PLN, PBL, MOOC, APPR – Blended Learning, Flipped Classroom, and the beat goes on…. Yes, the field of education has always been notorious for acronyms and catchy phrases to label the latest trend and believe me they are confusing even to those in the field. A decade ago it was in vogue to refer to any new trend as a “Paradigm Shift” – this term was coined by Steven Covey and his incredibly over the top bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. A “paradigm shift” was defined as when our paradigms change, allowing us to see the world in a new light. I was always taught not to use the word you are defining in the definition. Covey kept many people in the know in the dark with this new terminology and gave others a whole new mantra to preach.
With the world changing ever so rapidly, it appears that every other nanosecond another new expression is being created, and texting has reinforced the concept that anything can be abbreviated. The last thing we need is another acronym or phrase, but I’ve been toying with OOTL, to characterize the vast majority of educators who are Out Of The Loop.
This week I taught a graduate course and to get a reading on what these students knew and didn’t know, I started the class with an icebreaker. I gave a simple list of a dozen or so acronyms and educational phrases for them to define. On this list, I included the most popular terms that dominate my PLN (Professional Learning Network). The last thing I want to do is contribute another cheat sheet, so here is some of the raw data of what these present day teachers or hope to be educators know:
Out of eleven students, zero knew what a PLN, PBL, or MOOC was.
Below is the slideshow I created with Haiku Deck to help explain what this all means:
PLN – Professional Learning Network
This acronym is relatively new, but the idea is not. Teachers have always had learning networks or “communities,” people we learn from and share with. Teachers are information junkies; we’re also social. Put the two together and tech and you have a personal learning network.
PBL – Project Based Learning
Although many teachers “do projects,” not all projects lead to learning. To help teachers use Project Based Learning effectively with their students (rather than simply “do projects”), there are many resources available for -PBL where students are exposed to inquiry in response to complex questions, problems, or challenges. Rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking). One of the originators is Buck Institute for Education.
MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses
A massive open online course (MOOC) is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limit on attendance. Usually free and credit-less and massive.
LEP – Limited English Proficiency
Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient, or “LEP.” These individuals may be entitled language assistance with respect to a particular type or service, benefit, or encounter.
OPT OUT – FairTest The National Center for Fair & Open Testing works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers, and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial.
A reversed teaching model that delivers instruction at home through interactive, teacher-created videos and moves “homework” to the classroom.
Blended learning is a formal education program in which a student learns, at least in part, through online delivery of content and instruction, with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.