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Are You a Thought-Provider or a Thought-Provoker?

Posted by on Oct 22, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 8 comments

Our job as educators is to be thought-provoking instead of thought-providing, says Wisconsin principal Matt Renwick. One-to-one technology is only as good as the meaning students make with it. Our students will make meaning if what we present is meaningful to them. This means taking advantage of strengths that may in the past have been seen as problems. “Talking” and “arguing” are fine examples.

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Start with Why: The power of student-driven learning

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, The Compelling Need for Change, Voices | 13 comments

Why do we have so many students who are frustrated and bored, just waiting to be challenged? We’ve made education about manipulation and hoops instead of inspiring our students to pursue learning that matters to them — learning that can help them make a difference in our communities and the world. By beginning with the Why questions, says teacher Shelley Wright, we can create powerful student-driven learning environments.

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What My Connected Students Taught Me about Motivation

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, Powerful Learning Press, Student Life, Voices, Web Tools That Deepen Learning | 7 comments

When we read about engaging students in the classroom using technology and social media, authors often leave us with the impression that this work will flow gentle as a stream. When talking about motivation and learning in school, grit is most often left out of the conversation. Yet Dan Pink tells us the best predictor of success is grit, defined as perseverance and passion for long term goals. When we found the right authentic project, my 9th grade English learners showed they had the grit to write a 200pp collaborative book!

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Scaffolding Quadratics: 2 Things My 8th Graders Taught Me

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Less Teacher, More Student, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 0 comments

We’re studying quadratics in my 8th grade class. Even the name can strike fear in the heart of the most competent adult. I didn’t want it to be that way for my math kids. I wrote a good lesson plan and then I let students help me modify it. Essentially, they “taught” me how to teach them better through the interaction and feedback we gave to each other during the learning process. We built the scaffold together.

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