I strongly believe in the notion of Productive Struggle as a catalyst for attaining higher levels of learning. This ideal challenges me to be brave in my lesson planning and steadfast in my belief that it is okay if projects are challenging and the work is messy. I have to be comfortable not knowing all the answers and accept that I may meet resistance when the work is particularly difficult. Sometimes it can be easier (and less intimidating) to work towards one ‘right answer’ than to explore the potential of many possible answers. However, that open-ended exploration is where each learner can bring his/her own strengths and talents to bear and apply creativity to develop unique answers and solutions; it is at the heart of innovation.
If my students and I are to benefit from having opportunities for productive struggle, then I must be relentless in my pursuit to create meaningful learning experiences that reach higher levels of SAMR. I must work to create an environment that nurtures creativity, perseverance, and opportunities for problem solving; a climate supportive of risk-taking, individual expression, and failure.
Productive struggle results when learning is messy, when there is more than one answer, and when students must solve challenging problems; it is the acceptance that failure is integral to learning. Lastly, it is a belief that challenge engages us in the learning process and can lead us to higher levels of thinking.
I continue to work towards my goal of building meaningful challenge into our activities. It is a work in progress, but I believe that opportunities for productive struggle will ultimately build grit and perseverance in myself and my students.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about Digital Story-telling. The use of digital tools and multi-media to tell students’ stories offers many opportunities to extend learning and allow students to take ownership for their learning. From the use of free tools such as movie-maker and audacity to using LittleStoryBird, iMovie, or iPads, this type of learning can be accessible to even very young children.
Consider the question: How can digital storytelling be a catalyst for the attainment of higher levels of knowledge/learning?
Here are some resources for Digital Story-Telling!
EdTech Teacher: http://edtechteacher.org/tools/multimedia/digital-storytelling/
Telling Stories Digitally: http://creativeeducator.tech4learning.com/v05/ articles/Digital_Storytelling_Across_the_Curriculum
Digital Storytelling: http://creativeeducator.tech4learning.com/v04/articles/The_Art_of_Digital_Storytelling
Kathy Schrock: http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/blog/2013/01/01/digitalstorytelling/
Little Bird Tales: https://littlebirdtales.com/
Last week was Digital Citizenship week. In an age where children have nearly ubiquitous access to technology, understanding and practicing good digital citizenship is more important than ever! Here are some resources that were posted last week.
Three Ways to Weave Digital Citizenship Into Your Curriculum
A New Twist on Cyberbullying- Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship Survival Kit
Edutopia – Six resources for Digital Citizenship
Inforgraphic – Citizenship in the Digital Age
I recently attended the Boston Tech Forum- a truly excellent conference! It was a day that left me very inspired and excited about all that technology has to offer, but also extremely humbled and motivated to do more! Being in the presence of so many intelligent and innovative thinkers, I kept wondering how these people had been able to transcend what is ‘typical’ tech use and move their districts to ‘the next level’.
What does it take to be a transformational leader? Is it having the creativity, insight, and knowledge to develop an innovative vision and the force of personality to bring people along with you or is it more? Where do money, resources, and time figure into the equation? And what about culture…is a program or practice that is innovative and effective for one school going to be meaningful for another?
All in all, the conference has stirred a certain restlessness in me and a heightened desire to learn more, do more, and improve my leadership skills.