Monday, July 5, 2010

From Cathedral to Bazaar: My Classroom 2010/11

Wordle: tc

“The real problem is not adding technology to the classroom, but changing the culture of teaching and learning,”….”so that students are empowered to take more responsibility for making important contributions to their own learning and to their learning community”,
Allan November.

As I am bombarded with information about 21st century learning from so many different sources that it makes one’s head spin, I am more and more certain that what each of us needs to do is:

1. Change how students learn and assess learning in my classroom, and
2. Change the outdated program structures of school affecting learning (time, grouping of students, allocation of staff and use of space) Jacobs, Curriculum 21

I have just written a post on outdated program structures. This is a very exciting time of year for me. Anything is possible for my school and my classroom in the summer! I have time to assess and reflect as to how I am doing in my classroom. It is exciting to imagine how my new classroom structure will empower students to be 21st century learners. Am I providing the 21st century learning environment that I read and write about all the time? Every year I try to improve my classroom and every year I have both resounding success and disheartening discouragement.

What are the main principles and underlying structures that will enable me to continue to improve what I offer? They are listed below:

1. Blogging- through blogging, students in our classroom will:

a. become an expert on a topic of their choice
b. develop an on-line learning community to achieve the above
c. develop an on-line presence/record of learning
d. own their work and not have to get approval to post blogs

2. Inquiry based projects- curricula will be addressed through project based learning, where students will:

a. complete projects based on critical thinking, not solely research
b. complete individual projects with an emphasis on one of the following:

i. global perspectives
ii. career connections
iii. local perspectives
iv. social action
v. second language acquisition
vi. experiential/hands-on learning
vii. mathematics
viii) sustainability

c. complete projects based on their interests and abilities (connectivist)
d. assess their own work
e. communicate their learning in a variety of creative ways using multi-media tools and traditional methods

3. Changing classroom structure-

a. time scheduling- longer periods of time for students to get deeper into projects and writing
b. more flexibility as to how students use class time
c. more grouping of students based on interests
d. using staff as consultants on integrated project work
e. more out-of-school learning, directed by teacher and students

4. Connect and collaborate with other cultures

a. Wikis, google docs
b. Skype

5. Invest in Kiva as a class

6. Weekly learning journals

a. Students use metacognition to describe how and what they learn

7. Collaborative writing projects out of school

Sound like a lot? I have been doing this for many years now. I started by taking just one step and assessing it's success. As I have said, having goals is one thing, achieving them is yet another. Wish me luck!

1 comment: