The keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people—artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, care-givers, consolers, big picture thinkers—will now reap society’s richest rewards. -Daniel Pink
Recently, in educational circles, like on Twitter, there has been more and more discussion about giving students more autonomy in the classroom. Just the other day I read an article posted by @Edutopia called “Student Power” that discussed the importance of independent projects for students, citing the work of Monument Mt. Regional High in Massachusetts and other schools. Student autonomy is a way to make education more relevant to students today where the future, in Daniel Pinks words, “belongs to a very different kind of person.” Meaning, educators should be focused on ways to help students enter a new world. For example, focus on ways students can take more control of their learning, to help them to be creative thinkers rather than just critical, help them to see and recognize patterns, to be able to see and make connections, and to encourage students to be “big-picture thinkers.” I like to think also that we need to help students to see solutions where most people see problems. Independence demands trusting students and can be a very challenging transition for many teachers, but as I hope to show here, the results can be far more beneficial to teachers, schools, the students we graduate, and certainly to our collective futures.
The 21things4students.net project is supported by a grant from the REMC Association of Michigan and maintained by a team from three Intermediate School Districts in Michigan (Shiawassee, Ingham, and Macomb). It was created as an educational and online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the 21st century. This project was specifically developed to provide districts and classroom teachers with resources to help students meet or exceed the 8th grade technology proficiency requirements in Michigan. The development of this resource came at the request of teachers using the initial 21things4teachers.net site.
n his blog post Asking the Right Questions for Getting School-Driven Policies into Classroom Practice, professor Larry Cuban writes:
Let’s apply these simple (but not simple-minded) questions to a current favorite policy of local, state, and federal policymakers: buy and deploy tablets for every teacher and student in the schools.
1. Did policies aimed at improving student achievement get fully implemented?
2. When implemented fully, did they change the content and practice of teaching?
3. Did changed classroom practices account for what students learned?
4. Did what students learn meet the goals set by policy makers?
Take-away for readers: Ask the right (and hard) questions about unspoken assumptions built into a policy aimed at changing how teachers teach and how students learn.
The answers Cuban gives to each of these questions more or less boils down to: it depends, we don’t know, and we can’t tell.
Dr. Cuban, the ship has sailed on asking questions like this about 1:1 projects. Technologies, like tablets or smart phones or netbooks or whatever, have become for an increasing percentage of society so embedded in daily life that completing any information-related task or personal learning effort relies upon these “external brains” for a growing segment of parents, teachers, and especially, students….see more at link:
@mcleod: Your 1:1 Program: Can You Answer These 10 Questions? | @blueskunkblog http://t.co/KlKdYsoNZw #edtech #1to1