Thursday, April 24, 2014

Redefine Your Classroom

After attending BLC13 last summer, I wrote this post about Design Thinking that explained how I tried to implement what I learned from Alan November and No Tosh.  After allowing my students to design the classroom and curriculum for an entire school year, these are my thoughts...

Ask students what they want to learn and fit your curriculum around their interests.  
Do a survey during the first week of school and find ways to tie into what they actually want to learn in your class.  When we feel our thoughts and interests are respected, we listen and learn more.  Here is what I got when I just said, “What do you want to learn this year in Anatomy and Physiology?"          Google Moderator - Anatomy 2013

      Take what they want to learn and ask how we can impact the community or society?
      What can we do with our knowledge to benefit others?  How can we make our society better?

      Give them choices on how to show their knowledge. 
      Let them be creative and innovative instead of telling them what to do.   When you limit them to one app or one final product, you take away their ability to be creative.  Our world needs more innovate problem solvers, so why not start in school?  Give them a problem to solve, ask them to support their work with knowledge, and let them develop a plan to solve the problem in anyway they see fit.  When you remove the guidelines, they will exceed your expectations.

     Bring in experts more knowledgeable than you.  
     Use community professionals or Skype in the Classroom to find people to help your students learn.  Allow students to collaborate with other students around the world to gain insight and feedback.  See this example from Mental Health in 60 Seconds

      Publish their work in a global setting.  
 Your class can build a course in iTunes U, co-author an iBook using Book Creator or  iBook Author, or create a class YouTube Channel.  Have student teams compete for publication, teach them how to research, and show them fair use of images and information.  See this example of a student run MOOC in iTunes U called Health Without Borders.  This project is completely student designed, student created, and student managed.  Our high school class in Texas is teaching over 33,000 students from around the world.

How can you redefine your classroom?


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