Have you been to a play only to find the actors holding the script in their hands and reading from it during the performance? Absurd you would say. Have you been to a talk at a conference or at work only to find the speaker reading from his notes totally ignoring you? In my experience, quite often.
Schools That Work | Practice
On Tuesday Apple finally debuted the long-rumored Apple Watch to a crowd of enthusiastic journalists who gave it a standing ovation and in turn got a free performance from U2.
The live demo of the Apple Watch was impressive, showing a very well thought out interface that’s generations ahead of the current line of smart watches developed by companies who tried to jump the gun (starting years ago) when the first rumors of Apple’s entry into the market began.
Because of the great generosity of the non-profit NapaLearns.org, and the Napa Valley Vintners who sponsor them, I have a lot of technology in my French classroom, and in particular, a class set of netbook computers, tables and chairs with wheels, and a large interactive whiteboard. Learning a language is a very different affair with the support of technology! I have been taking stock lately of the wonders and the challenges of teaching in this blended environment. Here are some of my observations.
Let’s start with some of the wonders...
AP Chemistry is a demanding and time-consuming subject, equivalent to an introductory college-level chemistry course. My two biggest challenges as a teacher for over 16 years have been time and keeping the students engaged. For most part of my teaching career, I have used the direct instruction method with less than desired outcomes. Hence, I decided to change the direct method of instruction to the blended model for past three years.
One thing is certain in almost every education jurisdiction in North America: macro decisions are made by adults that have been elected. They have the final say in the decisions that will impact thousands of students. These are not menial decisions we’re talking about either—allocating funds through billion-dollar budgets, long-term strategic plans, approving of curriculum design all fall under the portfolio of responsibilities. Having leaders disconnected from the needs at the classroom level intuitively begins to frame the problem with the education system.