Are we in the middle of a perfect storm? We currently have technology entering the classroom at an incredible pace, and most states have made it the law for all teachers to teach from the Core Standards. This can sound very scary to a lot of educators because their practices must change drastically. They now have to learn how to use a technological device that they may have very little to no experience using, and that their students probably have been using for the past few years. They also have to plan their lessons differently, which could mean the loss of some of the resources and lessons they have been using for the past decade or two. All of this sounds scary for a large number of educators.
However, I had a conversation with one of the educators in my building who felt much different about it. She described it as freedom! She told me that she has felt trapped for quite a while and that the implementation of a one-to-one initiative of iPads and planning from the Core has freed her to be creative again. She is excited about the changes she is planning to make.
After hearing this, I couldn’t help but get excited with her. I have been reading many articles about the science of teaching – how we have to all teach the same things and have the same expectations. If we are to all teach the same things, have common assessments, and common grading practices, many of us begin to feel trapped and unable to be creative in our craft. All of this sameness feels very blah!
Here’s the flip side to all of this. Technology gives us access to just about an unlimited number of resources. And the Core tells us what we must be teaching and assessing, but nowhere tells us how we must do it. There is actually more freedom in the Core than there is in a textbook. The Core gives teachers and even learners the permission to be creative again. Lessons don’t have to come out of the same book for every teacher. Learners don’t have to read the same pages to understand the standards and benchmarks they are learning that day. Technology has allowed teaching and learning to become completely personalized. We can use videos, read articles, practice problems from an interactive site, talk to people anywhere in the world, and many other ways to teach and learn the standards. Finally, educators have the freedom to become artists again.
So, what kind of educator are you? Now that you have the freedom and the right resources to create a perfect storm in education, what are you going to do with it? Are you an artist who has been waiting for this day? Well here it is, jump on it, and enjoy.