21st Century Learning at the High School
As the high school moves toward 21st Century Learning, students and staff will undergo significant changes in the coming years. This year we will implement a new BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy where students may use their own device anytime, anywhere as long as they use them responsibly and appropriately. We have come to realize that in 2012 these devices can be a valuable instructional tool for teachers. We now have a new wireless network that will permit students to access WIFI throughout the school. Student devices enable teachers to "blend" their classes to combine traditional and virtual methods of instruction inside and outside the confines of the classroom. Instead of fighting with students using Facebook and Twitter in class we will embrace it as an instructional tool for students and teachers to collaborate with one another. Students will be able to learn anytime, anywhere.
A 21st Century Learning pilot group of teachers are implementing some new practices that contradict some of the traditional teaching and learning that most of us grew up with. These teachers will shift from individual practitioners to collaborative and project based teaching. Teacher-centered, lecture-based classrooms will give way to more student-centered, interactive learning. Teachers are moving students out of rows and into groups where they will do more collaboration and application of concepts.
Additionally, these teachers are reexamining some of their homework practices to make sure homework is meaningful and relevant, so students don't perceive it as busywork. Instead of students doing homework for "points," they do it for the value of learning. They are also exploring an option for students to retest to encourage mastery of concepts before they plow forward.
This is an exciting time for the high school. I look forward to the new school year to see how these changes develop.