Creating New Spaces for Students and Teachers to Learn.

The last couple of weeks have seen me working with my students on reflections on their teaching journey and the learning of their students. I am also reflecting on a range of aspects of my study as it emerges, and what I want to address in my learning journey. So it is probably no surprise to you that I’m a big fan of reflective practice.  Here is a reflection on reflective practice by an Australian educator…A PLPeep’s reflection from the Australia Community | Powerful Learning Practice. I did find it a while ago, but it still resonates with me. So have a read, then pop back here…I’ll wait for you 😀

Ok, so now you are back…what did you think? I like to think of the challenges that pop up on any learning journey as an opportunity. I also liked her lines: “Learning is the trips, stumbles and falls on the journey not the arrival at the destination.” and ” Student voice is powerful“, these are two ‘mantras’ all beginning teachers should have, and things we need to model and instill in our students also. Perhaps what I like most about the blog above is the honesty, we can see the shift in Margo’s thoughts about what the best PD is and what it really means to ‘learn’.

At this point in my journey I know how lucky I am to have this time and space to research and reflect upon education; my own (past and present), my WH’s and my sons’ (LT), and even that of my current students (young and old). I have blogged before on games, play, blogging with students and how they can be used as, of and for learning. These are all examples of things that I think are simple tools that can wield great power for students to start to build the skills they will need for their future, whatever it may hold.

Here is a link to a school in the US that has taken up this challenge. They have designed real curriculum (meets their state mandated curriculum) around World of Warcraft. It also has a you-tube of the students talking about their experiences in this class. I was excited to read and see the range of skills the students have developed by being involved in this unit, beyond just being engaged and motivated to research. The skills students have experienced include being active in an immersive world, collaboration with students in their class and students beyond, working at their own pace and challenging themselves too. Their teachers have successfully merged an online game and mandated curriculum. Most of all, they (students and teachers) have had FUN…they have enjoyed their learning experience and they want more!

This is what excites me about the future of education…it is an adventure in itself.

Fiona T


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May 2012
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