I have been taking an online class, titled ‘Digital Learning Transitions’ for K-12 educators by the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the Friday Institute, and it’s fascinating to see where the discussion of the participants is taking me.
There are different kinds of schools represented, and technology instructors facing different issues. Some of the key themes they have spelled out are:
- Leading with education initiatives —not technology initiatives;
- A student-centered focus in teaching methods
- The need for professional learning opportunities
- The need for leadership is this area
- Earning buy-in from teachers and admins in schools, PLUS buy-in from parents, community, school board members.
I was particularly excited when I was approached by a board member last week who had seen some of the initiatives in my class, and wanted to know how the board could help. If I make a wish list, it would be a very long one. Speaking of buy-in, I am fortunate to have major backing from my education IT department.
But in the discussions with fellow instructors online , I have realized that there’s no need to rush to incorporate every tool, every platform into the curriculum.
My goal is to make my computer and technology class, student-lead and support the work of class teachers. Yes I love to teach them how to create Wikis and e-books, podcasts and presentations, but these are just ‘media’ –the vessels for the content and the knowledge– that students can use to help them get more excited about the language arts, social studies or math classes.
In case you are interested, the MOOC class began on September 30, and ends November 24.