Teaching for me is becoming the leading of students to information and process. There is a saying that goes like this: “You can lead a horse to water but it is the horse that has to drink.” The thing is, horses are thirsty and I believe all our students are thirsty to learn (albeit not necessarily all the things that they are presented with in our schools that are mandated by the province.) This just takes getting to know our students and helping them find what is relevant to them.
With the use of student mobile devices, I can direct my students to resources and material, and without them even knowing, teach them how to responsibly and effectively use personal technology. I am trying to have my students take more responsibility of their learning by doing the research and information gathering on their own, INSTEAD of me continually posting notes and ‘fact feeding.’ However I have to admit that this has not come without resistance or obstacles. There have been a number of students who have stated they ‘prefer’ to copy notes and know exactly what is on upcoming evaluations. Then I have to go in to the learning lesson that that idea of learning is not in fact learning, it is merely memorizing. However, how can I blame them since this is what they have gone through for years. One of the tools I created is a two column “Knowledge Base and Life Learning” Chart where students relate the material learned in school to their life outside and away from the school. To my surprise, it took a lot more explaining of the “Life Learning” portion than I expected. Then just this week, we have had our wifi cut off to students so the ‘tech in the classroom’ idea has been stalled. At this point, I am still confident despite the small struggles with the ideas within my title “Teachers as Facilitators of Learning, Not Fact Feeders” and believe that if we stay on this path, our students will in fact experience more authentic and genuine learning.
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