To summarize my philosophy in an elevator speech, You need to know your clientele! I believe that in order to have my students learn at the deepest levels and work with a rigorous curriculum, the classroom must be student centered; with kids having Choice, Ownership, Voice, and Authentic learning opportunities. Setting up the classroom to be flipped, with information transfer taking place at home and project based learning taking place at school is the best way to accomplish our goals revolving around rigor and higher level thinking.
YES, I SAID IT. One size does not fit all when it comes to education. teachers should strive for excellence, but one school’s projects might be another school’s lecture. Students can still learn the same amount, the methods to get them there might be different.
The way that technology is being deployed in many classrooms across the country is not as effective as one would expect. First, the technology is being purchased, and not used. Consider the following quote by Michelle Davis, which can be found in Edweek Market Brief.
“Ed-tech company Glimpse K12 studied $2 billion in school spending and found that on average, 67 percent of educational software product licenses go unused. Glimpse K12 tracked 200,000 curriculum software licenses purchased by 275 schools during the 2017-2018 school year.”
Consider the shear amount of digital opportunities that are not even being given to kids. The article continues, by making a bold but researched backed claim. “The analysis found educational software was the biggest source of wasted spending in K-12 districts.” Secondly, when digital purchases are made, they are made without very little research. Dr. Dwayne Harapnuik points to a study done by, Dr. Michael Kennedy. Dr. Kennedy asserts that, “almost 90% of educational leaders are making technology purchases without looking at the research.” The problem in this scenario is that most schools don’t even know if what they are purchasing will fit their clientele.
Finally and most importantly, when we get the technology into the classroom, it isn’t being used right. The concerns of the computers just being digital worksheets are valid. According to the educatorsroom.com, “Instead of learning with technology, students are using technology to gather information.” As mentioned above, nothing more than digital worksheets.
No Time To Focus On Issues But My Own
When I have the opportunity to go to conferences, I only have one question, “Will this work with the kids I work with?” Some of the newest techniques and strategies have their best successes in schools like mine. Meanwhile, there are other strategies that are amazing, but at schools that are different than mine. The educational community needs to take a long look at this philosophical point.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH GLOBAL ISSUES?
I need to focus on what works for my clients. Then I need to see if there are methods out there that match what my clients need. From here, I need to see how these methods have been implemented in schools that serve similar clientele. Finally, I need to put a plan in place.
WHEN DO I HAVE TIME TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT GLOBAL ISSUES?
To prove my point, take a moment to watch this fascinating video that was made in 2019 by the Wall Street Journal.
While the video certainly is shocking, the issues presented don’t concern me in terms of what I do in my classroom. I have tunnel vision, and I only want to see what works for my clientele.
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