All of us who advocate for the learning potential of mobile technologies continue to navigate the hurdles of opening up BYOD devices in the unique context of school. My students and I had an “a-ha” moment the other day, in terms of digital citizenship and how we really need to think before we post images to the Internet. Or maybe even before we take the picture.
For generations, we have almost completely bypassed the development of true problem solving skills in our curricula, avoiding the hard questions “at the very end of the textbook chapter.” Instructional technology director Tim Holt makes the case that Problem-Based (not project-based) Learning can go a long way to address the deficit.
Every teacher who has attempted to integrate technology into the classroom knows that getting parents on board can sometimes be a challenge. Your efforts to engage students and develop digital skills can become the scapegoat explanation for problems that have nothing to do with tech. So how do educators get these parents into our corner? Here are some strategies I’ve used successfully to gain parent buy-in.
Physics teacher Dolores Gende is shifting her teaching to a student-driven learning model by selecting some areas of focus each year. This year it’s assessment. “I see assessment as an ongoing process that informs me and my students and gauges the progression of learning. I partner with my students, and they appreciate not being constrained by fixed deadlines and dead-end quiz scores. They prefer the ample opportunities we create to demonstrate they can accomplish all of our Learning Objectives.”
If you missed our book launch party for The Connected Teacher: Powering Up — here’s the archive of the complete hour, plus audio clips of readings by teacher authors Patti Grayson, Brian Crosby, Kathy Cassidy, Marsha Ratzel and Shelley Wright. Be inspired and motivated by their personal stories of connected learning and teacher transformation. And some great conversation.
I’ve been thinking, experimenting and testing out ideas about how to move math instruction forward in my classroom, using technology and Problem-Based Learning as much as I can. It’s a daunting task even if I’ve done it before in science. We aren’t all the way to PBL yet. But I think a recent inquiry activity we did is foundational — it begins to shift responsibility for learning onto the students’ shoulders.