I was first asked this question by +Nancy Minicozzi when she wrote her "5 Things We Have to Stop Pretending." In her blog post, she challenged me and four other educators to come up with our own five things to change in education. Then, after publishing our post, we must pass the challenge to five other educators.
So how can we #MakeSchoolDifferent? Here are five beliefs I think we should change:
- Our digital natives are digitally proficient.
- Multiple choice tests and quizzes are effective assessment tools.
- A quiet audience is a captivated audience.
- We should teach our content areas in isolation and not recognize the importance of cross-curricular connections.
- To create an academically rigorous class, teachers need to assign more work, more tests, and more homework.
This next part isn't necessary or a part of the challenge, but I wanted to provide responses to the above five points.
- Our digital natives are very adept at using technology for social networking and gaming, but we need to give them opportunities to expand on their skills by letting them practice what I perceive to be the "9 C's of Digital Literacy."
- In the real world, we don't take multiple choice tests to demonstrate our skills. We are asked to create products and provide services, neither of which has any resemblance to the summative assessments most students are asked to complete in schools.
- Just because students look like they are listening during a lecture, it doesn't mean they are actually learning. Instead, give students the opportunity to practice, explore, and showcase their understanding of a lesson with collaborative work, hands-on learning, and eportfolios. Talk less and have students do more.
- The world is interconnected in so many ways. It's time we showed students the connections.
- Learning doesn't have to be hard for it to be valid. Great teachers scaffold their students so that students can successfully meet their learning goals. Excellent educators make difficult-to-learn concepts easy to understand.