I didn’t think I would be focused on a revolution this year, since I don’t teach American History. Instead, I’m focused on a learning revolution. I am currently taking a class called Disruptive Innovation in Technology, so the revolution taking place is my stance on using technology to improve the learning that takes place is my school community.
One source for the class is Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools (Horn & Staker, 2015). It is ironic that teachers don’t usually want disruptions in the classroom. We generally like to run the show. During the entire program, I have been learning that I need to give up some of that control. It is a challenge because I know where my students currently are performing and where I need them to be by the end of the year. It would seem the most efficient way to get them there is to lead them. However, for true learning to take place, I need their motivation, participation, and engagement. Because I want the most growth for each of my students, I need to take the standardized education and find a way to customize it for every individual.
I have decided to implement digital portfolios with my students. Ideally this could be an option for the entire student population at me school. Horn says that one opportunity educators have with technology is to reinvent the traditional model of education. The traditional model says that the entire group of students learns the same thing, at the same time, and at the same rate. Truthfully, teachers all know that students come to us as individuals. They have different aptitudes and interests. The digital portfolios will allow students to not only showcase their learning but provide a place for reflection also.
I am strictly tied to my curriculum which doesn’t allow much student choice or voice. Digital portfolios will allow students to showcase their aptitudes and interests, regardless of their learning rates. The reflection component of the portfolio will encourage my students to think about their thinking. Learning the technological skills necessary to create, maintain, and share their work will provide authentic learning experiences that will only enhance their educations.
I’m excited to explore all the options available and work alongside my students and colleagues to see where this revolution takes us!
Horn, Michael B. and Staker, Heather (2015). Blended: Using disruptive innovation to improve schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.