Post #4 — Boo! Halloween isn’t the scariest thing around. It’s giving up power in classroom.
Letting students direct their own learning using technology is a scary thing. It means handing over the reins to the students. Doug Lawslo replied recently to a post called “Struggling with educators’ lack of technology fluency” on the dangerously irrelevant blog. He said “The basic issue isn’t about technology, its about power. My purpose is to help them learn, not to teach. If that means I let a student lead, I lead, or we all learn together. Stop worrying so much about teaching and start thinking about learning.” (dangerouslyirrelevant.com, Oct. 20, 2012).
My reply to Doug was this: When we think about all the information and learning tools that are out there we teachers seem like such a small piece of the puzzle; Especially if we think of ourselves as information deliverers. But that is not what we need to be today! We need to be facilitators that inspire our students to do more than they thought they could do. It is our job to push them to where they feel a bit uncomfortable and help them get over that obstacle.
I loved Doug’s example about having the students learn the technology first! I actually did the same thing with Motion Detectors in my Physics class. I knew that they would be able to figure it out and I learned so much from them.
In all honesty, sometimes I struggle with the loss of power in my classroom, because sometimes it translates into loss of control and management of the situation. But, I just chalk it up to growing pains and I’m learning a lot about how to let the kids go, but still keep things organized and manageable in the classroom. Sometimes when I walk down the hallways of my school and see other teachers with quiet students working quietly in rows of desks I start to wonder if I’m doing something wrong. But reading the research and blogs of other teachers and schools using technology help me to persevere and continue to grow as a 21st Century teacher.