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Can kids teach themselves?

Digitally literate children populate every classroom. In fact we've even dubbed them the 'digital natives' because the technology they've been born into, been surrounded by and had exposure to has enabled them to understand its uses and functions easily and naturally. I often hear teachers telling me about the units of work they've embarked upon, taught brilliantly and at one point they'll say something like, "I got stuck with x but one of the kids sorted it out". As someone who relishes in learning to use new technologies and trying to see what educational potential they offer, I'm lucky to be able to keep a bit ahead of my primary students. Having said that, it takes hardly anytime at all to initially show them an app or device, give them some parameters for a task and watch them bloom.

The world our primary kids will be working in as adults will be technologically astounding. When Sugata mentioned that "learning [is] the product of educational self-organisation" and he went on to speak about the emergence of learning it struck a chord with me. I thought of all the times that teachers work so hard to get knowledge to stick in the minds of the students, and it just doesn't. Being interested goes a long way to driving your mind to engage with what's in front of you. And of course the challenge then becomes; how do you create/maintain interest?

The video almost answers this for us; the students will dictate their learning, teachers will steer them, prompt them and step back. I would comment though that the combined pressure of curriculum accountability and current school structures doesn't necessarily fit seamlessly with this model... yet. But I'm working on it. Bit by bit, transfer control, provide encouragement and promote self-organisation.

I'm thinking about how to incorporate more student-driven discovery learning in 5G in 2014.

Who's with me? :)


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