The world as we know it has fundamentally changed our learners. It is not that they are learning differently per say, but the environment in which they learn has dramatically changed. The challenge for educators and schools today is to make learning REAL (relevant, engaging, authentic, and lasting) for all students and aligning it more with their world. A great deal of emphasis has been placed on personalized opportunities for students. Whereas there are many benefits with this approach, the reliance on technology platform and human interaction can take away from intended outcomes. REAL learning places a greater emphasis on making learning personal for students.
Below are some quick tips that can make learning more REAL (relevant, engaging, authentic, and lasting):
- Provide students access to real-world tools to do real-world work (i.e. makerspaces).
- Allow students to select the best tool to complete a learning task while moving away from a one-size-product-fits-all approach.
- Provide meaningful feedback in a timely fashion.
- Connect standards and learning outcomes to their interests and passions.
- Implement Academy programs (school within a school).
- Offer virtual course options and innovative self-paced learning opportunities in lieu of traditional independent study programs (i.e. IOCS).
- Transform outdoor spaces into flexible classrooms and stimulating learning environments.
- Broaden student horizons by bringing in experts both face-to-face and virtually who work in emerging fields of work. Take kids on field trips through virtual reality technology.
- Move away from traditional grading and homework practices.
- Clearly articulate the “why” all the time so that students understand how what they are learning impacts them now and in the future.
REAL learning should be a reality for all of our students. What would you add to the list I have started above?
Source: A Principal’s Reflections