Not Your Grandma’s Day at School

It is fascinating to think of where education, or schooling, will go next. We certainly can’t keep doing what we’re doing now- that would be a disservice to the children and the world. Our focus must be on learning for the future, instead of teaching for today.

Our Senior Administrators watched this video last week and I have gone back to it almost daily since then.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk60sYrU2RU

Here are a few of my questions:

1. How can a village of non-English speaking children learn higher level science written in English from one computer in 3 months, but my children are still struggling with those darn times tables?

2. If we could make some big changes, to help our students become better learners for the future, what would they be?

3. Or, better yet, are there any small changes that teachers can make tomorrow to help students be better learners?

Watch the video- it’s definitely worth the 20 minutes.

Please comment, I’m getting lonely talking to myself 🙂

8 thoughts on “Not Your Grandma’s Day at School

  1. One of the simplest ways to get students thinking (which they need to become better learners) is to engage them in conversation. Show them pictures, get their responses. Allow them a safe place to express what they are thinking (in any language). Model, talk, relate, repeat. When the comfort level rises, so does the level of trust and respect. Show them a picture from somewhere…anywhere…and get their perspective. Apps such as “Eyewitness” is a cool resource, but just Google any old topic and do an image search…with common sense of course.

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    1. Charlie, I like how you emphasized “in any language.” This is a discussion I had with our Diverse Learners Cohort. We have so many EAL learners, and asking them to have in-depth discussions with classmates, in English, doesn’t get them far. However, allowing them to have those discussions in their home language is more comfortable for them, which will hopefully get them to dig deeper. Once they get the depth, they can translate that learning to English for the rest of us to understand. The Cohort did not unanimously agree with my beliefs. Some feel that it is our duty to make sure only English is spoken and used during the school day.

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  2. I think part of the problem is the dedication and desire of the students. Those non English speaking students knew that if they wanted a better life, then they needed to get educated and they made sure it happened with whatever they were given. What I see today are kids not realizing the importance of education because they don’t have the same struggles.

    Another problem is the teachers aren’t teaching in the 21st century. Many are teaching the old fashioned way and aren’t getting on board with bringing technology into the classroom. Granted some schools make it difficult to do this by not providing technology necessary, but we need to realize that these kids aren’t the same as the ones 10 years ago. Everything is done using technology in their lives which should include their learning. We as teachers and educators need to get on board and start teaching in a way that they will learn by using technology.

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  3. Coree, what are we going to do with these teachers who are not changing with the times? Even with the technology we have here, there is an opportunity to stop “old fashioned” teaching and learning… but we still see it every day.

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    1. True and even I am guilty of that because it just seems easier and more comfortable to fall back on the “old ways”. It may just take time for the old to fade out and the new to come in. Just keep pushing the concept and those who are ready will step up and use technology.

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  4. 21st century learners do need instruction infused with technology; however, technology alone isn’t the answer. I have seen many, many districts and schools, place a bunch of iPads in classrooms and expect the problem to be solved. Most of those iPads ended up becoming electronic worksheets. There is a change in vision and pedagogy that must come with technology. If that change comes in planned, manageable steps then even the most severe technophobes can catch the vision and enjoy the process. This is what I see happening at ISG. What an exciting path ahead of us!

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