Yet, at the same time, emphasis on standardized testing is at an all time high. These two forces place teachers in the tension between delivering content aimed at creating test ready individuals and offering real world projects aimed at creating life ready individuals.
Technology is quickly changing the way teaching and learning occurs. Today education aims to expose students to a global and connected society through real life projects that focus on collaboration, creativity, and communication, while learning to think critically within a global context.
It is time for us, as teachers, to think differently, to redesign the learning experience, and repurpose our face to face time with students. Technology affords us the opportunity to do just this. No doubt the flipped classroom, albeit not perfect, offers educators at the very least an avenue to reinvent classroom time.
But let’s take another step or two down this path of “self-directed” learning. Besides consuming teacher created videos outside of classroom time, technology is offering educators the ability to design student paced, interactive learning experiences by leveraging LMS’s, websites, online interactives, and social media.
When I think back to a few years ago and how I approached my role as a teacher I was making copies, transparencies, thinking about large group discussions, and face to face lectures. However, since deploying 1:1 iPads in my classroom I feel like my role as a teacher has greatly changed. I am now forced to think about instructional design on mobile devices. To an extent my face to face time is not spent ‘teaching’ math but rather teaching students how to be self directed, how to learn through interacting with digital content, how to manage and organize what they are consuming and creating from the device.
I truly believe technology is causing me to reflect more deeply on how students learn and build knowledge with mobile devices. I truly believe that as a teacher I need to study and learn about instructional design. I need to better understand how to be a creator and curator of digital content. And finally I need to help usher in this new style of learning for my students and especially their parents who are not used to this sort of self directed interactive learning.
Teachers today are creating high quality interactive learning experiences that lean on inquiry, give appropriate challenges, build fluencies and confidence, and provide a space for authentic assessment. This is why I have chosen to author multi-touch iBooks for my students. Let’s author the future of teaching and learning together.