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Connecting the Outer & Inner Worlds

Posted by on Nov 6, 2012 in Making The Shift, Student Life, The Compelling Need for Change, The Moral Imperative, Voices | 2 comments

In our technological world we have, for the first time, the capability to teach students how to use the strengths and passions of their inner world to make the outer world a better place. This is why the experience of art, music, drama, dance and sports education is essential. It is up to adults to help students make keys for the door of their inner world; to show them how to find the personal energy to address the why’s and the how’s of today’s challenges.

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Teaching in the Age of Siri

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Making The Shift, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices, Web Tools That Deepen Learning | 22 comments

Short of banning smartphones (a short-term solution, at best), I think the evolution of AI services like Siri means that the problems I pose for my 8th grade math students will have to shift from a focus on finding the answer as the endpoint — to a greater focus on analysis. OK, you have the answer but so what? What does that answer mean in a real-life situation?

And I wonder how teachers in other content areas might have to rethink their teaching and assessment strategies, with Siri at our students’ beck and call?

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Venturing into Project-Based Learning

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Less Teacher, More Student, Passion Based Learning, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 2 comments

“I’ve been reading about Project Based Learning for some time now,” writes international teacher-blogger Jenny Luca, “and struggled trying to find a way to integrate this kind of pedagogy into my regular English classroom practice.” This year Jenny and her teacher teammates included a 3-week PBL experience in their unit on Romeo and Juliet. “This has been one of the most rewarding activities I’ve been involved in this year. I’m invested in it and I can feel that passion for what I do apparent when I’m interacting with the students.”

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Straddling the Natural & Digital Worlds

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Making The Shift, Passion Based Learning, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices | 2 comments

My daughter’s world and that of my students is dominated by digital media. Within this new world is an abundance of knowledge, networking and possibilities that none of us yet completely understand. I know there is wealth here. Yet sometimes it seems that the screens are blocking our kids’ awareness of natural phenomena, in the same way I become distracted from friends and family when I have an iPad in front of me.

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