The end of July, most people would be disappointed that there is a little over a month left of summer vacation. However, I am unusually excited for the upcoming school year. In this past week, I have looked at how inquiry and technology can revolutionize the classroom and better prepare students with 21st century skills. My colleagues and I have brainstormed and discussed many new ideas for our school this year. Part of me is disappointed that the summer is halfway done, but only because that means I have less time to prepare my classes.
This week I viewed “Education as if People Mattered” and it inspired me to personalize learning for each student. Furthermore, it encouraged so many ideas to integrate inquiry into our school. The bulk of our discussion centered around creating cross curricular inquiry projects that would add meaning and purpose to our subjects. The enlightenment continued when we looked at ways, not only to cross subjects but to cross grades as well.
It has been a struggle in the past to show students the importance of social studies and physical and health education. Especially when students don’t enjoy the subject matter. I myself, find it challenging to make these subjects relevant to their day to day lives. Now, my head is spinning from all the ways I could take me lessons, with the goal of making them meaningful to students.
I think I have found my next direction and am now working on a way to implement. This year, I am going to try to use the subject content to teach skills, rather than use skills to teach content. I feel that with the development of technology and the instantaneous information, content has become irrelevant. Let me explain, with a touch of a button, students can look up any information they want. It is incredible how quickly they can find the answer. So why waste time, memorizing facts and regurgitating them on the test or assignment.
What I would love to see in my classroom are big questions. Questions that cannot be answered through a google search. I want students to think critically, be creative and communicate their ideas. These core competencies are the focus of B.C.’s new curriculum, and I am hoping to use my subject areas as a vehicle to teach these skills.
My classroom will have to look different, in order to make these changes. How I deliver content will have to be different. I hope that by incorporating technology and inquiry-based learning I will be able to create a meaningful learning experience for all students. Looking at “Technology in Education – from Novelty to Norm” reminded me that just because school is traditionally structured, doesn’t mean I can’t change my classroom. The education system won’t change overnight, but I can take small steps towards technology integration and inquiry in my courses.
I am looking forward to the new school year. I am excitedly planning out my courses in hopes that I can stimulate interest through various activities. My goal is to incorporate new learning experiences that put students at the center of the lesson. I realize that this is no small task, and I will probably face a lot of challenges and barriers. None the less, I am excited for the opportunity to incorporate everything I have learned in my pedagogical practice.
6 weeks to go, LETS GET TO WORK!