The conversation was rich, it was real and it was authentic. There were lots of questions, lots of discussion, not lots of answers.
Is it making the task authentic? Is it making the teaching and learning transparent? Is it building relationships? Is it collaboration? Is it using the right tool for the job? Is it establishing the climate? Is it transferring knowledge? Is it accepting the differences? Are you applying technology in the right way?
It doesn’t matter how you engage the kids – the key thing is that you are actually engaging the kids. But is there a danger that it’s easy thinking? Thinking of the guy that just lectures and the kids dig it! I bet he’s passionate!
Teachers telling teachers what they are doing? Find out what others are doing – are we overburdening our students?
If we make a list will that lock down what best practise is? Is this dangerous? Isn’t best practise really about meeting the child where they are at and moving the child on?
A conversation participant mentioned location – what was best practise in a classroom in Africa where she was teaching before is certainly not best practise in the International School classroom she is in now in.
We looked at Darren Kuropatwa’s blog to see the practise that he has going on in his class through technology. Building a community. Megacognition – Scribepost – I want to look at that. The blog has feed windows brings in classrooms from around the world. His kids can virtually visit other classes. All of Darren’s classes are podcasted – whiteboard work has been uploaded up to slideshare. He has 4 of his own children, so this is not a man that spends all his time on the computer! It obviously has to be dead-easy system- apparently he has it set up so that this takes about an extra 10 minutes of his day. All the work of the class is on the web. Accessed and re-accessed anytime, anywhere.
So is best practise about offering the tools that are right for each student’s learning? What does this mean for the teacher that is not comfortable with all this technology? What if you think these are really great ideas and you strive to be the best teacher you can be and you just don’t know how to do this stuff? I really admire the work of Darren Kuropatwa – but I don’t know how to begin with half of the stuff he’s doing? I know that I have the resources at my fingertips and the personal learning network to learn how though – and is that really what best practise is all about?
So is best practise whatever engenders our students to learn whatever it is that they need to learn both within their own communities, and outside those communities?
At the end of the day does best practise mean it’s all about the relationships we build both inside and outside the classroom?