Innovative Learning Blog
The three Case Study videos that I researched showed teachers using technology in the classroom, 21st century teaching, and innovative and creative methods to ensure student success and preparedness for a 21st century society. The three Case Studies were:
1.) "An Introduction to Technology Integration" www.youtube.com/watch?v=d59eG1_Tt-Q&list=PLvzOwE5lWqhSgJVgg7VfRkBisbmm-BFUL&index=8,
2.) "Public Speaking: Oracy Skills for the Real World" www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfrwGZyk-bc
3.) "Personalized Learning: Enabling Voice and Choice through Projects" www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCeM4lyvaAE
The first case study, "An Introduction to Technology Integration (AITI)", was more of an extended learning experience for myself, whereas the latter two cases studies were new material for me.
One of the educators in the Case Study defined "AITI" as "using your resources to the best of your ability". In this case study, the focus was on technological resources.
I am like most teachers in that I don't use all my technological resources to the best of my ability but I desire to have mastery tech skills. In fact, I am like most adults and most kids in that I love the idea of filming, photographing, creating music, and using digital tools to research, write, and display meaningful data, text, and graphics, but I am a bit fearful of it. If I'm a little freaked out about it, I imagine my students are. However, if I treat the technological tools as a cool uncharted territory in which I have my 25 assistants (my students) to help me navigate the swampy and mezmorizing views of 21st century technology, then the barrier of impossibility dissipates and there is an excitement to learn something new from both the teacher and students (assistants).
Just like the students from this Case Study, I want my students recording personal narratives, creating music, art, podcasts, and movies. My goal is to use my technological resources to the best of my ability and this Master's program is an environment to begin the process of achieving that goal.
The second Case Study, "Public Speaking: Oracy skills for the real world", is the case study that most intrigued me. A school in London, called School 21, is taking an approach to education like I have never seen and is seeing spectacular academic results. School 21's focus is on Oracy! Yes..., finally a program that says the voice must be heard from not some but all students. Voices are heard in classrooms, but so many successful students go through school by taking a backseat to the classroom. This school puts every student in the driver's seat.
We (as in most schools) test on reading, writing, math, science, history, but for some reason the biggest tool we have to succeed in a 21st century society, our voice, is never taken into account. The five minute video documenting School 21's success left me wanting to learn more because Voice is not only something that is tested, but it is the main focus of the school.
The third Case Study, "Personalized Learning: Enabling Voice through Projects", was also an interesting video in that it had a Project Based Learning (PBL) focus on citizenship and student choice that I think is missing in most PBL projects that I have seen. One of the groups of students in the video did a project on "Black Lives Matters". Another project, involving teacher's and students, was based off of the hit t.v. program called "Shark Tank".
Instead of setting up students for PBL's on the life cycle of Butterfly's, how about setting them up with projects where they can help make a change in their community (school or living)? I'm not saying butterflies aren't cool and shouldn't be read about, however, I do think students, even at a young age, need to be taught things such as social justice in order to prepare them to be active citizens making positive change in our society. There is a book called "Spectacular things happen along the way: lessons from an urban classroom (teaching for social justice)", which gives an example of how a project can be a year long project rooted by problems in the student's community, driven by the students, facilitated by the teacher, and encompassing all aspects of academic material often times at higher levels than the grade level standards.
In all three Case Studies, the videos provided statistics that proved that their method of teaching is successful. The videos also had testimonials from students about how the academic environment at their schools inspired and motivated them to come to school and learn. One takeaway was how important it is to have students use technology as a tool to explore, research, manipulate, interact, and create. Another takeaway, was the importance to have projects that are meaningful to the students and that provide a platform for their voice.
I think that "voice" is often talked about, but often undervalued. The exploration, the research, the creation of the product is what is often evaluated and valued. The delivery of voice, it's intonation, it's impact, it's purpose, it's effect on it's audience is so often overlooked and so often deemed unnecessary.
I learned a lot from each Case Study. Each of the three Case Studies were relevant to my teaching and teaching philosophies. I am excited to be in a master's program that allows me to be able to dive deeper into a particular educational topic and voice my opinion. I look forward to receiving feedback, and providing my own.