Day 7: Educational Shifts

As an inexperienced teacher I would often hear teachers say “Kids just aren’t the same these days.”  I’d think what are they talking about?  Maybe it is time for them to update their instructional practice.

Nowadays, some 20+ years later, I find myself saying “Kids just don’t learn the same these days.”  Their tie to the screen has impacted how they learn.  So, are the kids the same as they were 20 years ago?   In many ways yes.  But now we need to ask a broader question:  Are they learning the same?  I think not.

There are a host of reasons to support and explain how students learn today.  I believe that we need to shift our educational practice not to compete with the electronic screen but to meet the needs of our new clientele, by challenging, expanding, and enhancing their educational experience.

How can we do that?  I’m not quite sure.  I do know we can not keep teaching the way we have been teaching.  We need to embrace the educational shifts that are upon us.

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7 thoughts on “Day 7: Educational Shifts

  1. Yes, we need to embrace the educational shifts. But, alongside and beforehand, let’s speak up – let’s write! – about the shifts we are seeing. I feel as if a lot of folks besides teachers, students, and their parents are telling us how and what to teach.

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  2. Well said. We need “… to meet the needs of our new clientele, by challenging, expanding, and enhancing their educational experience.” I once taught with a middle school English teacher who had a notebook of lessons organized by day. She had been using the same notebook for more than 20 years! How effective could that have been?

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  3. Getting to know each of our kids with their own unique stories must continue to be the driving force in how we teach. As their stories shift, we must follow!

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  4. Students are clearly attached to their devices. Once upon a time, we were able to get them to keep them put away, but since the development of the smart phone, their attachment is worse than ever. I use that term loosely, because smart phones can be a wonderful tool if properly incorporated in students’ instruction and/or into the teacher’s lesson, provided the teacher can keep the students on task and recognize when they are flipping back to social media cites when the teacher is not looking. I guess one suggestion I would have is for the teacher to have such an engaging lesson plan that the students do not lose interest and stray back to their world of social media.

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  5. We should embrace the educational shifts…ONLY if it good for student learning. I heard Andy Hargreaves speak last year and he said “The prime purpose of big business is that education is the next huge market, to yield a short term return: testing companies, charters and technologies.” I see such a big push for 1:1, but where is the research that says it is good for kids? There is a lot of research out there that says screen time is NOT good for kids. Many of the parents of my struggling readers ask which “app or computer program” can they use to help their kids read! They look at me flabbergasted when I say, “They just need to read.”

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  6. Thought-provoking post and responses. As a teacher on the brink of retirement, I’ve know the methods have changes, but feel the basics remain the same…talk to kids, put a good book in their hands, encourage them to write about everything, and show them you care. Once those things are in place, you can take advantage of all the new modes of instruction.

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