This year has been full of learning experiences that have allowed me to grow as an educator and learner. I cannot wait to share my learning path with the whole world! My hope is that my learning inspires others to support students. The world is changing rapidly and I feel the need to be connected with others so that I can learn from them.
Students are the most important part of education. There is no larger stakeholder than students in their own education. However, student voice is difficult to hear in a traditional classroom where most teachers find it difficult to let go of control to focus on a student-centered approach. Although disrupting such status quo requires time, planning, and consistency throughout the journey, the results are extremely rewarding.
Why should we listen to student voices? When we provide students with opportunities to voice their opinions and listen to them intentionally, students feel engaged in taking responsibility for change. In addition, when student voices are heard, they feel empowered to interact with others so that their combined efforts cause social change. Our students are active citizens who contribute to our society while developing essential skills that lead them to take purposeful initiatives. Such student capacity gives all learners voice and choice in how they learn. But how can we start giving them a voice in the classroom? A legitimate way students can voice out their opinions respectfully and responsibly is through blogging.
We should let our students blog for open reflection. As an educator, I usually end my day thinking about the changes I need to make to my teaching practice so it can positively impact student learning. Most of our students sit and get without having the time and opportunity to reflect upon their own learning. When students blog about their learning journey, they not only feel empowered and heard, but also learn to be good digital citizens.
Blended learning is not at all about replacing teachers. It can fundamentally alter space/time in the classroom to allow teachers to do things they currently can’t do (like individual and small group instruction), and gives students an unprecedented opportunity to receive instruction that is tailored to their individual needs. You’re right that online instruction in some circumstances allows students to learn from home or outside of school, but in most cases parents and students both prefer the school for several reasons, not the least of which is “I work full time and need to send my kid somewhere during the day”. In fact, several purely online schools are integrating more and more face-to-face components so as to meet this need. We see classrooms transforming with blended learning, not the dissolution of schools or teachers. For more, check out my colleague’s post “Will computers replace teachers?”Clifford Maxwell
Blended Learning is interesting and exciting but also scary. The possibility of needing less staff with the move toward on line coursework will occur. Schools will look very different and blended learning will allow for students to work at home or other locations and not even have report to school to get work done.Debbie