Interconnected with “the what” we want to learn and the delivery of learning experiences focusing on the meaningful “why” are opportunities. In the evolving age of immediate access to information let us take this time to reflect on how to increase ownership opportunities in our learning.
We want answers or resources and want them now! This could not be even more true (and will continue) of thoughts that we all say to ourselves. Having immediate access to ask any question by searching Google or even the incorporation of AI Assistants (Alexa, Google, Siri), Smart Appliances, and IOT (Internet of Things) we expect immediate answers.
So we want immediate answers what are our options in field of education? Keep in mind I would like to set aside AI Assistants, IOT, etc as there are numerous discussion points/counterpoints related to these resources outside personal lives.
Now without asking Google all the time let us remember several diverse options offering immediate quality information.
- Subscribe to (premium or freemium) resources of high quality informational texts to disseminate such as Newsela, Discovery Education, Wonderopolis, Tweentribune, Commonlit, etc.
- Improve your search skills. Check out the Power Search self paced course.
- Get immediate trends currently happening with resources like Twitter Search (limited due to age), Google Trends, or using a variety of digital curators such as Flipboard (there are many out there btw).
- Remember to differentiate with video and audio resources to share out available in YouTube or Podcast form. If it’s not available there are so many resources to screencast/record your voice and share with students such as WeVideo, QuickTime, Screencastify, Flipgrid, Soundtrap, Twisted Wave, check out more on Common Sense.
Collaboration: this word is not new “shouldn’t be new” it’s an essential component in any learning platform. We cannot expect a platform to be singular experience anymore.
- Continue to PLN: resource such as Twitter has tremendous opportunities to learn, share/learn with professionals, and connect with users from around the world. Leveraging this platform is highly beneficial in many way and importantly communicating and learning from an authentic audience.
- Remember we are in the cloud! Whether you are a Google, Microsoft, or Apple person the common denominator is working from anywhere/anytime/anyone. This needs to be an expectation (teachers, students, parents) as we are not to expect learning/collaboration only happens in “a” classroom.
- Centralized Hub: many names, many forms, many companies for learning management systems. Everyone has a preference and I’m not for or opposed to any. Now, we need to own a centralized digital space for communication, assignments, collaboration, discussions, seeking feedback, etc. This can be integrated at any grade level with younger edu hubs (Seesaw, Class Dojo) or explore elementary to higher ed platforms (Classroom, Schoology, Unified Classroom, Canvas… ) learning and collaborating in your safe centralized hub.
If we want ownership to be a goal we need to up the game of our engaging and creativity opportunities/pathways. As a reminder to myself and to everyone we cannot expect to do the same thing (lesson, project, learning opportunity, professional development, activity) and expect a high engagement level. Honestly, the reoccurrence past yearly plans and PD without change I lose a my excitement (I can’t believe how it may feel for classroom teachers). That being said so what can assist us in trying new creative engaging learning practices.
- Changing practices up with resources such as Breakout Edu, Genius Hour, TedTalks, various forms of coding, or try out challenge based learning ideas from Digital Promise .
- There is a multitude of awesome engaging resources for the classroom allowing students to create, share, collaborate, and even instill confidence such as:
- Flipgrid to present/collaborate through video taking out nervous out of the presenter equation.
- Nearpod to (classroom/self guided) instruction differentiating teaching and learning especially in 1:1 environment.
- CoSpaces/Tour Creator to create and reimagine our world in virtual reality.
- YouTube Studio/Soundtrap/Google Meet: avenues for teachers/students to record and present to different audiences. Think podcasts, digital meetings, even your own YouTube Channel or series.
We cannot expect ourselves to do everything at once nor would it be meaningful and sustainable for you or your students. However we all can try out something new, get a bit uncomfortable in order to grow, and especially never to judge/compare yourself to others. Forward movement is the start of innovative practices.