What’s next?

I’ve started reading #MarchingOffTheMap by @TimElmore recently and there is a significant piece near the beginning that talks about keeping up.  I’ll be honest, keeping ahead of the curve and being able to anticipate what’s next in education is important.  When asked what’s next? I would hazard a guess that most folks think about technology and the classrooms and buildings of the future.  Me?  I thought about the types of kids that we will be tasked to serve.  The world we grow up in shapes our experiences, and in turn, our mindset and it is critical that we understand the types of learners we have in our classrooms so that we can best meet their needs.  Below are a few questions that I kicked around with my colleagues and have my mind buzzing, consider these the next time you are looking for dinner conversation 🙂

  1. Which current educational trend do you feel will eventually change the way we teach and learn?  I’m not sure it’s ready to ‘pop’ yet, but I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of distance learning, or learning with and from people that are not in the same room.  This model certainly lacks the personal touch, but having access to others seems like something that could really impact education.  Here at Condit, we’ve connected with specialists and speakers around the world via Skype and Google Hangouts in the past; it’s not the same as a virtual classroom, but it would likely qualify as baby steps.
  2. As adults/teachers, how are we ensuring we are ready for what’s next?  I tend to take a commonsensical approach to this one, keep your eyes open and remain well read.  If we accept that things change and the world changes with it, then we will remain open to the possibility that what we do will have to change as well.  Foundations like fostering positive relationships should never go out of style, however the tools we use to learn, and the way in which we approach content will always be subject to advancement.
  3. How do we ensure that student learning looks like what the world will be, not simply what school has always been?  What is the saying about recognition being the first step?  If we continue to look forward and consider what can be, as opposed to doing things because that’s the way we’ve always done it then we will have the mindset we need to get our kids ready.  It’s not a matter of throwing out what we’ve always done for the shiny new toy, it’s about recognizing that as the world changes and students change, we need to respond accordingly or we are doing our kids a disservice.

My holiday wish to each of you is that the next 2 weeks turn out exactly the way you have planned; that you enjoy time with your loved ones, and you return to school on January 8 ready to make it happen.  Rest, relax, and recharge because you never know what’ next 🙂