What do you notice about this picture? It doesn’t really bother me that the people are moving in different directions. In fact, I think moving in the same direction without questioning our purpose could be dangerous. In some ways this is analogous to education.
Education is filled with some of the most dedicated and selfless individuals on the planet. These people are trying to make a difference for kids in the best way they know how. Some strive to integrate technology while others question its utility. Neither approach is inherently wrong, but there has to be a purpose and pedagogy behind our teaching that is just as important as the teaching itself.
Before we dip our oars in the water we should be able to identify two things:
- Purpose: Why is the direction, idea, or path we’re pursuing important to our students?
- Pedagogy: How might the approach we take be more relevant to the lives of our students?
All students deserve the opportunity to experience a relevant and connected pedagogy that leverages the promises of the digital age. This does not mean that every learning experience needs to involve a device or Wi-Fi. It does mean that the context in which we are teaching has changed dramatically and the pedagogy we implore must be responsive to these changes. Creativity and collaboration are not soft skills that can be sacrificed in the pursuit of student achievement. The pedagogy we implore must prioritize digital age skills and tools while helping all students learn at a high level.
Perhaps a new direction is warranted. What’s your perspective?
A fun surprise landed on my doorstep this weekend! The book I co-authored with several educators, Personalized PD: Flipping Your Professional Development, is finally here. I’m really excited to dive into the contributions of the other authors. All in all, the book features seven chapters and a plethora of vignettes written by educators I’ve looked up to for a long time. The icing on the cake is that Principal EL wrote the forward, and the afterward is by Dave Burgess. I feel like a kid in a candy store!
If you’re interested in learning more about the book or ordering a copy please go to my website HERE or click on the picture above. I’m looking forward to many conversations about empowering staff and students through personalized learning experiences. This is going to be awesome!
Feel free to contact me with questions via www.bradgustafson.com as well. Adjusting the course and trajectory of learning in this digitally-connected age is an important conversation to be had.