Statistics from the U.S, show that 6 million students signed up for at least one online course at high school this year! Many online courses are now receiving reviews equivalent to face to face classroom experience.
Canada still leads the way in math, science and literacy in North America, and we are still developing the means for making our online courses multi layered and technologically sound.
These are a few of my favourite take away thoughts/sites I gauged from my amazing week at iNacol.
1. Teachers are not the experts anymore! We are continuous learners. As continuous teachers, learners and home schoolers we can only improve with age:) Hallelujah!
2. Transformational learning only happens, when God is present in our element or passion for learning.
3. The virtual relationship between teacher and student is where encouragement, space, and love transforms learning. Just as we want to do what matters most, so do our students. Let us encourage student centric learning which meets the needs of the holistic child. But also let us encourage our students to think of others first!
4. New technological prototypes around the corner will change the way we view education, and how we help students in the future. However we do need to address which technological innovations can help our students today.
COOL TOOLS TO ENGAGE 21 CENTURY LEARNING
Simplebooklet This web friendly online booklet sharing site is easy to use and useful for students or teachers wanting to share a set of instructions, invitation, make an eportfolio or present a list. You do not need your own website, but can incorporate this into your blog or website. Simply place your objects on the given canvas and type, copy and paste, resize and then move to the next page. Share or print out your booklets.
Popplet is a unique mind mapping presentation tool, which allows you to share and collaborate with others. Watch the video on the home page and discover how easy it is to use. For use in the classroom with brainstorming and mind mapping, creating family trees, science hypotheses, timelines, story plots and life cycles.
ABCYA offers games and applications for students from grade 1-5. Amazing fun to be had!
Google Historical Events. For open access to historical voyages and events.
Art.com. Learn how to be an artist using all the right art tools on a computerized canvas!
Layar. Get more information out of augmented reality.
Layar Vision can recognize real world objects and display digital AR experiences on top of them.
Now layers can be truly immersive as seemingly ordinary objects come alive with interactivity
Other takeaways included open learning resources like Merlot, Hippocampus for great biology labs, and MIT Open Courseware
What surprised and blessed me the most? The realisation that our school can be authentically who we are in Christ! We are uniquely discipleship based and community driven; to make relationship more important than the technology details. Yes, we need to have some of the best techie tools to bring our students into the 21 century, but first and foremost we need to bring them closer to Christ.
Blessings to you!