I want to help shift the field of education from a teach and learn model to a facilitate, grow, collaborate model. Students have information at their fingertips and helping them to mold that information and the resources available into something creative and worthwhile requires a different set of skills than in the past. Allowing flexibility and time for them to experiment and fail in their learning environment is a good example. This starts with allowing the adults/educators in a system to also experiment and fail with breakthrough ideas, projects, and programs. A shift of this magnitude will require a lot of effort and “buy in” from staff and administration. I want to help build an environment that will foster a positive outlook and mindset about integrating educational technology.
Technology allows students access to a vast world and information that previously required rote memorization to attain. In order to help students navigate this information and become leaders not only in their community but as part of a digital, global community, teachers will need to become great facilitators. Letting students do the work and guiding them through the process instead of showing students the work and asking them to repeat it. Morphing the role of the teacher into a collaborative relationship with the student instead of an authority figure who hands out assignments will allow more creativity and innovation for both the student and the teacher. I would like to continue to make this shift to guide, facilitator, and collaborator in order to help my students think in new ways and have the space to build off of their creative ideas.
As a facilitator I encourage growth and understanding of the standards and concepts that students need to be successful when they venture out into the world after graduation. I like to guide this process by introducing and encouraging the use of multiple technologies, programs, and apps as well as designing my curriculum as a project based curriculum. Students are capable of great understanding, creative thinking, and collaboration when they are given the opportunity to design projects, present their work, get feedback, and showcase their digital skills as part of their learning process. I would love to help make project based learning aided by technology a reality in more districts and classrooms.
Finally, I would like to focus on helping my students build their collaborative skills in an authentic way. Technology allows for great, free communication capabilities between email, social media sites, GAFE, and many others. Helping students understand social etiquette online, fostering communication and collaboration skills through the work they do in class and with others potentially across the world with help them grow immensely. It will also help them build confidence in their own thinking and understanding and their abilities to communicate their ideas effectively. This will require a lot of group work and time both inside and outside of class. It will also require a lot of communication between the teacher and the students as they work through their projects.
I believe that project based learning that utilizes technology is worth the extended class time and shift in class model. The authentic learning experiences and skills gained through the process are invaluable. Students collaboratively build a safe space where they can experiment, fail, reiterate, revise and eventually succeed. That cycle of ideation, possible failure, and revision provides a lot more growth, understanding, and learning through the process than a lecture and a textbook. I want to continue to give students the opportunities they need to succeed in our current world and I think shifting to a facilitate, collaborate, grow model is the way to get there.