Just finished reading World Without Wall: Learning Well with Others
I’m an elementary school counselor at an international school in Japan, and often in the gray; many questions, few clear answers. Articles like this add to the questions and doubts, but hopefully point to some answers too. So I’ve decided to ponder in public, and learn well from others — what the article is all about.
Students in my elementary school receive 14 guidance lessons per year, from me. Basically, the instruction is what Richardson says not to do. I talk, the kids listen, or not. After that, the kids do a worksheet or activity alone. This can’t be the best way for them to learn, arguably not even a good way. It’s almost totally one-way, barely interactive, and those kids who do respond are mainly just parroting what I want to hear. Interesting enough, the one lesson where kids genuinely contribute, far more than any other, is cyber safety. Kids love talking about what they do on-line, and I really want to connect to that in my lessons, but still unsure how.
The easy way is to continue doing what I’m doing — it’s worked good enough for the past 15 years. Why change now? Well, pretty much for the reasons in World Without Walls — learning and the exchange of information is changing dramatically, and educators need to change along with it. For me, an added twist is not just how classroom teachers can change, but how does a school counselor integrate technology into lessons and guidance.
So, things today seem as gray as ever, but let’s dive into it,