Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Key Ideas That Have Influenced My Thinking

The book I've been reading (Re-inventing Project Based Learning)has been a great starting point and extremely helpful guide in navigating the way educators are using technology...I find I'm becoming more fluent by the day and am thankful for this opportunity to learn to blog, make a wiki, embed videos, link to websites, create a social bookmarking library,and more.

One thing I had never considered was how useful blogs can be in assessing students’ learning. Writing about their own learning process provides valuable insight to who they are as learners and how I, as the teacher, can more masterfully guide their learning. Especially since I sometimes struggle with giving students in-class time to regularly reflect and think, this provides an ongoing way that students can delve deeper into their own thinking and understanding about music and the process in which they developing as both thinkers and musicians of the 21st century. I have a good feeling that once the use of blogs becomes habitual in my classes, I’ll never turn back. What a great way to provide one-on-one feedback to the students and open up opportunities for self expression or collaboration with others!

And right from the beginning, I was excited about pursuing this path of project-based, student-led teaching because I know how motivating it can be for students to have a say in their education, particularly when it can involve their interests, prior skill, and technological savvy in the classroom. These kinds of personal investments and choices are not only motivating, but meaningful to the students. And ultimately, it leads to learning to love learning.

One of the biggest influences on my thinking this book (and class) has had on my thinking is reimagining what assessment looks like. Again, giving the students choices in how to exhibit evidence of their learning partnered with the use of multiple kinds of technological tools has me excited about the new pathways of learning this will open up, and new kinds of thinking that will form in students and teacher alike!

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