If you operate your external classroom from a blog, and have your students set up their own blogs, you can use this feature to see who is doing what and when.
I'm going to use it to diablog. Once a week I'll report on what people are talking about that relates to learning in the 21st century. This week a theme of change reflects a sense of urgency.
You would think that summer time is when educators hit the beaches and the parks for a bit of well-earned R&R. But no, summer is when teachers prepare for the next school year, when new ideas can be considered for implementation.
Will Richardson at Weblogg-ed discusses the state of stasis in today's education, in which we know we have to change, but schools are too afraid of failure to make it happen:
Most are content with “predictably mediocre” schools because the risks associated with change are simply not worth it at this moment. It’s this risk/reward equation that I keep getting drawn to as well, and I keep feeling more and more that schools will not change until the external expectations change, and that the expectations that matter most reside in parents. We need to reframe that lens, and we need to do it fast.Lisa Huff at JustRead takes up the discussion by emphasizing a need to understand that 21st century literacy requires 21st century tools. She provides a video of Wesley Fryer exhorting his frustration with moving the classrooms of yesterday into something that resembles the world of today. Fryer asks, how is that the tools of business have been so slow to be adopted in the classroom? He reminds us that classroom 'content' used to be contained in a textbook and in the teacher's mind. No longer. Now, content is everywhere. Our job is to show students where good content can be found and what to do with it, using appropriate tools.
The more we try to compress learning into the 19th century model of education, the more students will rebel and shutdown. They know that real learning is out there--why are we cramming them between four walls and lecturing at them?
Will educators be their guides or their guards?