Trusting Students: Zak’s Voice

This week I noticed something that came across my twitter stream that struck a chord with me after hearing Lisa Unger’s  presentation about secondary students, and listening to so many of my AQ students talk about the role that teachers can play in trusting students to have more control over their own learning.  This has been an important theme that has emerged in our course over the past 11 weeks.

My friend Jamie Weir, a teacher from Waterloo Region DSB, is doing just that. I really hope you’ll read this short blog post from Zak,  one of her students, recently published to the Voices From the Learning Revolution Blog.

Zak makes a plea for teachers to trust students and give technology a try in their classrooms. It’s interesting how Zak sees mobile devices as essential to his inspiration, productivity, and also part of his preparation for post-secondary education. This piece is a great example of the student voice we need to hear!

I often wonder if we’ll be talking about this issue of  “allowing” technology into classrooms  in 5 or 10 years, or will it finally just be part of the way we do business?  Many educators have been talking about how technology changes learning opportunities for 30 years now and it’s still not as widespread as you’d think.  We’ve come through this really amazing period of advancement and ubiquity of technology in the last 5 or so years and that’s not a very long time to be able to make a thinking/teaching shift, especially in education, where change is often at a snail’s pace.

Although computational thinking and programming is not being addressed in the mainstream yet, and this does bother me,  I do notice a tipping point with access to technology that is letting certain kinds of connection, expression and thinking take off in our schools.  So to Zak I would say that it’s been my experience this year that many, many teachers are eager to learn more and do the best that they can to help students learn – hang in there!