Is your school not a friendly place for 21st century learning? Don’t lose hope. Stand by your beliefs and remember that it is all about your students. Igniting their passions and teaching them to become connected learners is a gift that will serve them well, no matter what the future brings. Keep finding ways to let students drive their own learning through inquiry and problem solving. Their energy and enthusiasm is contagious, and you will be there to show them that the learning opportunities are limitless.
Prakash Nair asked the audience if THEY’d tried out a student chair lately and wondered if any adult would be willing to sit in such a seat for eight hours at a time? Most in the audience laughed at his question, but it was the laughter of recognition. No way. Why, asked Nair, do the adults get the comfortable chairs, but the kids don’t? Adult chairs are padded. Adult chairs roll. Adult chairs might even have the cool mesh that keeps backs and legs from getting all sweaty. But the learners? Unyielding polypropylene.
The professional development programs that are essential today need to focus not so much on the hardware and software — what “cool tools” we can use — but on changing how teachers view themselves as educators. It’s not just about teaching the three “r’s” and the content packaged in textbooks. It’s about preparing our students with the skills that they need for the future within a new learning ecology. In a connected world, educators have to think and teach differently. This book adopts that attitude.
I work in an Independent School in Melbourne, Australia, and this year we have made a commitment to help our students (grades 7-12) create ePortfolios, using an Edublogs campus as the platform. Here are 5 reasons why we are making student blogging and portfolio development a high priority. The first: These kids need to establish a positive digital footprint.
We launched our PLP group blog Voices from the Learning Revolution just six months ago, and we’ve now shared 65 wide-ranging articles and essays about the future of learning, written by teachers, librarians, IT specialists, principals, district leaders and consultants who are allied with our Powerful Learning Practice communities. Here’s a brief guide to our most recent 36 posts, and a link to our first guide published last May.
I recently had the privilege of convening for three days with 37 educators who are passionate about education. We forfeited technology for the company of fellow teachers, consultants, administrators, university professors and school trustees. No cell phone reception. No Internet connection. Unplug’d. We were wholly engaged and attentive to the discussions at hand, as we considered what matters and why. This is my contribution.