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The Boundless Classroom: Exploring the Learning Shift with Our Students

Session 1
Scott Glass, David Jakes — Glenbrook South High School, The Third Teacher Plus

The internet has disrupted virtually all aspects of our lives, and the traditional classroom hierarchy is no exception. Surprisingly, although there are now many conversations about student agency and the ways that students can leverage technology to make their learning more authentic, there seem to be fewer discussions that invite students to contemplate their roles and responsibilities in this new way of learning, to articulate their expectations for who they are as learners, or to ask questions about how they and their teachers can best negotiate this learning shift.

Unfortunately, without these discussions, many students find it difficult to move beyond their current technology experiences, which are primarily social in nature. While learning opportunities shift, it is imperative that together students and teachers figure out how to create a rich, compelling learning experience. The purpose of this conversation, then, is to focus on an often overlooked component of the learning shift: students’ notions of themselves as learners.

The habits of mind nurtured by these conversations are as critical for their lives beyond school as are the moments spent helping them to see the productive possibilities of their devices. Undoubtedly, school will not be the last time they will need to negotiate the way they interact and learn online. To be successful, they must acquire the thoughtfulness and skills to guarantee that their future relationships are positive, whether social, academic, or professional.

Conversational Practice

Discussion of student generated questions regarding how they and teachers can best leverage the shift in learning. In groups, we will compile possible answers, ideas, and follow-up questions to be shared with students in order to extend the conversation. Highlights of the exchange, and subsequent discussions with students, will be shared with the larger Educon community through social media.

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