Clark Aldrich one of the world’s most prominent speakers of designs of Virtual Worlds, Simulations and Serious Games has declared that “The educational knowledge we deploy and measure is more dependent on what is easy to author than a societal desire or need”. This applies a great deal to the resources I find that we, as teachers, tend to produce and work with.
It only takes a minute to realise that the Web is just the tip of the iceberg of resources that can be used by everyone to learn… and to teach. And yet we still notice that in many classrooms, (not all and I do not wish to generalise), we still keep making use of the same old resources we were used to seeing back in our ‘good, old days’ when we used to complain how boring school was getting.
If you look at schools like Quest to Learn , you will understand what I am trying to say. This school, markets itself as the “school for digital kids” – their description states – “Through an innovative pedagogy that immerses students in differentiated, challenge-based contexts, the school acknowledges design, collaboration, and systems thinking as key literacies of the 21st century”. But in short this is a school that uses games and play to teach and to learn.
If you look at their plans, at their syllabi, at the curriculum which drives them, there is no NASA technology involved. There are no resources which cannot be repeated or done elsewhere. There are only resources that are very carefully designed with a purpose. There are lessons designed in the interests of the kids who want to be involved in a creative and innovative way. This is not a matter of saying… “oh I am really doing my best… I did so many handouts… what else do I have to do?” Maybe the answer to that question might lead you to think in a different way, to start thinking about the real needs of your students and not the needs of the MATSEC exam which they will eventually choose to sit or not sit for… so start thinking, start looking and exploring and find the right design which suits your students.