As an educator I want my students and their families to be a part of our daily learning. When this is encouraged, parents feel welcomed to engage. Through our ability to model this and offer invitations to extend learning outside of our classrooms parents begin to work alongside us, the teachers who are working hard each day to make a difference for all of our students.
Technology helps students with connecting, creating and sharing, but devices are invisible in my definition of active learning. We need to be chanting: empowerment, collaboration, equity, agency, self actualization, and transcendence for kids and for us all within a system that serves as the birth place for every other profession. We need to be chanting these things instead of technology, technology, technology.
Teacher and PBL consultant Shelley Wright offers her first draft of a Slow Education manifesto and urges other educators to end the McDonaldization of schools by joining in the effort. “Itâ€™s the very philosophy we need to save our education system.”
“Now that Iâ€™ve set up my classroom collaboratively, I cannot imagine returning to a non-collaborative environment,” says online educator Smadar Goldstein. “And whether you’re teaching from thousands of miles away or sharing a physical space with your students, an online component can provide unique shared learning opportunities.”
Are students cheating when they read the work of fellow students in a collaborative environment and then incorporate the ideas into their own responses? Online teacher Smadar Goldstein prefers to define that as “learning.” But if you have concerns, she has suggestions.
I believed that being new meant I had to follow someone elseâ€™s advice for the first six weeks of school, or I would be doomed. Now I know that students mostly know how to do school, and we must respect their intelligence as we build community with them.