Monday, December 10, 2012

Think like a student!

Can we please stop thinking like adults and experience the digital world from our student's perspectives? They know nothing of a telephone with a cord. They have not lived without the internet or access to a computer. They don't hand-write first and then type. They know only a world of digital technology.

Yes, we need to access our "organic" (my term for things non-tech) resources, and yes, it is important to see technology as a tool not the be all-end all. BUT teachers have to quite thinking about how they were taught or how they think and expecting students to think that way. They don't! They are a new breed of thinkers. Lecture doesn't cut it! For the most part worksheets do nothing. But just because you're using Google Docs to collect papers doesn't mean you're using the best technological practices. And, your projector is for more than the occasional movie day.

We were born and raised in the factory system we call school. You want to fix disengagement? Quite thinking like an adult. Seriously! Are we in the classroom to please ourselves, or are we in the classroom to raise the future generations of world changers? If our purpose for being teachers is student-centered then our thinking must be student-centered.

My mentor teachers often comment that I am more tech savvy and used to technology than they, so all this is easy for me. But even I who graduated from high school 11 years ago have to work to forget the way I learned and teach to my students they way they learn. Thinking like a student is the only way we'll begin to figure out how to teach them. We shouldn't be dragging them back to the way we were taught. We should be leaping them forward.

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