The last #txed chat focused on what our vision is for education in Texas schools for the future. What will it look like? How will it change? What role will technology play? The chat last Wednesday was fast and furious. It was hard to keep up. If you are interested in the conversation, you can visit the Storify recap on the #txed Chat Archive page. The chat got me to thinking a lot about what I really would like to see in education for the future. Here are some of my thoughts…
Question #1- What is your vision for Texas education?
My vision is for educators to be able to provide an individual learning experience for all students. We need to be adding value to all of our students while preparing them for THEIR future outside of school. Students and teachers need to be learning together. We cannot be afraid of failure. A risk-free environment needs to be created. We often learn much more from our failures than we do from our successes.
Students also need to take ownership of their learning. They need to be involved in all aspects of the learning process, even the lesson planning if possible. The more say they have, the more involved they become. This will lead to a much greater understanding of the curriculum. It will allow teachers and students to discover things together. The bond between teacher and student will grow even stronger.
Question #2- What creative things are you doing now to reach this vision?
This question is where it all needs to begin. Times are changing faster than we can keep up. Teachers need to adapt to the changes in order to reach their students. They cannot do this alone. It will take the support of everyone on campus. Teachers need to be able to rely on each other, but more importantly administrators need to support them at every turn. Professional development and staff meetings need to serve as models for what you expect to see in the classrooms. If you are expecting to see a flipped classroom environment, you need to flip the staff meeting. If you are expecting project-based assignments from your teachers, your staff development should entail a project-based theme. Once again this will not come easy. There will be failures along the way. That is OK. Learn from it, make adjustments, and move forward. This is where trust will play a huge role. Teachers must understand that not only is it OK for them to take risks in their classroom, it is expected and welcome! Keep learning…keep moving forward!
One thing I found interesting…through most of the chat, technology itself was hardly ever mentioned. Too often when people talk about education in the future, they think it is all about the technology. I love technology just as much as the next guy, but it is and will always be nothing more than a tool to enhance learning. We should NEVER be teaching to a tool. We should be using the tool to enhance a concept. Not every technology tool fits every need. Don’t adjust your teaching just because a tool is cool. Make sure the technology tool you are choosing (if one is chosen at all) is a good fit for what you are trying to teach. If it isn’t, don’t include it. Technology is great, but nothing can replace great teaching!