One of my favorite blogs to read when I want the big picture of how education is changing is David Warlick’s 2 Cents Worth blog. Although first blogged by Wesley Fryer (another of my must read blogs!), David reiterates 4 important school needs if we are to be moving to meet the requirements of our 21st century learners! Here they are:
- Administrative leaders who have instructional vision for teaching and learning that includes INTERACTIVITY and STUDENT CREATION OF AUTHENTIC KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTS.
- Administrators and teachers who insist on not only differentiating learning opportunities for students, but also differentiating the assessment methods they use to measure student learning.
- An understanding by all educational stakeholders that learning is messy. The standardized tests can’t and won’t come close to revealing the complete picture of whether or not authentic engagement is happening in the classroom on a regular basis– and therefore learning experiences that are NOT FAKED are common, rather than rare.
- A “just in time” professional development program that supports continuing learning by teachers in the classroom. “One shot” professional development has a place, but the most significant gains in teacher proficiency with digital tools for teaching and learning come from their peers and from instructional support provided at the time and point of need. This means schools paying CERTIFIED teachers (not just technicans) to be available to hold hands and work with teachers as they take instructional risks– trying new digital teaching and learning strategies with students.
I think Deep River is floating in the right direction!