Scene 1: The past
Students learned from the teacher. Facts were learned from text books. Learning took place in the classroom. Teachers asked questions and students answered them. Information about far away places was found in books.
Scene 2: The present
Students learn from the teacher, each other, the internet, books, movies, people inside the school, people outside the school, people in other countries. Students learn through inquiry. They ask questions, wonder, explore, experiment and investigate new ideas. They make online global connections and learn about far away places directly from people who live in them! Here’s an example, where one thing lead to another…
- Our school has recently established a kitchen garden program. Our students in Year 4 and 5 explore related issues in their units of inquiry. On alternate fortnights, the children either have lessons in the garden or in the kitchen.
- A TED talk by Jamie Oliver prompted me to blog about our kitchen garden program.
- One of the comments on my post was from Bernadette, who’s school in Kansas, USA has a similar sort of kitchen garden program.
- We engaged in conversation via Twitter and email and considered the possibility of a collaboration. This one hasn’t happened yet, but it will! We hope to start an ongoing collaboration about how our gardens grow and change during the year.
- However, we have established a connection between our prep children (they call it kindergarten) . Our little ones learned that there are children just like them far away in another country. They answered the questions sent to them by their new friends in Kansas via Voicethread and thereby began an ongoing conversation…
Scene 3: The Future
Teachers from Scene 1 could never have envisioned what’s happening in Scene 2. I can imagine the immediate future, since there are many inspiring educators who are already way ahead of our school in creating global connections and collaborating across the world in all sorts of exciting ways. They are motivating us to flatten our classroom walls still more. And after that…the possibilities are endless!