Today I watched Part 1 of FRed Talks [Find Real Education] after the amazing presentation by Eric Curts at Classroom Live 2.0 about Google Drawings. Every one of those links helped me prepare a presentation for staff and an hour of professional development that puts the teacher in the drivers seat to choose their own path of learning, pace of learning, and place of learning [which content to learn]. The course, in Google Classroom, differentiates [as suggested by Alice Keeler] for staff to choose the assignments and learning that fit each one’s needs.
They will create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically about their learning. And they will share out in discussion and Google Spreadsheet, choosing a cell to express their learning [a quick on-the-spot assessment].
The process and product models a way to differentiate for their students using Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom.
How could I start? After today, I wanted inspiration, so I checked my PLN and found Jackie Gerstein’s 2014 Best Videos List. These are inspirational. The one I will watch first is
Toxic Culture of Education: Joshua Katz
THOSE students are marginalized by what I call our “Toxic Culture of Education.” It doesn’t matter if a student is a gifted artist, a loving caretaker, a poetic writer, or a talented musician. THOSE students are the fish being measured on how they climb trees. We need to start paying attention to our students. If a student fails Algebra 1 in the ninth grade, chances are it is not because they do not understand the material. Chances are it’s not because the teacher isn’t teaching. Chances are it’s not because of the school. Chances are it is because the student lacks some type of intangible characteristic (a “Non-Cognitive Behavior”) that enables them to succeed. Things like persistence, initiative, social skills, common sense, a full belly, or a good night’s sleep.
Today I read the post from this tweet:
— Kate Bowles (@KateMfD) January 1, 2015
That post includes current research from Gallup [Read the 2014 Gallup Purdue Index Report.] that adds the evidence for a change in our current educational focus that involves testing and numbers that negates our humanity.
Because it is our relationships and social interactions that matter, even and especially for learning:
But according to research cited in Gallup’s book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements (which I also recommend), employees who could answer “yes” to the question about whether their manager cares about them as a person, are “more likely to be top performers, produce higher quality work, are less likely to be sick, less likely to change jobs, and less likely to get injured on the job.” Also, people who love their jobs are more likely to both stay working longer and live longer.
So much more is needed than tests and skills to become an engaged learner, and every day teachers arrive at school ready to guide students to into their dreams and their futures. And one thing they do is what Steve Wyborney suggests: find the story behind the students. Ask parents, “What is the story of your child?”
— Steve Wyborney (@SteveWyborney) January 1, 2015
So, we learn from videos that inspire us to change the story being told about education by those who do not live it, from research that shows what is truly important for learning and living successfully, and by working towards that by knowing each child. And by sharing this, we change the story of teaching and learning.
What will you share to change the stories?