Emergency online learning provides an opportunity to design assignments providing students with collaborative and self directed learning. This frees the teacher to spend much more time engaging with individual students and to learn more about how students learn. In turn, this leads to students who are empowered.
I love Alan November. His book "Who Owns the Learning?" is my bible. In the book, he argues that students should be publishers, bloggers, tutorial designers. They should be in charge of their own learning.
He makes the following points.
Alan introduces two cools.
Prism - developed by graduate students at UVA. Allows to know the thinking of their students while (or before) they are teaching. A great way to poll understanding of a whole class.
Perusall. It's Prism monsterized. Developed by Eric Mazur. Allows you to share a book, video, podcast. Highlights show what students say/ask/question about a specific. Perusall changes the concept of when things happen and lets you know in advance what your students are thinking.
What's Cool: Reality Composer from Apple
Where I Learned About it: ADE Festival of Learning
Why It's Cool: Easy for students and teachers to prototype and produce content for AR experiences.
As part of the ADE Festival of Learning, I attended a virtual session that focused using Apple's Reality Composer in the Visual Arts. Paul Hamilton walked us through combining 2D and 3D objects in an augmented reality space. I found it to be a very interesting storytelling tool.
As a physics teacher, my first thought was: how can I use this tool to have students create interactive learning experiences at home in a hybrid learning model? How can students highlight "physics in the real world" at locations in school, in the neighborhood or at home? I definitely want to get this into the hands of my students to try out.
Check out Paul's presentation on YouTube.
On Tuesday, June 9, I participated in a webinar entitled New Leadership Lenses for Re-Opening Schools with Will Richardson and Homa Tavangar of the Big Questions Institute. The webinar was thought provoking, to say the least.
Some key takeaways (as referenced on their website).
1. The systems, structures and narratives that have defined education are deeply rooted in our personal experiences and in our aspirations for our children. So, once the lockdowns end, it will be very tempting to return to the status quo.
2. The pandemic has changed our concept of school forever. The fundamental lenses through which we see the purpose and practice are forever changed.
The webinar raised some important questions.
1. How will teaching and learning connect more meaningfully with the larger world?
2. How will you remove the dichotomous view of local versus global?
3. Will you interrogate the traditional "canon?"
4. How will you ensure global learning and experiences are equitably accessible?
5. How will you engage with the world from a place of humility, openness, curiosity, and reciprocity?
Richardson and Tavangar suggest looking the world through five lenses:
You can watch the free webinar below.