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Creativity, Education, Social Media, Teaching, Technology

24/7

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cc flickr photo by Monica's Dad

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.  ~ Albert Einstein

Educators treat time as a precious commodity.  We plan lessons, write and follow curriculum maps, and structure our days to “maximize instructional time.”   Students are only in our classes for seven hours (give or take a few minutes), and that is not a lot of time to convey all of the information for which we are responsible.  While I would never suggest that we shirk our responsibilities as stewards of student time, I do have concerns that being overly focused on “all we have to cover,” perpetuates the notion that meaningful learning is confined to the classroom.  Our schools no longer hold a monopoly on learning, but unfortunately, many students still believe this to be the case.  A primary obligation of 21st century teachers is to open the doors to 24/7 learning, helping students understand that they can access education from virtually anywhere, at any time.

Those of you who have followed my blog posts and tweets, know that our school is beginning a blended learning program called the Innovation Academy.  We have now been in school for four weeks, but we are still anxiously awaiting the arrival of fifty netbooks to use with our newly installed wireless network.  As you might imagine, this has challenged  the instructional creativity, not to mention the patience, of our iAcademy teachers.  In spite of the challenges, they have done an admirable job using available resources to engage students in meaningful and collaborative learning experiences.  Through the use of web 2.0 tools, student learning has become a social event–one that is no longer constrained by place or time.  Kids are participating in discussions (outside of the classroom) using Collaborize Classroom and Edmodo.  They work together to create presentations using Prezi and participate in a “flipped” classroom model, preparing for in-class activities by viewing teacher created YouTube videos outside of class.  We have a long way to go, but the traditional barriers to 24/7 learning are beginning to crumble.

As educators, we have an obligation to expose students to the tools and resources that will allow them to pursue learning at any time and in any place.  This is why the emphasis of technology is such an important part of 21st century educating–it opens the doors to a worldwide classroom and ensures 24/7 access.  Our students deserve nothing less.

Related Post: A School Without Walls

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About azjd

K-12 administrator, sports fanatic, bicycling enthusiast, and jedi in my own mind.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “24/7

  1. I’m curious about the way you set up a schedule in a flipped classroom. I think it’s a great approach.

    I really like the hybrid model that uses a flipped approach. I’ve always thought that the kind of learning environment I would have enjoyed would have used independent projects, reading, videos, blogging on my own time and then a chance to do hands-on projects, discussions and debates in-person.

    Posted by John T. Spencer | August 22, 2011, 5:25 am
  2. This, to me, is the perfect model for instruction and learning. I was fortunate enough to be linked to this post via a Tweet when I needed it most. There has been an ongoing conversation on Linkedin about how teachers and learning shouldn’t be 24-7 because it is of detriment to the students. This is a belief that I simply can’t subscribe to.

    The quote by Einstein that you use accurately depicts my approach to teaching. Unfortunately where I live I cannot find any like minded individuals.

    Posted by Joe Huber | August 22, 2011, 8:46 am
  3. I couldn’t agree more! I am looking for ways to help the teachers and administrators understand this concept at my school and I think that your post will help them “see the light” in what I mean by “learning without walls” and “24/7 access.” I have long thought that a blended model is the best way to approach learning and while we are very far off, I will be looking at what your school is and will be implementing as a model. Thanks for sharing and leading the charge in moving education forward.

    Posted by Jessica V Allen | August 23, 2011, 8:52 am

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