- What are the opportunities for authentic work for students within the current structure of school?
- Can we really expect all students to make a contribution to the learning community?
- How do we help teachers manage the shift of control to the students making much more of a contribution to their own learning and to the community?
Please comment here or visit Alan's Blog. Our comments in his blog are below.
Mike and I are using skype and google docs right now to talk about this video and the ideas you presented in the talk. At different districts our students developed the online textbook you referenced in the talk. We have a few thoughts and comments for your readers. But lets start with a quote from a 12 year old: “A student cannot master what is in the darkness, if there is not someone to light the way”
Within the current structure of schools, authentic learning is an uphill battle. The true opportunities for authentic learning exist in the determination of teachers willing to take calculated risks and change education back to teaching. Authentic learning exist only through the hearts, minds and classrooms of teachers willing to create a partnership with their students. You referenced Dan Pink’s book Drive. Garth and I are driven in our work. We want students to leave a digital legacy, take ownership of their learning, and create knowledge not just for us and the front of their refrigerators at home, but for all people. To us, teaching is about heart and passion, our drive. Learning is not about teachers, it is about students. We facilitate opportunities for students to follow their passions and learn the way that is best for them. The classroom is a partnership. That partnership extends outside of the classroom, across districts and reaches around the globe via technology.
We believe all students have the ability to contribute to the learning community. Teachers must help students discover ways to create their legacy. In the online textbook students are leaving their legacy through podcasting, cartooning, text, etc. We laid the foundation and allow students to create the structure using their strengths.
In order to help manage the shift of control students must become active members in the process. During a recent conference, we took six seventh grade students with us to document the day. These students interviewed teachers, attend sessions and then produced and edited three videos (links below) in five hours. The students then presented their work to the 400+ teachers attending the workshop. It was complete role-reversal; students documented our day, instead of us collecting data concerning their day. We must also afford teachers an environment that encourages calculated risk taking, trying new methodology and stepping back to allow students to lead their learning. It’s scary to give control to students; can kids talk, laugh, type on a computer, gaze out the window while learning? YES. Teachers need to realize that if we look at how we learn research shows that the more difficultly the task, the more social it should be. We need to open our minds to a more social education. The time has come.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f1ffiicEpzOjyY Student overview of the conference
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuliXltnfXE Keynote mash-up
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo77UZ17lwI Response to Vision for k-12 Education Today
Mike and Garth
“Be the change you want to see in the world” -Gandhi