Purpose of Schooling

In this great post, the always interesting & thoughtful Shelley Wright talks about the emphasis on ‘academics’ in schools. She has some important things to say, I encourage you to read the entire post. Here are a few excerpts;

School should be a place where kids can discover what they love. They should be able to ask the questions that matter to them and pursue the answers. They should discover what they are passionate about, what truly sets their hearts and souls on fire. They should discover they can make a difference now. Above all, they should leave school knowing what they are good at.

and another;

Our school system doesn’t need to create kids who are good at school. Instead, we need to create an environment that engages learners, fosters creativity, and puts responsibility for learning where it belongs – with our students.

Check out the entire post: Academics What’s it Good For? in Wright’sRoom

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Using Technology to Challenge Students

I also believe that simply throwing technology into classrooms will change nothing. We need to challenge our students to use these tools to create, to connect, and to tinker. Do we believe that we are preparing students for the future simply because we’ve spent thousands on iPads or SMART Boards or whatever shiny gadget has garnered society’s attention for the moment? If so, then our educational technology is focused on the consumption of products and information at the expense of creativity, connection, and community.

In this excerpt from an article in the Fall issue of Education Canada (see link above to complete article!), respected Manitoba educator Clarence Fisher wonders whether we just trow new technology in classrooms to say we have it or if we use the technology to challenge kids to create, share and ‘tinker’. An important question to consider, often new interactive white boards, for one example, are put into classrooms without a clear plan for their use. Check out the entire article at the link above. Do you use your technology to challenge your students in the ways Clarence suggests?

(from: Building Cool Things | Canadian Education Association (CEA))

Social Media & Schools

Unfortunately, more and more policymakers are putting restrictions on teachers and students when it comes to using social media and in the end this hurts not only educators, but also our children.

Excerpt from: The Innovative Educator: Yes. Teachers & Students Should be Interacting – My New York Post Mention (link above).

I agree completely with her on this, and have written articles & posts about it too. What do you think?