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Critical Thinking – Standards of Thought

Dr. Richard Paul defines the universal standards with which thinking may be “taken apart” evaluated and assessed.

A University Powered by the ‘Good Will’ of Others

The University of the People charges no tuition and now serves more than 10,000 students. Its founder, Shai Reshef, speaks about the volunteers who have made it a beacon for Syrian refugees, earthquake victims in Haiti, and undocumented students in the United States.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Learning with Technology for Teaching - Mon, 2017-09-18 13:53
Have you ever stared into the engine compartment of a vehicle and been fascinated by all those moving parts?   Now imagine being a student in the automotive field, building your professional knowledge of parts and terminology is an important first step toward being successful.  This week we are featuring Nolan Miyahara an Instructor of Automotive Technology  here at Leeward Community College who recently conducted a Nearpod activity with his students to review and reinforce their learning of basic parts.   Activity Nearpod is a formative assessment tool for delivering engaging presentations. It does require an internet connection but does not require a Smart Classroom projector.  Each student sees the presentation on their own mobile device (phone, table, laptop) and the pace is controlled by the instructor.  Students’ interactions can be shared with their peers for class discussion or captured for easy reporting.  Nolan’s activity used Nearpod’s draw slide feature to allow individual students to match terms with images (engine parts) he provided.  Nolan thought the Nearpod draw activity worked well, he also took time to build a few Nearpod slides following a more traditional yes/no format. Strengths and Weaknesses Following the activity Nolan thought “the variety of ways you can put up questions and how the students can answer in different ways” was a strength.   Student feedback seemed to infer that students “didn’t feel challenged because there was no timer”, a problem which can be addressed in the future by simply having the instructor implement a time limit for each slide. In Summary Overall Nolan felt the Nearpod review activity went well based on learning and engagement.  When asked for tips or advice for other instructors interested in using Nearpod, Nolan said “I would recommend it.” If you are interested in learning more about Nearpod and how a Nearpod lesson can be integrated into your rotation of activities please contact Brent Hirata (bhirata@hawaii.edu) at the Educational Media Center.

Unapproved Minutes September 11, 2017

Meeting called to order at 3:05 p.m. Minutes from April 24, 2017 meeting approved. Attendees: Karim Khan, Michelle Igarashi, Christy Takamure, Anemarie Paikai, Warren Kawano, Daniela Dutra Elliot, Rachael Inake. Feedback and suggestions on marketing the DE Liaison Program Present… Read more ›

Agenda September 11, 2017

Approval from Minutes April 24, 2017 Welcome and introductions Meeting minutes note takers for the year DE Committee Report 2016-2017 2016-2017 Google Drive folder Creation of 2017-2018 Google Drive folder Follow-up and feedback DE Liaison Program Getting the word out… Read more ›

EMC’s Chromebook COW for Classroom Use

Learning with Technology for Teaching - Mon, 2017-09-11 12:14

The following is a guest blog post by Junie Hayashi, Librarian, at Leeward CC.

Ever wanted to do an activity with your students that required everyone to have a computer (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) but didn’t have a computer classroom? Reserve the EMC’s Chromebook COW (classroom on wheels) that includes a set of 20 lightweight Chromebooks. The Chromebooks use Google Chrome browser for internet browsing and have both keyboards and touch screens. Although you cannot download software onto the Chromebooks, numerous apps are available from the Google Chrome Web Store.

I provide library instruction sessions for various classes including English, Speech, Psychology, and Women’s Studies. Using the Chromebook COW, I am able to provide sessions in the classroom instead of having the class come to the Library. This is especially helpful when we have multiple sessions during the same class period. In addition, my sessions often include group work which is very difficult to do  in a traditional computer lab setting. Using the Chromebooks makes it easy for students to work together in a meaningful way. The COW is much smaller and easier to navigate than the previous one. Students have even told me that the Chromebooks were “cool” and way better than other laptops. Definitely check out the EMC’s new Chromebooks!

Looking to reserve/checkout the Chromebook COW? Visit the Intec window at LC 116 or request online. (Note: First time using the request form? Please contact the Help Desk so an account can be created for future reservations.)

How to Help Students Feel Powerful at School

Educators can exert power over students—or they can create an environment where students feel energized and capable themselves.


Recently, a high school teacher and friend of mine started thinking more carefully about the power dynamics in her classroom. With the current political situation in mind, she was worried that she was exerting too much control over what students were learning and when. Instead, her vision was to empower them to take charge of their own educational experience, better preparing them for school and beyond.

“How can you get students to identify what theyneed and want to discuss rather than summarizing it for them?” a colleague had asked her.

Power is defined as the capacity to direct or influence the behavior of others. In the classroom, educators exert power through the class materials they select, the learning activities they design, and the ways in which they include students in classroom discussions.

In The Power Paradox, GGSC founding director Dacher Keltner reminds us that when we abuse our power, those around us can experience stress, anxiety, shame, and even poor health, which are all signs of powerlessness. So how can educators consciously use their power for the good?

This teacher and I explored some things she could do to shift the power dynamics in her classroom. The following suggestions may help your students to feel powerful at school.

1. Use a strengths-based approach to learning

One surefire way to make students feel powerless is to focus on everything they are weak and failing at. When problems loom large, they can undermine your students’ sense of self and capacity to engage in class. No doubt students who feel hopeless generally aren’t going to be excited about learning.

If you want your students to see themselves as potential leaders, take a strengths-based approach: Start by supporting them in identifying their strengths, aptitudes, and interests. A focus on students’ assets celebrates resilience, resources, and solutions.

Here are several activities that you might consider using in the classroom to capitalize on students’ strengths:

  • The VIA Survey of Character StrengthsTake time in class to have your students (ages 10 and above) complete this survey. It will help them to identify character strengths they have, such as hope, humility, honesty, kindness, and perseverance.
  • Use Your Strengths practice. Ask them to focus on one personal strength each day for a week, and choose a different way to experience that strength. For example, if curiosity is a strength, they might choose one new activity or idea to explore each day.
  • Best Possible Self practiceInvite your students to dream about their future (relative to school, career, relationships) and write about it each day for two weeks.
2. Identify your biases

An authentic, strengths-based approach to teaching and learning isn’t really possible unless teacher-leaders are committed to addressing their biases. Any biases we harbor against groups of students can manifest in our behavior, giving some students more power and opportunities than others.

Of course, the tricky business with biases is that they are often unconscious. However, we can use practical tools to help us unearth them. Invite a few trusted colleagues to visit and observe in your classroom. Ask your colleagues to watch your interactions with students and record their findings.

Consider tracking the following over time:

  • Who do you call on (based on gender, ethnicity, etc.)?
  • What is the tone of your responses (i.e., the ratio of positively to negatively worded comments)?
  • What is the content of your feedback (i.e., specific and concrete responses vs. general and/or dismissive responses)?

An honest look at this data could spark rich conversations with your colleagues and your own “aha” moments of learning and personal growth.

3. Be a warm demander

Apart from the ongoing work of acknowledging our negative biases, genuine care for our students means holding high positive expectations for all of them—and believing in their potential for growth. Numerous studies suggest that when adults have high expectations for students, students increase their motivation and achieve more. Our expectations may be the most powerful force in the classroom.

If you walk into your classroom believing that every student has the capacity for growth, then your students begin to believe it, too. Students read and respond to perceived expectations and biases. Stereotype threat is alive and well—students are at risk of conforming to stereotypes about their respective social groups if they sense you hold them.

Perhaps just as dangerous is a kind yet neutral approach to students that leans toward dismissiveness. Quiet concern is not enough.

“Teachers have to care so much about ethnically diverse students and their achievement that they accept nothing less than high-level success from them and work diligently to accomplish it. This is a very different conception of caring than the often-cited notion of ‘gentle nurturing and altruistic concern,’ which can lead to benign neglect,” says researcher Geneva Gay. This is a quote I often share with new teachers, and it may be the most important message in this article.

4. Create student-centered learning experiences

If we want students to feel empowered to take charge of their own learning, then student-centered learning experiences are essential. How do we create classroom environments that honor students’ voices and encourage active collaboration in the classroom?

Although highly structured, teacher-controlled lessons can be effective in helping all students meet a learning target, these types of lessons don’t always allow for rich and meaningful student participation.

Several other instructional approaches can be used to foster this kind of participation, including project-based learningcooperative learning, and service learning. All three of these methods can be thoughtfully structured to create an environment where students are engaging as a community, taking on meaningful roles, and striving for real-world, performance-based outcomes.

Finally, rather than defaulting to lectures and individual seat work, teachers can consciously weave in opportunities for students to share their day-to-day thinking with one another in a variety of classroom participant structures such as a think-pair-share or a fishbowl discussion. Students can also regularly use think alouds in pairs or small groups as they attempt to solve problems or understand texts.

5. Foster ongoing and active student reflection on learning

Another way students can direct their own educational experience—and end up learning more—is by establishing personally relevant learning goals and actively engaging in ongoing self-assessment.

There are several concrete ways that students can take the reins in monitoring and reflecting on their learning.

  • Portfolios. When students assemble portfolios of their work, problem solve around their challenges, and assess their growth relative to personal learning goals, they are more empowered in the learning process.
  • Multiple intelligences. If we help students to identify their capacities relative to multiple intelligences, we can collaborate with them to design personalized assessments that capture their performance and learning.
  • Conferences. Students can facilitate formal conferences with their teacher and family members (or portions of conferences) where they share their learning goals and progress toward meeting those goals.
6. Focus on modeling and practicing the “Big Five”

Students often feel more personally empowered if they are reflecting on their individual learning. Yet power grows and thrives (or not) in the social world of school.

In The Power Paradox, Keltner helps us to understand how power plays out in our daily lives. Across dormitories, camps, schools, businesses, and more, individuals who demonstrate the “Big Five social tendencies”—enthusiasm, kindness, focus, calmness, and openness—are considered more powerful by those in their social circle. “Enduring power comes from a focus on others,” he concludes.

If we translate this research to the classroom, teachers should not simply model these five ways of acting in the world, but provide opportunities for their students to experience and cherish the “Big Five” themselves:

  • Enthusiasm. Take a look at this clip of a teacher greeting his students before class. It will make your day. He shares an energetic, fun, and personalized handshake with every child in his classroom. Do you have rituals or practices that energize your students and connect them to you and each other?
  • Kindness. Research demonstrates that it is easier to be kind to people we know well than to those outside of our immediate social circle. Use this “shared identity” exercise in class to help your students move beyond their differences to seek out their commonalities.
  • Focus. Discuss and identify shared values at the start of the year. Then list the classroom expectations that will bring those values into focus throughout the year. Create a classroom constitution.
  • Calmness. Help yourself and your students slow down and reduce stress by engaging in brief periods of mindful breathing in the classroom.
  • Openness. Incorporate active listening activities to encourage students (and yourself) to attune to each other’s thoughts and feelings.

There may not be a better time to pause and examine how we use our power in classrooms and schools. Ultimately, a more democratic, empowered classroom is one where all members feel that they belong, they are valued, and they are capable of achieving their learning goals.

As my teacher-friend shared last week during our brainstorm: “The only answer to all of this craziness is to really know each other.” I think she is right on target.

Repost from Greater Good Science

That Hilarious Tweet About an Instructor’s Big Mistake? Almost Certainly Fake

The internet went wild over a student’s tale of the professor who got mad when no one showed up in the classroom for an online course.

Parker Palmer on Education as a Spiritual Practice

Parker Palmer on Education as a Spiritual Practice – an inspired vision for our path to truth.
by Maria Popova

Original Post from Charter of Compassion 

“Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function. Living is the functionary,” Emerson wrote in his spectacular 1837 speech on the life of the mind and the enterprise of education, adding: “A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think.” And yet in the century and a half since Emerson, the notion that education’s highest task is the cultivation of a great soul has become increasingly radical as we’ve grown more and more reliant on measuring the intellect and standardizing those measurements to the point of absurdity.

How to reclaim education’s essential engagement with the spirit is what writer and longtime educator Parker Palmer, a contemporary counterpart of Emerson’s, explores in his 1983 treatise To Know as We Are Known: A Spirituality of Education (public library).

More than three decades before his fantastic recent Naropa University commencement address and twenty years before his clarion call for inhabiting our hidden wholeness, Palmer writes:

I call the pain that permeates education “the pain of disconnection.” … Most [educators] go into teaching not for fame or fortune but because of a passion to connect. We feel deep kinship with some subject; we want to bring students into that relationship, to link them with the knowledge that is so life-giving to us; we want to work in community with colleagues who share our values and our vocation. But when institutional conditions create more combat than community, when the life of the mind alienates more than it connects, the heart goes out of things, and there is little left to sustain us.

In the midst of such pain, the spiritual traditions offer hope that is hard to find elsewhere, for all of them are ultimately concerned with getting us reconnected. These traditions build on the great truth that beneath the broken surface of our lives there remains — in the words of Thomas Merton — “a hidden wholeness.” The hope of every wisdom tradition is to recall us to that wholeness in the midst of our torn world, to reweave us into the community that is so threadbare today.

Photograph by Martine Franck, 1965

Pointing out that spiritual traditions have all too often been hijacked for obstructing rather than encouraging inquiry, Palmer argues for a spirituality of “sources” in education rather than one of “ends”:

A spirituality of ends wants to dictate the desirable outcomes of education in the life of the student. It uses the spiritual tradition as a template against which the ideas, beliefs, and behaviors of the student are to be measured. The goal is to shape the student to the template by the time his or her formal education concludes.

But that sort of education never gets started; it is no education at all. Authentic spirituality wants to open us to truth — whatever truth may be, wherever truth may take us. Such a spirituality does not dictate where we must go, but trusts that any path walked with integrity will take us to a place of knowledge. Such a spirituality encourages us to welcome diversity and conflict, to tolerate ambiguity, and to embrace paradox. By this understanding, the spirituality of education is not about dictating ends. It is about examining and clarifying the inner sources of teaching and learning, ridding us of the toxins that poison our hearts and minds… An authentic spirituality of education will address the fear that so often permeates and destroys teaching and learning. It will understand that fear, not ignorance, is the enemy of learning, and that fear is what gives ignorance its power.


To teach is to create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced.

In the remainder of To Know as We Are Known, tremendously timely three decades later, Palmer goes on to explore how to cultivate that space, why civic community is integral to it, and where the experience of education fits with the broader question of how we come to know reality. Complement it with John Dewey on the true purpose of education, Aldous Huxley on how to get out of your own light, and Victoria Safford on what it really means to “live our mission,” then revisit Palmer on the art of letting your soul speak.

Student Understandings- Google Form

How do you use the ideas and strategies in the courses you teach to foster a rich conception of critical thinking  in all aspects of life, including teaching and learning?  

Drs. Richard Paul and Linda Elder, in their How to Improve Student Learning, begin with two premises:

  1. that to learn a subject well, students must master the thinking that defines that subject, and
  2. that we, in turn, as their instructors, must design activities and assignments that require students to think actively within the concepts and principles of the subject.

Students should master fundamental concepts and principles before they attempt to learn more advanced concepts. If class time is focused on helping students perform well on these foundational activities, we feel confident that the goals of most instruction will be achieved. It is up to you, the instructor, to decide which of these ideas you will test in the classroom. Only you can decide how to teach your students.

Recommendation:  Use a “student understandings” Google form. This Google form should be given to students during the orientation to the course, with an explanation
of each item. Students then check off each item as they understand it. Here are sample:

It is important that students clearly understand what instructors expected of them.


Making your syllabus viewable in Laulima

Laulima @ Leeward - Mon, 2017-08-21 16:20

The Syllabus tool in Laulima allows you to post your syllabus for your students to access.

To add the Syllabus tool:

  1. Log into Laulima.
  2. Click on your course site in the blue tabs across the top.
  3. Click on Site Info in the left menu of tools.
  4. Click on Edit Tools.
  5. Checkmark the Syllabus tool and click Continue and then Finish.
  6. Click on the Syllabus tool in the left menu and add your syllabus.

By default, the Syllabus tool is not published to students. To make it viewable to students, you’ll need to click the lightbulb icon ‘on’.

And now to check/preview as a student, click the drop-down menu, “View site as:” at the top-right of your screen and choose “Student”. You should be able to see it. When you’re done, go back to the drop-down menu and select “Instructor.”

Making your syllabus viewable in Laulima

The Syllabus tool in Laulima allows you to post your syllabus for your students to access. To add the Syllabus tool:
  1. Log into Laulima.
  2. Click on your course site in the blue tabs across the top.
  3. Click on Site Info in the left menu of tools.
  4. Click on Edit Tools.
  5. Checkmark the Syllabus tool and click Continue and then Finish.
  6. Click on the Syllabus tool in the left menu and add your syllabus.
By default, the Syllabus tool is not published to students. To make it viewable to students, you’ll need to click the lightbulb icon ‘on’. And now to check/preview as a student, click the drop-down menu, “View site as:” at the top-right of your screen and choose “Student”. You should be able to see it. When you’re done, go back to the drop-down menu and select “Instructor.”

Making your syllabus viewable in Laulima

Learning with Technology for Teaching - Mon, 2017-08-21 16:20

The Syllabus tool in Laulima allows you to post your syllabus for your students to access.

To add the Syllabus tool:

  1. Log into Laulima.
  2. Click on your course site in the blue tabs across the top.
  3. Click on Site Info in the left menu of tools.
  4. Click on Edit Tools.
  5. Checkmark the Syllabus tool and click Continue and then Finish.
  6. Click on the Syllabus tool in the left menu and add your syllabus.

By default, the Syllabus tool is not published to students. To make it viewable to students, you’ll need to click the lightbulb icon ‘on’.

And now to check/preview as a student, click the drop-down menu, “View site as:” at the top-right of your screen and choose “Student”. You should be able to see it. When you’re done, go back to the drop-down menu and select “Instructor.”

Highlights from Tech It Out Day 2017

Learning with Technology for Teaching - Mon, 2017-08-21 14:27

We had another great Tech It Out Day on August 14, 2017. Thank you for sharing part of your day with us in exploring how technology can enhance teaching and learning in the classroom and online. Sessions were a short 30 minutes to keep things light and fun, and spark interest and curiosity. Participants were able to “test drive” different tools and apps and see how fellow colleagues are using technology in their classes. We had sessions for formative assessment apps to make learning interactive, tools and ideas for communication and building community in your classroom, and even 3D printing.

Special thanks to the EMC and Library staff for facilitating sessions and helping at the event and the Leeward Staff Development Funds who provided funding for food.

View all photos here.

Participants commented:

This was the most accessible and most useful Tech It Out Day ever.

I always enjoy Tech It Out [Day] and learning from colleagues’ ideas and experience.

I like the small group learning environment and all the presenters were enthusiastic and encouraging. Another fun morning, thank you.

If you would like to follow-up your learning for more, please check the website for additional resources and the presenter’s contact information. See you next year!

Experiments in Kindness

Audrey Lin is a volunteer extraordinaire with ServiceSpace. With a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, Lin has volunteered at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India; at Karma Kitchen in Berkeley, California; and has served as an educator on both the east and west coasts of the United States. While not everyone has the ability to travel abroad to volunteer, Lin’s life and perspectives remind us that anyone can participate in acts of kindness. In today’s busy world we are all ‘connected’ on social media, but often fail to connect in real life. Taking time out to really see and acknowledge people can have profound effects on both the person doing the kind act, and the person receiving it. In this talk she shares stories about the powerful ripple effects of kindness within and without.

New Venture Will Offer Free Courses That Students Can Take for College Credit

The leaders of Freshman Year for Free call it an “on ramp” to college. It’s backed by a philanthropy in New York City called the Modern States Education Alliance.

4 Questions for 2 Experts on the Future of Higher Education

Ithaka is a nonprofit organization focused on technology and academic transformation. We asked Kevin M. Guthrie, its president, and Catharine Bond Hill, managing director of its Ithaka S+R consulting arm, which trends show the most promise and which are most overhyped.

Highlights from the “Course By Design” Workshop During PRLS 2017

Learning with Technology for Teaching - Tue, 2017-08-01 08:00

Each summer, the Educational Media Center (EMC) hosts the Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) at Leeward CC, a week-long professional development opportunity for instructors. During this past PRLS (May 15-19, 2017), we offered a new workshop track, Course By Design. We were fortunate to have eight dedicated instructors who registered for our track:

  • Christina Mende (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Faustino Dagdag (Business Division)
  • Darci Miyashiro (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Eric Matsuoka (Math & Sciences Division)
  • I-Chia Shih (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Nolan Miyahara (Professional Arts & Technology Division)
  • Reina Ojiri (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Ross Higa (Business Division)

In this track, we guided the instructors through using our four-step course design process for in-person classes. This process helped them to systematically organize and structure their courses to align their course outcomes with appropriate learning activities. And then put together their lesson modules on a website. Doing so helps students to navigate through the course, identify the expectations, and identify activities they need to complete to be successful in the course.

During the week we led participants through our four-step process using a mix of methods and activities to:

  1. Identify student learning outcomes.
  2. Create specific learning objectives.
  3. Create activities to meet the learning objectives.
  4. Build your lessons on a website.

Participants used a planning document (Google Doc) and learning modules website template (Google Sites) which we designed and developed for the four-step course design process. Some started creating lesson modules for their courses, while others chose to create supplemental lessons and activities for their courses. By the end of the week, participants were able to go through one cycle of the process to create at least one lesson module on their website. Now they have the knowledge, skills, and tools to continue creating the rest of their lesson modules.

All participants earned the “Course Designer Creator” badge of achievement for planning out their course and creating at least one lesson module during PRLS. These badges are helpful to use as evidence in tenure/promotion dossiers.

Participants Have Said

“I learned how to design a google site and how to create pages with activities that focus on helping students meet the learning outcomes. After taking this workshop, I have a starting template that is ready to be used for my future courses. And that is a wonderful feeling! I would recommend this program to other instructors who wants to develop their course sites for face-to-face or online courses.”

“I learned about best practices for my lesson and activity planning; how to clearly connect them with our SLOs and Learning Objectives; and how to present them in a professional looking page!”

“As for advice, I would say the best thing a participant to do is to keep an open mind.”

Register for Course By Design (Fall 2017)

If you’re interested in re-designing your course, consider joining us in the six-week “Course By Design” workshop series which we adapted for the fall semester. It will be on six consecutive Tuesdays from Oct.10 to Nov.14. For more information and to register, visit: https://course-by-design-fall-2017.eventbrite.com

Rachael Inake and Brent Hirata
Educational Technologists
Educational Media Center


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