As teachers, we all understand the crucial need for building connections with our students. We listen carefully so that we can understand their passions and interests, their abilities and ways of learning, and the things that make them unique. As a digital generation, our students are connected in ways that weren’t imaginable when I was starting my teaching career or even in the past few years.
The digital culture affects every aspect of today’s society, and as educators, that creates an intriguing challenge. How have these changes impacted instruction? What must be done differently to engage our students in relevant and meaningful work? For me, finding answers means that I have to ask questions, read, reach out to others in my professional learning network, and reflect. Through that process, I realized that my most important role is to be a learner first. To model that learning means that I must do things that scare me just a bit — like writing a blog. Yet taking those risks and being part of a connected learning community are what’s necessary for growth — for doing things differently than they’ve been done in the past. Why? The question that drives me comes from a North Carolina State University MOOC (massive, open, online course) called “Leading the Digital Transition.” Their essential question continues to drive my learning: “What are the most important ways we need to change K-12 education to prepare students for the global, digital, information world in which they will live?”
What would your response be?
To learn what other educational thought leaders have said, watch “Preparing Students for the World in Which They’ll Live.” (8:04) How did their answers compare to yours?