A Challenge to Views on School-Tech Task #3: Why School?

After listening to Will Richardson’s talk about Why School ? I’ve discovered that I need to evaluate my ways of thinking/doing so that I can begin to create a classroom where students can learn skills that will benefit them.

So, why school? In my opinion the school we attend now is a part of socialization. We attend it for 13 + years, then we’re supposed to become contributing members of society. We go through school learning the curriculum which may or may not be what we are interested in learning. This was a great point made by Will; majority of the things we “learn” in school aren’t skills that can be applied in our daily lives. I believe that school should be a place where;

  • students discover and explore their interests and values with no limits.
  • ¬†communication skills, relationships, problem solving, and independence are learned and thrived upon.

There are many ways in which this can be done. In order to teach/ learn the skills we, along with our students need to challenge this notion of schooling as it is known.

A challenge that would be encountered is getting others on board. I would talk this over with colleagues and maybe we can begin to create a place where students can explore their interests through discovery. Breaking the traditional notion of school is/ is going to be tough as it has a long history of lectures, assignments, and testing.

The role of teachers was also brought up during this presentation. I believe that teachers act as facilitators in modern schooling. We don’t stand at the front of the classroom and give a lecture rather we give students choice and work alongside them as they discover the answers to their questions.

As teachers we also need to open many pathways for our students. This could be using cellphones in the classroom, or using google drive to share/interact with our students. If these pathways are open to our students there are no limits.

A challenge for me would be keeping up with all the tools and resources that can be used to facilitate learning. There are many things that I have no clue about when it comes to technology, but I’m willing to learn. Will mentioned that we are now required to be expert learners as opposed to content experts. This is also something that will be a struggle for me as the traditional role of teacher is perceived to be an expert in all content areas.

As teachers, relationships are an important part of success within the classroom. I guess one of my fears about modern schooling is that these interactions with students and classmates are lost due to the advancements of technology within the classroom. Then again, Will did talk about how these traditional notions of literacies need to be examined to fit today’s society, so I need to sit down and ponder about what communication really means in today’s society.

This presentation made me think a lot about my practices and how I can facilitate change within my classroom. I am eager to challenge the traditional ways of school as well as challenge my own views of school.

What are some ways in which you believe we can begin the transition into modern schooling?

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5 thoughts on “A Challenge to Views on School-Tech Task #3: Why School?

  1. I have the same fears as you do with concerns of students loosing interactions due to advancements of technology in the classroom. In my schooling I was always taught to not use any technology (cell phones, lap tops, ipods..) in the classroom because they were distractions. So being told to allow students to use these technologies is an adjustment. I do like your attitude to try new things and keep an open mind to trying new things! I feel that way of thinking will benefit you greatly!

    1. Nice to know I’m not alone, Nicole. It’s definitely a shift for us as well. Even in university we are told to put our cellphones away, so naturally we are going to tell our students to do the same. Even though students (that includes us) aren’t supposed to have our cellphones out we do. If we allow
      Our students to use cellphones or any
      other technology for that matter we are giving them independence and responsibility…something that maybe our students yearn for. I’ve been thinking and maybe if our students can use these and then maybe the “cell phone problem” will no longer be a problem anymore. Just a thought!

  2. When we see technology as a distraction, I think it might make use wonder if we’re using it wrong. If it’s taking us away from learning, it’s not helpful. But typically when people make that argument, they have a very limited view of how technology can support, enhance and even transform learning.

    As well with regards to distractions, I wonder if we are ignoring that there has always been and will always be distractions. Technology is just more easily detected. Kids who tune out but are quiet, aren’t seen as distracted when in fact, their brain is elsewhere.

    1. I agree that we are using technology wrong If it is taking away from student learning… I also believe that we tend to think our students are distracted when in fact they may be exploring new things, beyond what we are exploring in class with the tools that are being used. Our students are supposed to be able to explore what their interested in, so we think they are distracted but they are really exploring their interests. Thanks for commenting!

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