Sign Me Up Sparky!

Well it’s actually called mySpark. But it looks like it may just give the Ipad a little competition, and if the price is right I will definitely be looking into one for myself, and maybe my students as well.

Plus, and this is a big one for me, it’s Canadian. This tablet will be coming out sometime in 2011. It will be worth a good long look.

http://mysparktech.com/features.html

The Future of School

This post is inspired by Chris Brogan’s post, The Future of Work.

———————————–

Everyone has a story about school.  We all attended school, and we all have some good memories and, unfortunately, some bad.  My goal as an educator is to make more good memories, and we are all about celebrating success at my school.  By the way, I am a Vice-Principal, which traditionally has been the person who handles most of the discipline after the students have made some poor decisons.  My main focus at my school is to make the school a better place, and to make the learning experience for our students that best that it can be.  Below is a list of how I see the future of school evolving.  Some of these things are already starting to happen. Schools that embrace these trends will succeed.

School is team work, and collaboration.
Desks will no longer be in rows all day.  Students will be given tasks that require team work and foster interpersonal skills that will be valuable in the “real world”. Working as part of a team is how life works for most people. Students and teachers will embrace this new model and work together to help  everyone learn.

Teachers are Facilitators of Learning.
Teachers pose questions and let students discover the answers.  The days of sitting in your desk and listening to someone for half an hour or more are gone.  Ideas are presented, shared, discussed, and then utilized to solve problems.  Discovery is the key!

Students who struggle will get help!
Struggling students have almost always been left behind in the past. Teachers have always felt pressure to teach all of the material presented before the end of the term, or the school year. Teachers will now work closely together to gage learning, and then go back to meet the needs of those who did not get it the first time.  This will have a huge impact on student self perception and success rates.  You will know that your teacher cares, and this will inspire you to succeed.

Testing will be the start, not the end.
Testing of students will set the course of study.  It will not be the only measuring stick.  There really is no sense focusing lessons and teaching on things that students already know.  The only way to find out what is the best to teach is to test before you really begin a topic.  That will give definition to future needs.

Education will take place everywhere.

Kids have all the gadgets.  they are super connected and they use their connections to find out anything they are interested in.  It is intuitive for them to search out answers.  They don’t wait to find out the answers at school, and probably never really did for their most important questions. Schools will embrace this fact and stop fighting it, finding ways to welcome this connectedness and using it to advance learning in school.  Those who “get it” first, will succeed faster!

Schools are changing, but change it difficult for those involved. The future is here in our home life, and it is imperative for our society to bring the future to school as well. Our work force is reliant on schools to prepare people.  Everyone wants to be productive.