Some teachers think…Time in senior classes is short, homework getting done is a challenge, the number of credits is too many to learn anything in any depth, and assessments are all that matters. In my view there is truth to much of this.
What does this mean? No time for learning anything that does not directly lead to credits, even if there is a valuable learning opportunity.
Taking a lead from an experienced teacher I decided to provide students with learning not directly related to assessment. Interestingly, students were engaged and the lesson content very interesting. (It may have helped that it is the last lesson prior to School Exams so anything taught was not going to stick anyway.)
So what did we look at/learn?
1. Modern school design and integration of technology. The video introducing Ormiston College in Auckland provided valuable discussion material, especially as our school is considering a major redesign. http://www.ormiston.school.nz/ . Students loved the whiteboard desks, open spaces, café, gym, cushions etc…. See for yourself.
2. Education and Science Select Committee on 21st century learning environments. I showed students the verbal submission made by students at Tawa Intermediate College. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7483929/Kids-push-committee-for-digital-education This led to great discussion on what a school could look like in the future and the opening up of our colleges emerging wireless network/Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) approach.
Was it worth it? Yes. Was it related to assessment? No. Would I do it again? Yes. Sometimes the learning opportunity is too good to miss.