The Reflective Educator

Education ∪ Math ∪ Technology

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Day: October 26, 2010

An email to our new Education Minister

Here is the email I’ve just send to George Abbott, our new education minister in British Columbia. Let’s see if he responds.

Dear Mr. Abbott,

 
I’m an educator in British Columbia, in a small private school called Stratford Hall. I’m pleased to hear that you have been appointed to your new role. I have a suggestion for you, among many you will receive over the next few days.
 
I’d like to extend an invitation for you to observe a new form of professional development for teachers which is occurring through the use of social media. A collection of a few thousand teachers use the social media tool Twitter for collaboration and sharing of ideas and resources. I’d like to show you how this works, and how this could be a powerful initiative for British Columbia educators to take the lead.
 
The learning that has occurred for me through this tool has been amongst the most powerful and deep training I’ve ever done. I can easily say that I learn more through an hour of interaction through Twitter than 10 hours of typical professional development. I can talk to the greatest minds in education directly, or spend an hour discussing the best way to teach polynomials.
 
If you are interested, check out #edchat on Twitter by following this link:
 
 
I’m happy to give a more complete explanation when you have the time.
 
Thank you,
 
David Wees

 

Connecting your Classroom

Here’s a presentation I’m giving this Wednesday to the teachers at my school on Connecting your Classroom. After viewing William Eaton‘s presentation last Friday at the CUEBC conference I decided to present on a similar topic to my own staff, using a couple of his ideas (which I’ve referred in the presentation). The idea is that every classroom can be connected in various ways, and I’m showing 5 of the ways we can connect based on the domains of curriculum, community (in this case experts), student work, and the world. Check out my presentation below.

Two possible futures

The way I see it, there are two possible futures. In one possible future we will always have computers and electronic devices and students should learn how to use these devices. With the exception of certain skills we want to be automatic for students, they really should learn nothing that can be done by a computer faster and cheaper. No more graphing, algebra, differentiation, integration, etc… as these can all be done easily with a computer. There are other ways to teach students algorithms and logical thinking.

In the other possible future our world economy or environment collapses and we no longer have computers. In this future, none of what I’m teaching in school is going to help students anyway, so I might as well prepare for the first future where computers are always ubiquitous.