Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teach Thought 30 Day Blogging Challenge - Day 17

Teach Thought 30 Day Blogging Challenge - Day 17

One of the most pressing issues in education today? Fostering student self-advocacy.

As we embrace 1:1 environments, it is so important for teachers to foster self-advocacy along with general tech skills in our students. This is even more crucial as we work to move our classrooms towards student-centered instead of teacher-centered classrooms. We need to move in the direction of activities where students create, investigate and analyze (and a host of other higher-order thinking skills!) on a consistent basis with the technology. Creating a student-centered classroom also includes embracing the SAMR model where we modify our existing tasks/activities (and possibly even throw away old ideas) to create fresh activities that include technology, Web 2.0 Tools, online collaboration and reflection.

Encouraging our students to use technology in their classrooms asks them to lead in their own learning,and it also asks them to be responsible digital citizens within the 1:1 environment. It asks them to effectively search for and sift through large amounts of information and use different ways/tools to show that they are understanding the material.

For me this is a pressing issue, since we have flooded the school with the technology, but we have not always adequately trained teachers on how to use the hardware and the software. As a result, teachers are not guiding the students effectively on how to use the tools and not incorporating it into their curriculum. This leads to students not using the tools correctly or not using them to their full potential. And sometimes it leads to the technology not being used at all. By embracing the shift to a 1:1 environment, and creating activities that ask our students to collaborate, investigate and create with us acting as facilitators, we are fostering students' self-advocacy.

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