Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Question

How would you define your role as a teacher?  Go ahead, jot down 5 things.  Does the list include things like:

  • supporting students in learning to become good collaborators?  
  • guiding students in the multiple ways to express themselves creatively and share their creations? 
  • providing students with the tools to become good problem solvers, and I mean real-life challenges not the problems that start with, "If a train traveling x mph reaches it's destination..." ?
  • teaching students how to find and evaluate resources to advance their learning?
  • providing opportunities for students to analyze data to solve problems or create new entities? 
  • developing a passion for learning in your students?

If you made a list of the activities you have your students engage in daily would those activities reflect your goals as a teacher?  Would they reflect the any of the items in the list above?  Look around your classroom.  How many of the displays represent student work that was unique, creative, demonstrated collaboration or showed a student's passion for their work?  And were those displays created by you or your students?

Now take a look at the work in your students' notebooks.  Are they filled with plans, questions, ideas, resources or how-to ideas created by the student?  Would that notebook be the hold-in-your-hand kind or is it virtual?

Now ask yourself this.  When you pick up that next pile of marking do you want to be confronted with 25 pieces of regurgitated information or 25 creative and unique pieces of student work?

Looking for ideas:  View Gary Stager's presentation "Ten Things to do with a Laptop".
Read Tom Whitby's post "Hunter, Gatherer, Teacher?"
Problem Based Learning Bookmarks

Image used under a creative commons license from HydrogenPops


Adam said...

I love the reference of comparing the goals of teaching to what the students actually become engaged in during class.

I would also agree with the fact that many of the artifacts of work that we have students create tend to be generic, and frankly, would be difficult to distinguish from one another without the students' name on the project.

Furthermore, I do see virtual notebooks becoming more and more abundant in education, especially with all of the means of technology we now have available. My mom just got an Ipad (without me knowing) and I was shocked to see how she used it, as well as how much she has changed from the woman who never touched a computer only a few years ago, to someone who has the newest, latest pieces of technology and can use them!

Lesley Edwards said...

Adam, it's encouraging to see people of all ages engage in learning through computers. Thanks for leaving your comment. Nice to know someone reads my blog and takes the time to respond.