On My Mind 17 Nov 2010 12:36 am
Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution? Well…Maybe
Just a quick observation in the midst of my blogging hiatus…
I think it’s official. We’ve got the rhetoric for change down. We’re telling the new story…self-directed, multi-skilled kids with devices accessing content and teachers from around the world using a new literacy, all being assessed through a potent mix of traditional and not so traditional tests. All digital, all the time. New learners for new times. New schools and classrooms and teachers for new times. It’s all in there. It’s Prego!
That’s at least the impression you get when you read this latest from THE Journal and host of other articles and blog posts and Tech Plans. For example:
The students will lead this revolution if we keep them engaged and give them hope that they can make use of these technologies that they love in their private lives and make use of them for learning. Teachers will come along with that because teachers’ role will change. In my 2020 vision, we’ll have teachers as facilitators and mentors, and the students will be directing, leading, and collaborating, even as early as elementary school. The relationship between students and teachers will be, on a whole, much different and more valuable.
Ah, to dream.
But here is the thing…read between the lines in most of these descriptions and you get the sense that we see it, we want it, but we ain’t gonna get it very soon. Budgets are being cut. The people in charge don’t really see this vision. We haven’t figured out that assessment thing very well. And so on.
Read all together, you get the sense the revolution is coming, just not anytime soon. And even worse, it’s doubtful that when it does come, that schools in general are going to lead it. I know we have pockets of real change, but while the words seem to be scaling (somewhat, at least), the deeds have yet to follow suit.
My name is Brittany Schneider and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Al. I enjoyed reading your blog post. While in this class, I have been able to learn about new technology available to teachers and more importantly, how to properly use it. As a future teacher, I am looking forward to being able to implement these practices in my classroom. But you are correct in your comments. While most people are excited about the future of teaching, the reality is with the economy in the shape it is in and with budget cuts nationwide, it will be hard to implement. I honestly even have the fear that the career I am looking so forward to having will be impossible to enter, due to cuts. There are so many advantages to having technology in the classroom and unfortunately, it seems that the schools are suffering the most. I am keeping hope that there will be a change and the revolution will be sooner rather than later. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Brittany
On My Mind 03 Nov 2010 07:42 am
Ideas Wanted: “Basketball Math”
I’m hoping I can get some ideas from math teacher types (and others) around an idea I’ve been kicking around for my son Tucker, who, as you might guess by the title of this post, loves basketball. (He loves math, too.) Not that he needs it or has asked for it, but I keep wondering what a “Basketball Math” curriculum might look like for Tucker, one that would combine his serious interest in the sport with his growing interest in math, and one that would also give him opportunities to connect with other basketball and math lovers outside of the classroom. A few basic things seem obvious, even to my English teacher brain, in terms of learning percentages, ordering numbers, reading some blogs on using statistics in basketball, etc. But I’m thinking there’s a lot of other stuff about geometry, physics and more that he might find hidden in the game as well.
So if you have a second, I’m hoping you might post your ideas here. Assuming we could (and would want to) build a K-? math curriculum around the game of basketball that, if possible, takes advantage of these social learning spaces online, what might that look like?
I think this is a great conceptual idea. So many educators seem to get wrapped up in the idea of curriculum being rigid and only about the subject at hand. So many other lessons can be taught by allowing children to do what they enjoy. This provides inspiration for future teachers to dig deeper than the surface lesson to allow students to have fun while learning the stated curriculum.