How do we help students discover their interests and passions without dictating too much content? At what point do we allow a student to say, “This is neither a strength nor a passion for me. I don’t care to pursue this subject further”?
Fourth grade teacher Patti Grayson has some major issues with summer reading in the elementary grades. What is the point of assigning students specific books to read? Summer is for building lemonade stands and chasing fireflies. Let kids pick books they like and write to you about why they liked them.
Skype enables students to connect, collaborate, and communicate with students across the globe. It creates an opportunity for students to learn from each other, to have authentic audiences for their work, and to meet musicians, authors, and others who can further their learning. The possibilities are truly endless. Skyping is no longer a novelty — a once-in-awhile special event. It’s becoming a routine part of being an effective 21st century teacher.
Edmodo is a social networking tool for schools. It is especially designed to be a safe, Facebook-style community where students can communicate and share. Unlike Facebook, Edmodo is highly secure. A teacher can set up a class and obtain a group code for students to use to join the private class group. I’ve been using Edmodo with my students for almost a year now and it has had a big impact on learning and collaboration.
It makes perfect sense when you think about it. Creativity is an invaluable tool in problem solving. In a digital age where innovation is highly valued, teaching creative problem solving is essential. It seems everything I’ve been up to recently has been leading to a focus on creative problem solving. The convergence of these events has had quite an impact on my thinking and teaching.