This week, TEDx is being held in Vancouver and the theme of Truth or Dare, I thought I would look into the truths of education in 2015. This is, in part, inspired by @IngviOmarsson’s post on 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools.
1. Connecting Educators
As more and more educators connect through social media, there is a growing global movement around sharing, exploring and collaboration. Educators are tweeting, posting, blogging, and google plus-ing (is that a term?) about what they are doing in the classroom; sharing their students’ work. This global network is moving beyond the school, district, province, state or country as groups connect and share their learning about learning. It is truly becoming Learning Without Boundaries! Look at the work of @IngviOmarsson, @BeyondTech, @ChristineYH and @DAliceMarsh.
2. Connecting Students
In the 21st century, students are connecting on their own through social media. However, there is a great need for students to understand the power of their words. Teachers around the globe are sharing, connecting their students through Mystery Skypes, GHOs, and giving them the tools required to navigate through the intricacies of social media. These teachers are on the cutting edge and need the support of their schools and districts to continue this great work. See @MsVictoriaOlson, @WHSRowe for some great student work!
3. Connecting the World
This is really similar to the above two points, but necessary, as it opens up the world to the classroom. Students can now share their stories with anyone with an internet connection around the world. This improves diversity and understanding and creates a smaller world where the caring ethic can flourish.
Assessment is changing. We are no longer stuck in the talk and test model of learning. Assessment for learning, formative assessments, standards based learning and differentiation are not new concepts, but with the push towards standardized testing, more and more teachers are moving to other, less punitive ways of assessing learning and giving students the voice and choice to demonstrate their understandings.
This is one area that is difficult to change without conversations. Parents, students and teachers need to understand the whys of reporting and move towards a more holistic method of reporting out progress. See Karen Hume‘s work on engaging students for more information.
6. Whole Child
This movement from the ASCD is quite amazing. It allows educators to see through a lens of compassion, understanding and support for all learners in all aspects of their lives. I first learnt about this when I nominated Byrne Creek for the WholeChild award.
7. Anytime Learning
Learning doesn’t just happen between 8:30-3:00. It doesn’t happen just in a classroom. It can happen anywhere, anytime and we need to address this if we are going to continue to create opportunities for students to become life long learners. This is, again, Learning Without Boundaries.
These are just a few thoughts around the changing nature of education today. They may not yet be complete truths, and I dare you to find more as TEDx continues in Vancouver: Truth or Dare!