The founder of The Khan Academy tells how this program came to be.
He poses the question, “Does the standard classroom model still make sense in the digital age?” He writes about the Information Revolution (current time). “And in this revolution, the pace of change is so swift that deep creativity and analytical thinking are no longer optional.”
This is what’s happening…now…not will be happening, but is right under our noses. Educators are at a point where we are learning of things alongside the students.
The classroom walls do not mean “self-contained” any longer. Technology is and has brought us avenues to learn by far more material faster and easier and to experience a wider audience than ever before. The world is at our fingertips!
We as educators: yes, have become facilitators, yes, prepare students in the 21st century, and yes, must remember that we too are learners first before teaching.
This is the only way now – forward progress. The Real Deal: education is not stagnate. Education is progressive, active, changing, improving, challenging.
The educators’ learning curve is perhaps even more of an incline now than ever before because of the point and experience from which we come. Teachers today have seen, have experienced, and are the product of passive learning classrooms. Have you stopped to compare what types of classrooms were your favorites compared to those that weren’t? Involvement at any length were the experiences that stuck with me, and my doodling talent was always at its finest during lecture-style….
Salman Khan gives descriptions of successful learning. As he talks about students being prepared for discussion in class after having read the material he says,
“Your brain is actively processing what your peers are saying while you try to come to your own conclusions so that you can contribute….the time goes by faster than you want it to; students are more engaged….the ideas that you and your peers collectively generate stick.”
This is true not only for students but also for educators. This is a shout out for Twitter Chat!! Several times I have been amazed that the #edchat or #tlap chat hours are over as fast as they are. It’s crazy! It’s an hour that has rocketed by before you know it. Watch this analogy below. It’s 2:02 worth funny!
He describes what he devotes a section to later in the book of the Flipped Classroom model: “….computer based lessons actually allow teachers to do more teaching, and the classroom to become a workshop for mutual helping rather than passive sitting.”
And PBL “…(students) shouldn’t just take things in; they should figure things out. ….success lies in the ability to solve problems in novel and creative ways.”
Owned learning, learning that happens as students take hold of a problem and work together for an improved outcome, a solution to be shared with others, is learning gained for the long run.
In all of this, teachers have to realize, acknowledge, and (should) embrace that within the classroom walls is a launching pad to go, to discover, to experience, and to learn. QuadBlogging, digital textbooks, twitter chats, SkypeClassroom visits, and Aurasma are such tools that make teachers say “Cool!”, “Awesome!” and feel excitement in learning as well as the students.
Educators are alongside the fastest learners, the biggest risk-takers in the world – school-aged kids – which puts us in the fast lane; we NEED our PLNs for ideas, support, reaction, feedback, and enlightenment. Use Twitter. Find an Edcamp. Listen for and investigate hot topics, catch phrases, and abbreviations. Prepare for launch!
Never before has an educator had the world in his hands like now positioned for learning and for teaching and the world beside him for support and for training.
Aren’t you glad you’re an educator? I definitely am!