Monday, July 30, 2012

Creating content, or what?

Laying out this next school year involves making decisions on some upcoming projects, developing connections with other classes, and evaluating my tech usage in class. Using the summer to roll ideas around, plan with others, and research teaching practices, has led me to think about the idea of students creating content. I recently read a post by another teacher about having her students create iBooks. She described how her students were "creating content". Something in this claim made me wonder...

To CREATE content, students have to be the owners of the:
  • questions
  • discoveries
  • and work product.
This would be my qualification for saying that they are "creating content". Otherwise, aren't they just regurgitating content in a fun, flashy format? Yes, it's fun. Yes, it will most definitely make them retain the content longer with more depth than traditional studies. But, it isn't really creating the content. We aren't asking them to bring their own questions, ideas, and struggles to the process.

I think that I've been somewhat guilty of this in the past. I haven't given the time to truly explore content and develop ownership to the students as often as possible. I tend to rush through the exploration of the content to get to the fun product making part. Yep...guilty on some levels. I think that I do this sometimes because the iPad offers SO many tools for students to show understanding, and I want to use as many as possible. The device then drives the instruction...ssshhhhh. Don't tell!

So, here's the final thought...

Giving my students the opportunity to OWN the learning (in my eyes) is best accomplished by giving them ownership in the WHOLE process. Reminds me of Apple's Challenge Based Learning.
While I know I use this approach on some occasions, it is time to take the plunge and really buy into this methodology.

Sounds like more to add to my own IEP...

What do you think?

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