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.
The beauty of blog-based digital portfolios, says teacher-author Kathy Cassidy, “is that as the children and I are constantly assessing their learning in a formative and summative way, the students are also demonstrating their growing knowledge for a wide audience and learning about digital citizenship and appropriate online behavior. What great by-products of the assessment process!”
Summer is a great time for educators to hone their classroom skills, deepen their content knowledge, and grow as professionals, says history teacher and connected educator Jennifer Carey. With computer access and an Internet connection, you can bring professional development to your own living room at little or no cost. Jen shares four ideas she’s pursued herself.
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!
If we can teach kids to solve messy problems before they graduate, they might have better luck solving messy problems when they start running the world, says teacher and instructional technology leader Tim Holt. Problem-Based Learning could be the final education reform.
In this excerpt from Kathy Cassidy’s new book Connected From the Start, we hear an engaging tale of first graders who blog, skype and swap stories about snow clothes and stinky sharks with kindergarten kids in New Zealand. In an accompanying video, Kathy answers the question “Why Connect?”