The gap between the skills people learn and the skills people need is becoming more obvious, as traditional learning falls short of equipping students with the knowledge they need to thrive, according to the World Economic Forum report New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology.
Today's job candidates must be able to collaborate, communicate and solve problems – skills developed mainly through social and emotional learning (SEL). Combined with traditional skills, this social and emotional proficiency will equip students to succeed in the evolving digital economy.
Adilene Rodriguez admits she has always struggled with academics. Especially in middle school she hated getting up early, found her classes boring and didn’t really see where it was all going. When she started her freshman year at Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo, California, just south of Oakland, she was a shy student who rarely spoke up in class and had little confidence in herself as a scholar.
Rodriguez is now a senior and her approach to school has changed dramatically over her high school career. She attributes her shift to her freshman science teacher, Jim Clark, who taught the class about growth mindset from the very beginning and backed up the discussion with action.
“He would tell me, ‘You need to push yourself, that’s how you’re going to grow. Be confident. You’re not always going to be successful on your first tries, but you can get there,’ ” Rodriguez said
"I spent the last two days working with teachers in Grande Prairie, Alberta. One of the activities that we did yesterday was develop our own Google Search challenge activities. We used the basic model of the Google a Day Challenges combined with some of the obfuscation methods that Daniel Russell uses in his weekly search challenges. I've outlined the basic process below."
How can we help today’s ‘digitally literate’ learners critically evaluate online sources?
I remember being asked by a Music Technologies tutor at an FE college to deliver a session to his learners about how to search and evaluate information online effectively, only to be greeted by the refrain “We told our teacher we don’t need you here!”
Naturally, I was a little disheartened initially, but when we started to explore the topic I realised that the learners had only really begun to scratch the surface of an area in which we are all constantly learning...
In some instances, research illuminates a topic and changes our existing beliefs. For example, here’s a post that challenges the myth of preferred learning styles. Other times, you might hear about a study and say, “Well, of course that’s true!” This might be one of those moments. Last year, Dr. Karlsson Wirebring and fellow researchers published a study that supports what many educators and parents have already suspected: students learn better when they figure things out on their own, as compared to being told what to do.
These free materials are designed to empower pupils and students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. Find the lessons that are just right for your classroom.
Browse by Key Stage or Year Group, for cross-curricular lessons which address digital literacy and citizenship topics in an age-appropriate way.
The culmination of my quest for more powerful learning grounded in theory and research came when recently I conducted an experiment in pushing constructionism into the digital age.
Constructionism is based on two types of construction. First, it asserts that learning is an active process, in which people actively construct knowledge from their experience in the world. People don’t get ideas; they make them. This aspect of construction comes from the constructivist theory of knowledge development by Jean Piaget. To Piaget’s concept, Papert added another type of construction, arguing that people construct new knowledge with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful products.
Imagine my surprise and joy when I realized that I had arrived at constructionism prior to knowing that such a theory even existed. I believe that thousands of other educators are unknowingly working within the constructionist paradigm as well. Although many within the Maker movement are aware that it has it’s roots in constructionism, the movement is gaining impressive momentum without the majority of Makers realizing that there is a strong theoretical foundation behind their work.
After I came to understand this connection between my practices and the supporting theoretical framework I was better able to focus and refine my practice. Even more importantly, I felt more confident and powerful in forging ahead with further experiments in the learning situations I design for my learners.
"But being connected isn’t just for socializing; it’s a life skill. When untrained students get online, they treat academic writing online as if it were social media. They write sloppily and don't think of hyperlinking. If they do, it is often a long pasted link instead of a contextual link. In this connected world, there are invisibly disconnected kids, disconnected from the knowledge they need to be successful."
Project-Based Learning is a method of giving learners access to curriculum in authentic ways that promote collaboration, design, imagination, and innovation while also allowing for more natural integration of digital and social media.
"The This Is Me project looked at ways of helping people to learn more about what makes up their Digital Identity (DI) and at ways of developing and enhancing it. “Digital Identity” is made up of multiple parts – it isn’t just what we have published about ourself on the web, but also includes things other people have published about us.
The JISC funded Digitally Ready project, part of the Developing Digital Literacies programme has enabled us to further the work done on the Eduserv funded This Is Me project."
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