLN?

I approached this assignment in a broader sense. I choose sites that addressed more in the arena of education than just the revised Bloom taxonomy. I use these sites for my own PD frequently and would recommend them to my teachers, as a supervisor with a focus on science and new approaches to general education.

#1 - NSTA -

NSTA's Mission Statement: "To promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all".

I have been a longstanding member of the NSTA, even before my teaching years. The National Science Teachers Association known as NSTA, currently with a membership of 60,000 individuals represents both academia and industry whose focus is science education. This organization was founded in 1944. Its targeted audience is science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and trully anyone else involved in and committed to science education.Its strategic plan focuses around four goals that define this organization and its primary purpose and can be summarized by the following statement - that being "to engage all science teachers to continually improve science education and in turn, improve student learning in science". This website offers many tools for educators such as PDIs (professional development institutes), New Science Teacher Academy, mentoring, Web seminars, blogging, and podcasts. The focus with this web site is to discuss educational issues on the national level such as NCLB and specific issues of relevance to educators in the science arena. Through Web 2.0 tools this site allows educators to discuss both their perspective and their implementation of new practices such as the revised taxonomy. Instructional, curricular, and assessment strategies are explored.

#2 - ASCD -

ASCD's Mission Statement: "To develop programs, products, and services essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead."

Founded in 1943, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) is a nonprofit, organization that represents the entire gamet of educators from over 119 countries. As with the NSTA, this organization's webiste offers educators PD opportunities and 21st century tools such as connected communities, networking, webcasts, etc. For example, ASCD offers networks that are member-initiated groups designed to unite people around a common area of interest in the field of education. Networks allow participants to exchange ideas, share information and identify and solve problems. It format is flexible, fluid, and based on the needs of its participants.This site is targeted to educators such as teachers, administrators, and policy makers. One of the goals of this site is to follow and be actively involved in public policy, not unlike the NSTA.
their discussion on the revised Bloom's taxonomy focuses on higher order skills espressed by this revised edition and is discussed by various sources on this site. One such source points out that educators need to realize that there are many more ways to teach than by rote memorization alone - the more traditional approach. "There is teaching for understanding, decision making, problem solving, and connecting a part to a whole, detail to concept, and concept to concept. There also is inference, prediction, analysis for bias, and learning for transfer." (ASCD). Each of these processes requires some form of critical thinking. All are processes that students can develop and refine. The site further goes on in saying that "opportunities for students to develop critical thinking processes are not found in classrooms dominated by the regurgitation of short answers. They are found in classrooms where active learning is an essential component - the groundwork for 21st century skills". The in-service community blog on this site is the forum for discussion of topics of interest such as Web 2.0; being the most recent dated March 6, 2009 - today.

#3 -

This 21st Century Connections site links students, teachers and administrators to the latest resources, creative tools and educational leaders behind digital learning. The focus is technological resources for educators. It provides a way to keep abreast of the newest technology and approaches to instruction in the 21st century classroom. This site is linked to social networks such as Facebook and has an RSS feed. This site points out that the skills required for the digital age give new relevance to the list of skills - Bloom's taxonomy - that we learned back in early days of instruction. The site further points out that "in the 1990's, a former student of Bloom, Lorin Anderson, revised Bloom's Taxonomy and published this- Bloom's Revised Taxonomy in 2001. The key to this is the use of verbs rather than nouns for each of the categories and a rearrangement of the sequence within the taxonomy."

#4 -

Recently, I joined a social networking site called Classroom 2.0. The purpose of this site is to bring me in touch with other educators interested in understanding how to implement 21st century skills via the use of Web 2.0 or collaborative technologies in the classroom. One of the main things Classroom 2.0 was designed to do was to help educators, especially those who hadn’t had any experience with Web 2.0 such as myself, to quickly feel comfortable participating. Blogs, wikis, and podcasting have been the Web 2.0 tools most promoted to educators in the past couple of years. "This social networking site combines many of the tools of Web 2.0 into a structured environment: forum discussions, blogging, chat, messaging, email, and video-, photo-, and file- sharing." By bringing users together in that inclusive environment, social networks make it much easier for users to connect with each other and with discussions that are of interest in the education field. Any educational approach such as the revised Bloom taxonomy can be brought to the forum and discussed with other educators. After discussing Blooms Revised Taxonomy and the associated verbs, teachers are asked to create their own "rubric" using appropriate verbs from those associated with Blooms Revised Taxonomy. In addition the plus and minuses of the revised format can be explored through the experience of implementation of other more veteran educators. As a social networking site - colloboration is key. This site lends itself by its very nature to Information sharing. This site expands the taxonomy by relating each verb to the digital world. For example,creating can be translated digitally to blogging, video blogging, wiki-ing, publishing, videocasting, and podcasting. The Future of Education screen within this site offers educators the chance to be part of a community that is devoted to providing an opportunity for those who care about education to share their voices and ideas with others. It's a place for discussion on any important topic.

#5 -

I am very interested in formally incorporating 21st century skills in my classroom. To be specific, I plan to include this implementation as part of my PIP for the 2009/2010 academic year. This site is targeted at educators, students, policy makers, and administrators. It is part of a national program to promote 21st century skills in the classroom by all educators. These skills such as to be able to think critically and creatively, be technologically savvy and work well with others in conjunction with content will prepare students for the 21st century. My PIP for this year was the implementation of project-based learning in physics - an approach that encompasses 21st century skills. The next project my classes are working on is the Rube Goldberg Project for Energy transformations. Although we are done with the energy unit and currently doing "Sound" - we will be concluding the project by having each class create a single Rube Goldberg Project and setup the competition amongst four classes; rather than individual groups in one class. Collaboration of all eight project teams per class to implement their steps into one continuous class project is key. The goal is to have the class as a whole determine and agree on the task and then link each project teams steps together. It is a challenge and the first time I have implemented this project in this way - I will let you know how it concludes.
Getting back to the particulars of this site - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills offers a variety of tools such as Route 21 (an online interactive tool that demonstrates how 21st century skills can be supported by curriculum, the satandards, and common assessment practices); Assess21 (a Web-based repository for information on assessments of 21st century skills); and the MILE Guide (which develops milestones for educators and administrators in measuring the progress of their schools in defining, teaching and assessing 21st Century Skills).

Summary of all five sites:

As a supervisor, how would you use this site to professionally develop teachers on the newly revised taxonomy of educational objectives?

All five sites offer professional development options for all educators on this topic and many more. I would obtain a district membership for all my science teachers for NSTA and all my teachers for ASCD. Both sites offer imformation and connectivity for all grade levels. The NSTA is in the process of offering the CSE Leadership Institute - a new initiative to bring science concerns to the public forum. Taken from their site - "The CSE Leadership Institute is destined to become one of the most visible and well-known initiatives of the CSE. It will offer summer workshops, symposia, research dissemination conferences, and teacher leadership programs designed to keep science educators well-informed about new ideas in science education, innovative approaches and methods of teaching, and the latest research in teaching and learning science. Among its numerous activities, NSTA will invite scholars to visit the Institute to interpret and implement the latest research on how students learn science and provide strategic guidance for all Institute programs. Under the auspices of the Institute, expert task forces will convene to direct large-scale programs. One of the first priorities will be to launch a public awareness and engagement campaign—Science Matters—designed to rekindle a national sense of urgency and action about science education and science literacy. Another initiative in the preliminary stages of development—Science Anchors—is exploring and shaping the next generation of science standards to ensure greater clarity and consistency of science education across the nation." (NSTA site)
The ASCD site offers a segment called "PD In Focus". This is a new way to expand professional development for educators with "an on-demand library of searchable classroom video clips, group facilitation tools, opportunities for guided learning activities, and other resources." (ASCS site) PD In Focus uses Web 2.0-enabled technology as its tool kit.
Teachers can use PD In Focus "to search for and view video examples of research-based teaching practices related to their professional development goals and share and reflect on the videos to promote a dialogue about affective teaching". Supervisors can use PD In Focus "to support the professional learning activities of their teams" and plan and manage the goals of their teams. In addition they can use PD In Focus for staff development plans by "assigning video segments to groups and individuals, tracking their progress on assignments, and viewing reports of completion."(ASCD site)
Classroom 2.0 offers teachers a PD experience through a concept called Classroom 2.0 LIVE. This offers an opportunity "to gather with other members of the community in real-time events, complete with audio, chat, desktop sharing, and sometimes even video" (Classroom 2.0 site) to learn about new topics. Today, March 7th, 2009 there was a session on "Twitter for Teachers" which walked participants through the application of Twitter in the classroom. On March 14th the topic will be "What is Moodle and how can I use it to support my teaching?" In a PD setting I would assign videos to view of interest to the group.
The Partnership for the 21st Century offers a different approach to PD by offering a list of external companies that specialize in providing PD opportunities for educators. This approach requires bringing in a 3rd party into the district and might not be the best solution.
The 21st Century Connections website offers teachers tips on how to get started and be able to integrate the tools they need to be successful in the classroom as their PD program. The latter two websites, namely, the Partnership for the 21st Century and 21st Century Connections do not have as well established PD offerings as do my first three websites.

As a supervisor, how does this site help provide teachers with practices about classroom assessment that are linked to the taxonomy?

All sites provide resources to understand and implement the revised taxonomy, in addition, Classroom 2.0 offers the ability to help teachers create a rubric to assess implementation of the revised taxonomy.

If it doesn’t directly address assessment, how would you extend the content to include classroom assessment strategies (either formative or summative) that could be taken back into the classroom?

All sites address instruction as well as assessment strategies.

How does the site lend itself to professional collaboration?

All five sites offer opportunities to belong to an educational community.