We’d Impress You

For the past 5 years I’ve been growing in my learning.  I can remember the exact moment I got inspired by learning with technology rather than being awed by hardware. I heard Alan November give one of his famous “Who owns the learning” speeches.  At the end of the talk he encouraged everyone to go and learn something new with their students.  

So I did.  

I asked the kids what they wanted to learn.  They chose Moviemaker (5 years ago… don’t judge).  We learned to use the software while learning about renewable energy.  Students made PSAs to share what they had learned.  The best part was when we shared the videos.  We posted them all to YouTube and the kids sent them to people they knew.  They felt famous.  It was awesome.  They commented on each other’s work and created totally organic feedback loops outside of class.  Boy did they ever learn!

Through similar learning I have developed as a teacher over the past years.  I’ve modeled being a learner for my students, and I have made my teaching better through my learning.  

Today I read The Smart Way To Use iPads In The Classroom (TSWTUiITC) and all I could think was “one day”.  

I’m encouraged by developments in our board this year.  I really feel that there is a buzz around students learning in ways that I believe in: creating, collaborating, communicating, sharing… 

I realize that there are monetary realities to working in a publicly funded school system.  Budgets need to be kept in mind.  More significantly,  I realize that the kind of systemic shift in priorities that has to take place for work environments like the ones in TSWTUiITC to happen is colossal.

But… for the record… if you enabled students and teachers, we’d impress you.

I promise. 

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