Nov. 8, 2017 -- While Marcellus students enjoyed a day off from school on Nov. 7, district teachers explored the challenges of providing classroom instruction in an age where information is available anywhere at any time on any subject to anyone.
“Kids can now do powerful things without us,” educator and speaker Will Richardson told faculty members during a presentation. His talk was part of a day of professional development sessions for teachers and administrators.
“Learning is amazingly possible outside the building now,” he said. “My kids have libraries in their pockets.”
Despite this new reality, schools continue to function as if the content and knowledge they provide are scarce commodities. What they should be doing instead is adapting to the digital landscape by using technology to amplify learning opportunities and give students greater agency over their own education, Richardson said.
Richardson challenged the audience to consider expanding concepts formerly seen as enrichment opportunities (makerspace and "genius hour") to encompass a larger portion of a student's day. Creating opportunities for students to take greater ownership over their learning, including pace and direction, will empower students to achieve on a deeper level, he said.
He also encouraged the Marcellus faculty to think about what they believe children need in order to learn (e.g., a safe environment, relevance to their lives, passion, etc.), and then figure out how to align their teaching practices with those core beliefs.