In honor of the start of school I'm investigating how things have changed in schools through the years.
Those of us in education know that much of our field is trends. Things come in with a force, then leave out the backdoor before popping back up ten years later. One thing that is new and not likely to go anywhere the readiness of technology. Whether the kids in your local school are tapping at computers or researching the world on their iPads this is a trend that isn't disappearing anytime soon.
It is incredible what can be done these days that was impossible even ten years ago. If we're having a discussion in class and none of us know the answer all it takes is a simple Google search to figure it out.
What about completing a research paper? Gone are the days of encyclopedias. Now, our kids can go in depth without ever leaving the classroom.
It's also amazing how you can truly tailor your lessons to every level of learner with the innovative programs available. I may have a high reader and a low reader in the same class who both need something completely different from me, enter some pretty awesome programs that allow me to create assignments for each of their individual levels.
Want to create a safe place for students to discuss their responses without feeling intimidated? How about a discussion board? This tool allows students to sound off on a topic without having to say it out loud to a group of their very intimidating peers.
What about if a student has a question while working on their homework late at night? Helloooooooo, email. I love when my students email me questions about assignments. I love that they take the time to ask and dig deeper into a task instead of completely giving up. Email is also an amazing way to contact parents. I bet our ancestors wish they had email when they were contacting parents about Billy pulling Sally's hair at recess.
I could also talk for days about the superbness of social media in the classroom. Need a quick way to remind students about a quiz? Post it on Twitter. Help your kids learn the importance of keeping up with local politics by retweeting the Mayor's tweets. Or create a Facebook page for your class to encourage collaboration.
Today's schools are FULL of advancements that would blow the minds of our grandparents. Stay tuned for the next installment!