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Saturday, February 21, 2015

New Tool = New Rules?

There is no doubt in my mind, with the continued implementation of technology, it is changing the traditional classroom and school career for our students that is currently in place. Just check out this Edutopia video about An Introduction to Technology Integration.

In the video you heard of many opinions regarding technology, one of them was this:
"We have a set amount of time to learn something, and then there's an exam. You get a B; I get a C. Even though the exam identified that you have some basic weaknesses, I have even more weaknesses, we'll then move on to the next concept. So instead of doing that traditional, everyone move together in lock-step model, with technology, you have the potential to everyone learn at their own pace, and master concepts before they move on. Have the teacher get real-time dashboards to see who's stuck on what." (Sal Khan, Creator of Khan of Academy)

I don't know about you, but a classroom like this seems like it will lead to a very different education for future generations of students. 
I'm wondering if/when these changes start to happen, are we (those of us in the field of education), parents, students, community members willing to change the traditional setup of a classroom and how students progress through the system?

Can we abandon the traditional A-F grading system for more of a standards based report card? What about having students stay with the same teacher for more that one year? Letting that student/teacher relationship develop further and progressing those students able to work ahead to the next grade level or having more time to master concepts without the rush the "end" of the school year and moving to the next grade level and new teacher.

I see students that are ready to move on and excel in their learning really benefiting from this style of classroom. Could we end up seeing those students graduating high school at age 15 or 16 or the very least graduating with dual college credits? What about those students who struggle with some concepts. If they need more time and learn at their own pace, will it be accepted if they don't graduate until age 19 or 20?

However technology changes the future of our schools and classrooms, as long as it is for the betterment of the students, we (teachers, administrators, unions, parents, and policy makers) should be supportive of these new rules that will come along with our new tools. 

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