What does learning and teaching look like for me in 2009?

photo by aussiegall

Paul C of Quoteflections tagged me in a meme which goes a little like this:

What is the focus of learning for you in 2009?

What are the important new things you are teaching ?

In her meme, Joyce Valenza wrote

The landscape continues to shift and that means reinterpreting our standards for emerging tools, issues, and innovations. 

 The landscape is shifting and my own landscape is too.

 Here are 5 things I would like to focus on in teaching and learning this year.

1. Collaboration:

I’d like to focus on collaborative learning – encouraging students to learn from each other. I’m working on wikis for art and English, as well as a fiction blog, and this year I hope to bring the school community into it. I’d like these tools not to belong to me, but to be shaped by the whole community.

2. Global connections:

It would be good to break out of the metaphoric echo chamber this year. I’d like my learning and teaching to connect to people outside of the classroom, whether it be another class, another school, a different country or culture. I envisage using things like Voicethread to share ideas and opinions, commenting in blogs to build personal learning networks, and possibly Skype for author talks.

3. Picture it:

With the explosion of visual media, I’d like to think more visually and encourage students to do so. My teaching will expand the concept of literacy. I’m talking about focusing on visual literacy, learning to deconstruct images, creating visually, and exploring multiple layers of meaning in  images. Students are comfortable with imagery but  need to learn to use and manage visual images metacognitively.

I’d like to involve students in Flickr – putting pictures up, browsing the vast archive of flickr images, understanding Creative Commons, favouriting photos, connecting to others by commenting on their photos, participating in a photo project. I’d like to continue to show students visual search engines, such as Viewzi and SearchMe, and I’m pretty sure that similar search engines will continue to evolve.

4. Thinking!

In this changing landscape where learners need to be discerning and critical, there’s an ongoing need to focus on critical thinking. Not cramming content, memorising material or copying and pasting. Making kids think, question, debate, disagree, compare, synthesise, rethink.

5. The learning process

I’d like students to understand the learning process.

I will be constantly saying: don’t be afraid of making mistakes; that’s how you learn. Don’t be alarmed if something is difficult; it’s part of the process. Don’t give up, but push ahead. Don’t settle for what comes easily, take the challenge and go with what’s hard. Move out of your comfort zone. Know the fluctuation of emotions during the research process. Go with the flow. Learn something real.

That just about wraps it up. My learning and teaching goals for 2009. It’s good to make yourself write them down. Here they are, right in front of me, and I can come back to them at the end of the year to evaluate my progress.

Just realised (a day later) that I have to tag people for the meme. Ok, the following people are tagged; let me know if you’ve already done this and I’ll change my tag list.

Darren Kuropatwa

Frances Manning

Jenny Luca

Judy O’Connell

Jennifer Clark Evans

5 thoughts on “What does learning and teaching look like for me in 2009?”

  1. You need to state specific details of your goals so you have something concrete to work towards and so that you are accountable for your goals.

    Also, set a deadline for each of your goals.

    “Without a deadline, a goal is just a dream”- Arora Sukhvinder

  2. Tania I like your directions. I have had some similar thoughts for our school. I think it is becoming more and more evident that collaboration and global connections & awareness, – ‘networking’ need to come into the agenda….for the whole school-not just individuals within. Thanks for sharing your thoughts you’ve helped to clarify some important ideas.

  3. Thanks for your comments, Frances and Paul. Paul, it really helped clarify my goals. Now that I’ve got them down, I’m more likely to commit to them instead of having them going around vaguely in my head.

    Frances, I hope that this year will be the beginning of a whole-school move towards collaboration and global networks. If you’re interested in connecting with middle years boys in English or RE, let me know.

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