Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Speak Up! Project Tomorrow

"Leveraging Intelligent Adaptive Learning to Personalize Education" - http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/IntelligentAdaptiveLearning_2012.html

This article offered some interesting statistics focused on a personalized technology driven “Dream Box” education. This is a program designed for students to personalize their learning and give valuable detailed information to their teachers in order to guide their daily practice. As students are becoming more interested in personalized learning, so are school staff and parents. It doesn’t surprise me that it seems that the way to personalize education is through technology, and 67% of principals agree that technology increases student engagement, but I did find it surprising that only 10% of teachers surveyed use some form of digital games within instruction. In my own high school classroom, I try to use YouTube videos, animations, and games as much as possible to engage students; and it works! The students are far more engaged in the structure of the cell when they can manipulate a 3D model online, or play an adaptation simulation game online to track population changes. I will definitely be utilizing these skills more now that I am made aware of the statistics.  

 “Is Anyone Listening to Students?” Video - http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/IsAnyoneListeningVideo.html

This video shows students are the ones on a panel and are the “experts” of their own education. The students come from technology schools and are able to share the aspiration and benefits of having internet access available to each student in a classroom. I was impressed, but not surprised that students were willing to speak up and be the advocates for other students’ education because they had benefitted so much from their own experiences with technology in the classroom. I am actually surprised there are not more panels such as this one. As technology and education are growing, students are our best sources for how to get them to grow together in a positive and effective way. Students use technology for more uses than I could imagine. In my classroom, I have allowed those with phones who have internet access to utilize them as a source of research on certain topics in the classroom and the students treat the privilege as such. Although there will always be the student who abuses the privilege, many students stay on task even if an occasional text gets sent her or there. It would be an interesting experiment to allow students to use their phones during class discussions to help them look up answers instead of the normal response, “I don’t know”. Obviously some guidelines would have to be set, but it may be worth the try to get shy students to speak up.

 “YouthTEACH2Learn Resources” - http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/teach2learn.html
This article made me think about getting students involved a club geared towards career exploration. High School students are at the age when need to be considering their career paths. Many freshmen enter college dazed and without a set purpose, wasting time and money, getting discouraged, and dropping out. A career exploration program will allow students to understand what careers best suit their personality and the life styles they desire to have. Although the program described in the article is geared towards students considering a career in elementary education, it could easily be modified in order to fit all students’ desires for future careers. In order to set the program up at my current school site I would start communications with my onsite director, the principal, and the teacher in charge of the school’s daily televised announcements. This would help spread the word, assist with making community contacts, and gaining resources for such a program. Contacting parents would also be beneficial in making contact with many community members in different career paths that could come speak with the students. I think a career exploration club is an excellent idea and would love to see it in my school site.


  1. I like the idea of the "dream box" for students to give feedback to their teachers. The students know what they want out of their education, so providing an avenue for them to let their educators know is very important.

    I also agree with your stance on starting a career exploration club. So many students have no idea what they want to do prior to entering high school and college that they waste precious time and money in college classes they don't need or don't enjoy.

  2. I totally agree with you when you talk about the "is anyone listening to the students" video. If anyone knows about their own education it is the students themselves!