Thursday, September 20, 2007

Scrambling Teacher/Student Roles to Facilitate Learning for All...REALLY!

"Teaching Teachers to Track Tech Tips"
" Countless k-12 classrooms today use technology to enhance student learning. This technology may be simple, such as a calculator, or part of an elaborate program, such as laptops in a one-to-one initiative. If you take the time to sit and watch the rhythm of the learning experiences in almost any classroom, you will likely encounter at least one unique integration of technology that even the most seasoned, technologically savvy, educator had not thought of before..."

"... teaching with or without technology should be – a collaboration. All educators should be "life long learners" who are constantly looking for new innovations to improve teaching and learning. Whether these innovations be a resourceful software or a new way to ask a probing question, belonging to community of collaboration is key..."

"...Throughout the semester, each class session begins with a tech tip presentation from a classmate. The student presents his or her tech tip and provides each classmate with a handout containing:
A general description of the resource.
Information on where to find the resource.
A rationale for why they think this resource is useful in the elementary classroom.
A description of how this resource can be used to enhance student learning..."
Read full article:

This piece gives a very good example of how teaching and learning has changed/had to change since the advent of digital technologies and their gradual adoption as prominent features in the learning landscape. This example is NOT contrived, the teacher genuinely is not the authority on the content (although she apparently has a masterful grasp of the learning process and facilitation of learning communities).

The notion of reconfiguring a class of students and teacher into a community of peer learners could have relevance and could be applied to virtually any subject area. However, because technology-based resources (as well as the skills required to utilize and understand them) are so new and ever changing that the concept of a single person being the all knowing authority whose job it is to transfer his knowledge to un-knowing learners is absurd. This teacher reconfigured her class, reassigning roles and responsibilites to handle an important goal. In the process she provides a great example of how to organize learners in the 21st Century.

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