Learning Target

We can model and promote collaborative planning and teaching within a school climate that is conducive to and supportive of collaborative learning.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Are you transforming?

Questions We ask Ourselves...
When you stop and reflect upon yourself as an educator do you see transformation?  Do you provide the necessary learning environment that will nourish our ever-changing student?  What are the benefits of teaching in a digitally connected environment?  What are the benefits for your students?

New technologies create new ways to connect, create, and communicate. It provides opportunities for students to discover the curriculum rather than have it delivered to them. (Educational Leadership, March 2013)  Continual transformation as an educator is essential to providing the enriched learning opportunities that our students in this digital age demand.  Being transliterate isn't just a expectation for our students but for ourselves.

Innovative vs Traditional?
As a teacher the benefits of adapting from a more traditional learning environment using paper and pencil as the main learning tool to a more innovative environment utilizing tools such as laptops and now to iPads is incredible.  Being able to make the learning visible, have evidence of growth in an almost instantaneous timeframe, making a consistent home/school connection and providing authentic learning experiences are just some of the benefits of this transformation.  And all of these benefits come with an easier more flexible way of doing things, allowing students and teachers to have choice in their learning.  We have witnessed the exciting benefits for our students such as students taking more ownership of their own learning and becoming more self-directed learners, students having the ability to be connected to a global society to meet their own individualized learning plans and becoming more engaged learners.  With all of those benefits it is difficult to not choose to innovate and transform.

How have we transformed lately?

Recently we 'stretched our wings'  and took on more of a leadership role by seeking out the opportunity to present at the Illinois Computing Educators Conference (ICE).  Before the presentation so many questions and concerns popped into our heads...will people find what we share valuable, will we have enough time, how will we be received...  After all was said and done, completing our session exactly in the time frame allotted we immediately felt relief and a sense of success.  A very special thanks goes out to the woman three rows back that gave a hardy "Whoohoo!" shout out.  But as all the excitement settled down and we were able to reflect on what we had done, we realized that the "trifecta" model that we truly value and try to exemplify really is unique and the risk is always worth it!  Sharing our perspective and what we know is best practice and what's best for kids provides others the opportunity too see another possible avenue for their own transformation.

We would like to thank Jen Wanger who we met at ICE a few years ago and took the time to visit us at Henking.  She was the one that encouraged us to 'tell our story' by creating our own blog.  Well it took some time, some transformation of our own, but here we are and we're loving it!  So thanks to you Jen!  http://www.projectsbyjen.com/