Thursday, September 25, 2014

What learning trend captures your attention the most and why?

Day 24 of the +TeachThought Reflective Teacher Blog Challenge

There are so many trends in education these days and over the years I've seen many come and go - and come back again!  Sometimes it feels as though we are on a pendulum and we swing from one extreme to the other instead of valuing the 'good parts' of what we do and using them to support and extend new ideas.

I think, for me, one of the most powerful 'trends' at the moment is the pathway we're on to involving our students more in their learning and flipping the classroom.  Learning is a partnership and is created through discussion and collaboration.  The motto below, created by my 8-10 year-old students sums it up for me:

"We are all teachers and we are all learners in our learning environment."

The students were adamant that they didn't want the word 'classroom' in there, they wanted 'learning environment.  Their reasoning was that learning doesn't just happen in the classroom; there has to be the connection to the local and global world.  These were students who were locally and globally connected. They connected to people with expertise for our Inquiries, worked with students globally through ePals and shared their learning from outside of school with all of us through their blogs.  The result of this was that not only were they incredibly connected to the world around them but they were also highly motivated to succeed in their learning.  For some, this had not always been the case.  They were also strong on owning their environment and learning.  I was very proud of them for this.  It was 'OUR' environment.

For the past few years my students have been 'anytime, anywhere' learners who blog at any time - not just at school, who are giving and receiving feedback to their peers, and also to me, and they are communicating and collaborating through Google.  The sense of pride I get when I see discussions about learning happening at all hours and at all times, including weekends and holidays is the biggest reward a teacher can have in my opinion.

I'm just beginning to explore Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and really want to spend a lot of time seeing how this can take my students to the next level... Stay tuned!


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