It appears that while schools and software companies are gearing up for students to start creating and curating a digital portfolio, the reality is that colleges and their admissions directors are more conservative on the current and future role of this medium. Right now, few colleges and universities will consider additional application materials and do not see this changing in the near future.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey teacher Arwen Kuttner found herself teaching second graders in the dim light of a family’s living room. After reading the children a picture book from the Pay It Forward Foundation, she asked two questions: â€œIs there anyone here who has had to help any one else this week?” and “Is there anyone here who has needed help and gotten it?â€ The answers came pouring out.
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 whyâ€™s and the howâ€™s of todayâ€™s challenges.
The question becomes, how do we translate our history students’ understanding of past actors into action by young people today? In March we decided to chuck the traditional exam format and craft a project to help students make this connection and consider what it means to be an engaged citizen.
Fourth grade teacher Patti Grayson has some major issues with summer reading in the elementary grades. What is the point of assigning students specific books to read? Summer is for building lemonade stands and chasing fireflies. Let kids pick books they like and write to you about why they liked them.
At the beginning of the year, when teacher Jamie Weir invited her high school students to bring their mobile technology into her classroom, Grade 12 student Zac Hawkins’ first thought was “Easy class.” He couldn’t, he says, “bring myself to take the concept of using technology in the classroom seriously — more than likely because I’ve been taught all of my life that technology is not meant for the classroom and that school is a paper-and-pencil-only environment.”