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!
In this fascinating account of online learning, Michael Valentine, the director of Hale@home, describes a 21st century solution to a traditional dilemma – how to prepare rural boys for transition to a large urban independent school in Perth, Australia.
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.
Integrity is a key virtue for today’s culture, says Sister Geralyn Schmidt, education technology coordinator for the Diocese of Harrisburg (PA). “In today’s world, each of us who has a digital footprint makes two impressions: one in the real world and one in the virtual world. The words and attitudes that we use in both arenas must match. When we achieve this, we become someone whom others can truly rely upon.”
There’s a lot of confusion among educators about how images and other content published online can be used. Teacher Jen Carey tells how she and her students are avoiding copyright violations, learning digital literacy and accessing millions of free and legal-to-use images.
Teacher and instructional leader Margaret Haviland considers the value to students of exploring creativity within limits and the need to give them license to freely pursue their creative urges within those limits.