Hi everyone! Sorry this is so late getting posted tonight. Had a hard time getting into this book and getting back into the swing of things after a great week of vacation! Slow to start, but here are just a few of my notes. I couldn’t necessarily add page numbers a reference as I’m reading from my Kindle and the page numbers change as I adjust the text size. With that said, all in bold is cited directly from the text.
“What is perhaps different today is that technologies are actually leading to major changes in teaching and learning, especially in the opportunities to learn. As this occurs, students are taking the roles of teachers, and those formally known as teachers are better positioned as guides, tutors, and mentors.” These are words that I hear at almost every inservice day, read in articles online about proficiency based learning, etc.. It’s real, and it’s on it’s way to a school near you. This year I’m piloting a vertical team and actually just received my class list. I’ve got mixed classes of 7th and 8th graders to start, but as they begin to master standards, our schedule is designed so that they can be grouped and regrouped if needed. I think that some of the teachers are worried that we’re moving so quickly in a completely different direction. Will a computer program replace a teacher? “Technology itself will not empower learners. Innovative pedagogy is required.” We’ll always need teachers. We’ll always need good teachers, who are willing to take risks and do what is best for their students. Having these opportunities for students to be “free to learn, seek knowledge when needed ... express in creative ways what they have learned” and move at their own pace and prove that they know the skills and strategies is exactly what we need to be doing as teachers. What we need is “instructional approaches that are more active and engaging and in which learners have greater control over their own learning. Words such as ‘ownership,’ ‘control,’ ‘engagement,’ relevancy,’ and ‘collaboration’ are among those shaping the learning-related dialogue of the twenty-first century.”
“Even without lightning-fast access to the Web, there are enormous learning opportunities that were not possible a decade or so ago.” This is actually one of the conversations that I had with another teaching during the week at the Summer Tech. Institute regarding the research process. There are still so many school staff (teachers and librarians) that are requiring students to cite from a physical book, an encyclopedia, etc. Librarians are still spending thousands on an encyclopedia set. Why? By the time they’re printed, they’re already outdated. That’s not to say that something printed online won’t be outdated quickly as well, but it is easily able to change. Your school doesn’t have the money available to go on a field trip? Visit and tour a museum virtually. If I had been able to download a book in less than thirty seconds on my electronic device ten years ago when I was in middle school, I probably would have had more access to the books I was interested in and been more likely to read them. Instead a lesson that I find more valuable is teaching our kids researching strategies. “Knowing where to look, how to access, and what to focus on are the powerful strategies of today.”
“No one who wants to participate successfully in this world can put further learning on hold.”