Keeping it REAL

Students interact with challenges that address a real-world problem, creating a workable solution and presenting this to an authentic audience.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stop underestimating our kids

One of the things I've found most frustrating through this project has been the unwillingness of organisations to let students get involved. Everyone is happy to organise someone to come and give a lecture to students or give them factsheets but no one so far has been willing to look at ways they can really get involved and make a difference.

I've called organisations, who then don't call back. I've emailed lots of organisations to receive no reply. Those that do reply have given options such as another organisation to try or the option for them to send a speaker out to the school but no one has helped get students actively involved in making a difference.

Challenge-based learning doesn't only require a change of thinking in the minds of students and educators, it requires a change of thinking for our whole society. There is still this idea that kids are empty vessels to fill up with information and ideas rather than people who can make a real difference, if given the right information and the opportunity to get involved.

I firmly believe our kids can change the world. Us adults just have to get behind them, empower them..... and let them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

IL Students at the Middle Years of Schooling Association Conference

The Virtual Classroom

I was so proud of all the students who went to the MYSA conference on Friday, 24 May. I had so many people mention how amazing they were and how well they upheld themselves. They interacted with people from a range of organisations including Apple, Furnware, and Oxfam just to name a few. They also interacted with lots of teachers, not just from Australia but from around the world and everyone who spoke to me had nothing but resounding praise for them. Well done!
Interacting with teachers

I found the whole thing really inspired me to see the power of students taking part in real events and situations. Time and again students prove that they are capable of much more than they are often given credit for. I was also really inspired to keep trying to make Integrated Learning the best it can be and to keep encouraging students to dream big in the ways that they can change the world.

I came away with some great practical ideas for our new classroom next term too.
Ideas like:

  • Desks with whiteboard tops;
  • Computer monitors for students to mirror their iPad screens to so that collaboration becomes easier and;
  • A range of seating and desk styles for groups to choose from.

Thank you to the students who came along to the conference but I also want to encourage those who missed out this time - there will be other special events in the future, your turn may be next.

A parting message