So… how does one shift students from continual summer mode to 21st-century learning mode? How does a school create problem solvers and students who embrace a challenge? Why does the old way of teaching need to be re-examined? How does a school reinvent its purpose? (Cacth part 1 here!)
This article is brought to you by the letter C. As I started drafting out how I would tackle writing about 21st Century Learning Skills (often referred to as the ‘5 Cs’ or ‘soft skills’), at the same time I am starting my summer holidays, (my last day of teaching was June 28th), Sesame Street popped into my head. I noticed that my summer mode was significantly different than my teaching mode and that when I stopped to actually compare the 2 modes- there was a distinct pattern of “c words” in both modes.
When you think of a classroom, what springs to mind? More than likely, a room filled with rows or clusters of tables and chairs facing a desk at the front with a whiteboard. Little has changed since the early 1900s, despite the evolution in technology and amount of resources. So why, then, are we so surprised when children become disengaged or demotivated to learn? It has been proven time and time again that pupils learn better when they can directly interact with resources and experience things first-hand. The likelihood of pupils enjoying their school time - as well as gaining and retaining valuable knowledge - significantly increases when they are allowed to lead themselves to the solutions.
Educational technology is in constant flux, so finding out what the leading educators are getting up to is vital. In the latest IMS Guide - available here - five innovative technophiles share tips for making the most of edtech…
Have you heard people talking about “making” in schools, or “makerspaces”, or “maker education”? What about 3D printers, squishy circuits or arduinos? The idea of making to learn is a philosophy of education that goes back to the late 1800s/early 1900s and the writings of John Dewey. “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.”
There is a lot of discussions about makerspaces and how they are used in schools. Some schools have put makerspace technology in their libraries. There are also schools that have put a piece of makerspace technology (like a 3D printer) in a singular classroom, and it's used mainly by that class. And there are stand-alone spaces...rooms/labs set aside just for making.