The Future of Education
A hot word these days, the "future of education" is nonetheless an idea I began thinking about only a few years ago, with my increasing involvement with Twitter. I realized that my Twitter feed began to fill with research as well as innovative and daring teaching styles and examples that shook my idea of what makes "good teaching practices". The common denominator for me became the idea of personalized learning- A teaching style that is based on guiding students in their quest to "learn how to learn", designing experiences that are authentic, meaningful, and collaborative. Ones that come from the students' prior experiences and interests, and allow them to progress at their own pace.
Below are a few examples of my involvement with Personalized Learning- as a teacher, researcher, and presenter:
Design, Creativity, Innovation Course
Based on my research and development work, I was tasked with creating a course that reflects my learning about student agency and personalized learning.
The result was an "upgrade" of a traditional visual arts course (for grades 3-5) into more of a "creator-space"- a multi-year course where students engage in a variety of 2D, 3D, and technology media, and progress at their own pace. The course also included gamification elements- where students earned badges for different activities and pathways they completed.
PLEx (Personalized Learning Experience) at ICS
In the 2018-2019 school year, I was appointed a 50% position as a Research and Development Team member. Our goal was to research the future of education as well as current exemplary schools (schools which are both "highly effective" and "learning progressive", and propose a 6-week Personalized Learning unit for the Elementary School (grades 1-5). This has been the best experience in my research career. You can read more about my experiences on my blog.
Presenting PLEx to the ICS community (teachers and parents):
As part of my PLEx role, I designed, created and presented numerous times in order to inform, engage, and empower our community for this Personalized Learning Experience. Here are a couple of example slides:
Based on the structure of my old Passion Projects site, I led the creation of this resource site for our ES teachers. Everything we've learned, everything we created, everything we documented throughout our R&D experience, was hosted on this site!
*** Please note, some pages are internal to ICS-Addis and will not display here.
Gamified and Personal Projects
My first Passion Project experiment has completely changed my teaching. Realizing that students benefit so much from working on their passions- from learning about subject-specific (and interdisciplinary) facts and concepts, to the level of collaboration, to learning about themselves as learners and humans- that my teaching philosophy has completely changed. These days, I can't see my teaching not involving student agency on different levels.