Understanding the “new type of learner” becomes challenging only when an educator does not want to develop along with the students. With technology, bridging the gap between all types of learners is becoming more comprehensive and accommodating because learning now can be personalized and manageable at the same time for educators within a classroom. For my students, we are a one-to-one school with constant professional development to make sure retention and preparation for our students is top priority. Educating the whole student is our mission and vision for the school is to be a 21st century learning environment.
Blended learning has become the foundation within each discipline at Marin Catholic (MC). Google docs has replaced Microsoft word within our Macinstosh platformed base which has saved on cost and excuses for “no homework.” TED talks and other video presentation has helped in creating a more inclusive environment with our students because this allows students to help in facilitating the pace of the class and have true ownership. The educational resources provided for our students has improved the bridge between those students who enter needing resources to level their learning average to now normalizing their retention and habits of scholarship.
Even in my Art classes students have more authority and flexibility to lead a class project and present their concept, progression of project, and final artwork before the class as leader and teacher for the day. Group projects allows the students to be more of a design firm instead of a classrooms which gives them real life experiences due to the many tools they can use to formalize a final assignment. Constant 3 minute presentations are given as final grading with images and even video showing the process in which they used to execute their masterpiece. Curriculum across the board is a staple within the core of MC classes. This platform in which Siemens (2008) states does allow education to become more engaging and exciting for both educator and student. For the educator, reaching the majority of their students brings satisfaction and joy to know the percentages of students retaining what is learned continues to increase. As for the students, being prepared for society and higher education builds their confidence to continue finding their voice in todays world to help in putting together the puzzle of manifesting that utopia we all aspire to create.
Siemens, G. (2008, January). Learning and knowing in networks: Changing roles for educators and designers. ITForum.
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