This is the 3rd Post in the “Gedding It” Series.
Imagine this: March 26th, 2024.
I arrive at school in the early morning, ready to start my day teaching my multi-level 12-14 year old learning class. I turn on my communication panel, and check out my overnight WorldNews and Education feeds, my student communication stream, and my personal messaging system. Who is on a learning excursion today, and when will they be reporting in? Do I need to be ready to conference with any of my learners using the communication panel today, instead of working with them here in class? What time are we meeting Misha online today, from her 2 month road trip around South Africa with her family? And what pre-recorded transmissions did Junjie submit overnight while visiting his grandparents for 3 weeks in China? And when is Dr. Richardson connecting to take the students on a tour of his centre in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape?
I view my class’s communication stream and see that some of the students had a lively discussion amongst themselves last night about how their global learning groups are working out these days, and new directions they might take next; very interesting!!
The alert that I’d set on my PCD pin yesterday (personal communication device) reminds me to check the class financial report to see if all the students have submitted their payments and are ready to go on our group excursion to the endangered wildlife habitat on Friday. Once again I thank the universe that we can take care of all of these finances with a click of a button now, and no longer have to wade through all that paper work!!!
After I chat with the local LifeCare Home about how Riley’s night went last night, I settle down to tackle my most important task before school begins: I view my Geddit stream from last night to check out my students’ progress: at what stage is each student in their learning plan, and how are each of my students doing with their learning? What do they need for today? What adjustments do I need to make in the learning activities I’ve arranged for today, and for whom?
In the middle of my planning, one of the school administrators appears on one of the communication panels to tell me that 2 students from the Nunavut and Indonesia have contacted her requesting I act as their learning mentor for a 3 month period this summer. And no sooner have we ended our session, Misha alerts me on another screen that she would like to conference with me about her scientific experiments before she discusses them with her science group later in the day….
Is this a little too far-fetched into the future for you?
Then how about just envisioning this time next year?
March 26th, 2015 ….
I arrive at school in the early morning, ready to start my day teaching my split Grades 7/8 class. In reality, I have students learning at Gr 3 – Gr 12 levels in my classroom: 10 grade levels of learning in all, including 7 students with extensive IEP’s. That’s become the norm these days.
I turn on the SmartBoard and my laptop, and I check out my overnight Twitter feed and my work email. Any messages from parents? Colleagues? School admin? What do my emailed VoiceThread and Edmodo reports show for student activities and assignments yesterday? I answer my messages, and before I forget, I send a message on Edmodo to ask Misha if she’ll be back from Florida on Friday for our trip to the Outdoor Ed Centre.
And then I finally take on my most important task before the day begins: I sign in and check out my class reports in my Geddit account – how are my students doing with yesterday’s learning? What do they need extra help with today? Do I need to adjust any of today’s lessons and materials for anyone, both backwards or forewards? Do I need to spend extra time with any of the Gr 8’s in Math? Are the Gr 7’s ready for today’s activities in their science inquiries?
How are my 7 IEP students doing with their Literacy work, and has Aidan’s laptop been fixed and returned yet? Is Sharron ready to work with someone on her story today? Does Riley say he had a better night at his group home last night, or will we need to put his behaviour plan back in place today? I send Riley his own personal Check-in question, and let him know that we’ll talk together in person this morning and work out some cool rewards for having a great day today, particularly with Monsieur R. in French class.
I finish my planning adjustments for the day and take a deep breath, thinking it’ll be interesting to see what everyone has to say in their first Geddit Check-in while I take attendance this morning….
But today is March 26, 2014.
And regardless of whether I’m envisioning next year or 10 years from now, discovering Geddit has given me a glimpse of a new educational reality I can begin to create with my students today. The simple brilliance of Geddit is to provide a tool for my students to communicate with me about their learning – from any place, at any time, on any device.
For years, I’ve asked my Student Teachers to try to shift their perception from teaching being about themselves as teachers, to teaching being all about their students as learners. In my dinosaur years, I’ve come to realize that teaching isn’t as much about “How did I do in my teaching today?” as it is about “How did my students do in their learning today?” It’s not about “What do I plan to teach tomorrow?” as much as it’s about “What do I plan for my students to learn tomorrow?” And “How are they going to learn?” And “How will I know if they’re ready for new learning?” And “How will I know when they’ve finally learned it?!?”
That can be such a cosmic shift from the traditional paradigm for some! And in order to be really GOOD at it, we also need to know how to build strong positive relationships and strong communication systems with our students.
But as teaching and learning moves more and more into online spaces — how is this going to happen?!? We’re going to need very effective communication tools!
So I love Geddit because it is all about our students. It not only gives our students a new voice, but it gives them a voice about their learning: responsibility for thinking about their learning, and a tool to communicate about their learning. It makes communication about learning between student and teacher a seamless part of the teaching and learning process.
In today’s world of split classes and online learning, the potential spin-offs are dizzying.
And instantaneous updates? That’s just cosmic dusting on the cake. (-: ……………………………………………………………………………………………….
Tomorrow: Creating a Geddit Cosmic Shift Today