Sunday, March 19, 2017

Class of 2017 - What will they say about their teachers at their school reunion?

                                         Prefects at Christchurch Girls High School 1933

Over the past two days I have spent time talking and remembering my school years at Christchurch Girls's High School. We were the class of 1967 - 50years ago! It is quite scary to think about how quick the years have passed. It was wonderful to catch up with ex-classmates, find out what has happened since we left school and of course discuss our old teachers, the school, our two Principals, friends who were absent, look at the old photos and discuss our education compared with today.

One of our classmates produced the school rules, hand-typed (with errors) on 4 yellowed pages.Yes, we did wear hats and gloves, were silent in assembly, rode our bikes in single file in Hagley Park (both hands on the handle bars) and certainly did not talk to students from Christchurch Boys' High or Christ's College!

However, as we shared what we have all been doing with our lives and we discussed our education, it was obvious that we all felt that we had all received a solid academic education. Yes, by today's standards of ILE's, student agency, coding, flipped learning etc, it was very traditional - but that was 50 years ago. Some girls in the "A" stream learnt Latin and French, while the "G" stream could continue with French and some classes where University was not seen as a choice, did typing.

As we talked about what we had all done with our lives, many of us went on to be teachers, principals, doctors, and lawyers. Many had Masters degrees  or a PhD. There were farmers, women who worked in a wide variety of business ventures or were business owners, even a Minister. Saturday saw 55 women at lunch sharing our lives and memories of school. It is true that we didn't like all our teachers or subjects, some of us may have failed Physics because we did our English homework sitting at the back of the room, but there were also subjects we enjoyed and did well in,
teachers who we had affection and respect for, lifelong friendships made.

Life in 1971 was more predictable, slower-paced and school leavers could be offered several jobs to choose from. Fast forward to 2017. Can someone really make money out of sharing their life on Instagram or You Tube?  Can a 17 year old design an app in his bedroom and sell it for several million dollars? Can a few friends get together with an idea and start a company before they leave school?
Yes, all this is possible in 2017 - but what what can we teach our students that will also help them to be successful in life if being a You Tube celebrity is not for them. Do we go back to the
key competencies

thinking,  using language, symbols, and text, managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing.
Although we didn't have the key competencies in 1967 perhaps what we learnt could fit under those headings.

So what would we like our students to say about their teachers, their school, their education when they leave and meet up for a school reunion?

Friday, January 20, 2017

What will your classroom look like in 2017? Are you ready?

This is a question I asked at my uLearn workshop last year. AS John Dewey said"If we teach today's students as we did yesterday's.,we rob them of tomorrow" This year many students will be turning up fresh-faced in brand-new uniforms to their Year 9 classes. For a large number of them, using a device,choosing how they present their work, choosing the order they complete work is something they see as part of learning. And for me as an English teacher that includes cell phones, social media, blogging,and using a variety of web tools to explore the curriculum. Today I sat and watched Peppa Pig on the ipad with my 2 yr old grandson, face-timed his aunty so he could talk to her, looked through his videos on my phone with him and looked at the snap chat his Granny sent from Christchurch. What will school be like when he gets there in three years? Here's the blog post I wrote on this topic for "31days of Blogging 2015" And on a slightly different topic - I love this video where the poet questions society's view of success - worth a watch!            

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What will the world look like in 2028?

We still keep talking about what skills our learners will need for the 21st Century but we are already here.

This video carries on the ideas started by the "Shift Happens" series of videos by Scott McLeod and Karl Fisch. I saw one of the versions when Scot Mcleod was a visiting lecturer for one of my courses at the University of Canterbury. Here is a link to Scott's blog Dangerously Irrelevant  and  the link to the Wiki which gives the background to their series of videos.

One of the original Shift Happens videos from 2007  - worth a look to see what has changed.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Adaptable Mind

Inspirational video that really challenges us to think about the skills we need/our students need for living and thriving in the 21st Century. This is via Derek Wenmoths blog ( Derek's Blog )
(Get a coffee first - the video is 11mins long - "but it's worth it"

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

School Sux! Do our students really think this?

Thought provoking - Do we really know what our students think, know, need, aspire to?