As I listened to @angelameirs keynote at #ettipad in Atlanta this spring, I related to many things she said. At one point, she made a point of saying, “don’t you wish school was a place that kids want to run to?” and then she popped a photo of her young kids beaming faces on the first day of elementary school and contrasted that with them on the first day of high school. As a mother of four of my own kiddos, I can relate! I want each of them to run and skip to school and come home so enthralled with that they learn that they self start and keep learning. Students enthusiasm for school seems to decrease as their age increases. It begs the questions, how can we create a school where kids want to get up and run to it each day?
Creating a student centered learning environments is the key. Twitter was my go to place this summer to learn more about personalizing and individualizing instruction from experts around the world. I learned more about the flipped classrooms, student centered classrooms, project based learning, authentic assessment, and genius hour. Thanks to my PLN, I joined a MOOC, read Teach Like a Pirate , and found the #tlap chats on Monday nights where I lurked as I sat at baseball games!
What did I learn?
1. Kids need to be able to use tools from this century to explore, create, collaborate, and learn course objectives in the order they wish when they wish (asynchronously) .
2. Teachers need to be able to individualize instruction and create a classroom environment to make this happen. Often this means letting go and allowing students to take the lead.
3. Time, revision, choice, trust, and collaboration are essential to student centered classrooms.
Creating this environment. iPads are the tool that can make this happen! We can provide students their own individualized learning plans (IEPS’s) and let them choose how they learn, what they learn, and when they learn. Teachers are the key to crafting the learning environment, conferencing with students, providing students the content to interact with, enabling them to teach others, share what they learn, and as a result, teach them to love to learn.
This means teaching and learning looks different.
Instead of this….
Transformed to this...
teacher curates content and pushes it out to the iPads via ITunes U courses and iBooks
teacher in front of the room
teacher conferencing with students individually on creating artifacts that support their learning on the iPad while others are working independently
grading papers during plan time
assessing projects together, providing critical feedback, providing time for revision, and publishing to the web
failure is frowned upon
failure is the springboard to growth and risk taking is embraced
students in desks, sitting most of the period
students choose to learn where they will learn best, movement is encouraged
a few students share
a connected classroom where all students are have voice with back channels, collaborative docs, and connections to the world
covering objectives sequentially
freedom to work on any objective and move through the curriculum asynchronously
the teacher is the fountain of knowledge and main person delivering information
reciprocal teaching a regular occurrence; teachers teaching students, students teaching students, and students teaching teachers.
working with classmates physically in the classroom
working with classmates virtually around the world; sharing and creating projects that are web worthy with others who may or may not be in the physical classroom
course work created for a teacher to assess
course work created, revised, discussed, revised again and published to the web
Written by Ann Feldmann