Let 'em go …

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

I was recently reading a blog that I subscribe to titled E-Learning Journeys, and it got me thinking about my classroom and once again how I approach teaching & learning. As I watched the above video on YouTube, I couldn’t help but connect with a situation I faced this week … and jot down a few notes that linked in nicely.

a more stimulating and rich environment outside of school

technology is not a choice to help you teach traditional subjects

it should be a community, not a classroom –> connect!

opening the door to resources & connecting students to opportunities … preparing them for life

21st century learner – not what you memorize, but what you do with the knowledge and skills you inherit

Here is what happened. Right now, we are looking at the “elements of plot” during literacy. I have gone from having the students design a mini-poster (boring …..) to using Photobooth to video tape their impressions, linking the elements to a picture story they have chosen. I wanted to involve technology, but in a meaningful way. Just throwing one little (new) idea out there opened them to a huge range of possibilities for personalizing their projects. OK, we will all be using video to record our thoughts … but from this I have students doing puppet shows, interviews, speeches, impersonations (dressing up as a character), and others that I haven’t been exposed to yet. The excitement and energy is incredible. They are all engaged because they have been given some ideas(s), and been encouraged to make choices to put their “footprint” on the project. Grade 5s getting super pumped about picture stories …. great stuff.

It gets better. Yesterday in class, one of my students asked me if it wouldn’t be better to use iMovie for this project. The old me would have said …”No, we are learning how to use Photo Booth for this project, so that is the application you must use.” The new me listened to this, and how the student could back up his idea by answering the “why”. And then said, “what a great idea. Let’s give it a go.”

I credit this course for opening my eyes and making me realize that we really need to expose students to different resources, and teach them to make educated decisions regarding what suits their purpose (project) best. Why should I make these decisions for them? Some of them may choose Photo Booth for it’s simplicity, but others will likely elect to go with a more complex application like iMovie. I will expose them to both, and then guide them with whatever route they take. In support, peer teaching should always take a role in the learning of new technology, as I steer them away from thinking that I am the only source of information. It should be fun … and I will let ’em go.

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~ by yamaguru on February 26, 2009.

One Response to “Let 'em go …”

  1. Woohoo!

    One of my favorite videos (did you see the version Julie and I and the 21st Century Learners Team in Doha did – I think it’s on the same blog post?) and a perfect example of embracing 21st century learning in your classroom.

    How interesting that the initial student’s response was no, that everyone has to complete the project in the same way. How can we create classrooms where ideas are spread from student to student, where creativity is encouraged, where inspiration strikes and spreads beyond the four walls of our physical space? How exciting!

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