Recently I interviewed for a position on our Education Technology team and was excited by the level of understanding of what our schools need to look like. We have worked hard over the last few years to offer responsive, meaningful and current supports for our teachers in Grand Erie. The teachers we interviewed were reassuring that technology and pedagogy is changing in our schools.
This morning I read a post by George Couros where he reminds us and inspires us to continue to push for change in practice in schools. Here is his Blueprint for Education in the 21st Century.
All active learning should be task driven. No more lessons where you jot down notes off a blackboard, rather students are assigned tasks to complete and given all the tools they might need to figure out how to solve the problem. (3d printers, virtual learning environments, interactive displays, a connection to labs and research facilities all around the world, etc.)
Passive learning should not be rigidly structured. Students should be given a topic to learn about and a variety of educational materials to pick from to help them learn, it should then be up to them which they want to use. (podcasts, videos, books, virtual tours, etc.)
Teachers become facilitators of learning. Rather than lecturing everyone, they go from student to student or group to group helping them figure out how to learn what they need to know. Teachers no longer need a deep understanding of the given topic but they should know how to learn about it. Students eventually should also be supplied with their own virtual learning assistant to answer any question they may have and help them stay on task.
Classrooms themselves will need to be redesigned. No more square boxes with rows of desks, the classrooms of the future should be innovative spaces that promote curiosity while fostering creative social interaction with peers.
The goal of education should never be to get an A or pass a test. Making students and parents obsess about grades and scores sucks away all the joy of learning. The goal should be to make students literate in all core subjects and fluent at a select few. Being able to do something that you couldn’t do before or finding a new way of understanding the world is far more rewarding than any score on a piece of paper ever could be.
As part of our on-going efforts to address the rise of opioid overdose-related deaths, CPhA has created a new video and infographic to teach people how to use naloxone nasal spray. These patient education tools, available in English and French, are being rolled out to pharmacists to share with patients as supplementary informative tools to counselling and education programs about preventing overdose deaths. Additional naloxone patient resources can be found at: https://www.pharmacists.ca/naloxone
Another great presentation on Wednesday of this week which highlights. Rana El Saadi, one of our Digital lead learners does a fanstastic job presenting a few tools to that will definitely help you lighten the assessment load and give you great feedback on how student are doing.
Learning to learn or Metacognition may be one of the greatest skill identified in the 21st Century Competency document.
Metacognitive strategies refers to methods used to help students understand the way they learn; in other words, it means processes designed for students to ‘think’ about their ‘thinking’.
As an adult learner I have found this difficult to do myself but I also know that it is crucial to being successful in school and in life. I have come to realize that I learn best when I can hear it, see it and feel it. Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning is what I do best. This served me well in school and I am fortunate to be able to have three modalities of learning that tap into the main ones that teachers in schools learn to teach.
Technology can really help students tap into ways of thinking and compensate for areas that they may need help in. The ability to play with media or various forms through technology actually play very well into this.
Most recently we have been promoting like other boards coding and robotics. These sort of tools allow student to become divergent thinkers, problem solvers and tap into learning modes beyond the visual and auditory types found in many classrooms. Many teachers are fearful of bringing this into their classes for a few reasons. One they did not learn this way in the past. Second it is messy with often more than one answer to solve a problem. And third it places the control of learning in the students hands. All three of these can require patience and teachers who have started to teacher coding and robotics need patience as both they and student struggle to learn this often very hands on type of learning.
I am certain in future blogs I will talk more about learning to learn but thought I would get the conversation rolling and invite teachers and others to talk about how we can promote this really important skill development.
What a great synergy I saw yesterday at JBLC. Our New Teacher (NTIP) teachers were at the last of four induction sessions today learning about education technology, assessment and reporting. Typical to an Ed Tech sessions the teachers were working through stations with DLL’s and our Ed Tech team learning about D2L, Onenote, SWAY and other technology tools. What was different today was that there were students with the highly recognizable Student Crew t-shirts working hand in hand with the New Teachers. The students were so professional and patient with those participating.
Cynthia Gozzard a Learning Resource Teacher and Teacher Librarian at Delhi Public School has recently been highlighted by Microsoft for her progressive work in the Microsoft Educators Community. Cynthia is one of our Digitial Lead Learners and she has been working with the Ed Tech team and others on creating a standard for Learning Commons in our board.
Congratulations Cynthia on this great accomplishment.