I spend a lot of time researching some of the most innovative teaching and learning ideas from around the world. This blog aims to showcase some of these ideas.
How to maximise learning is a question that lies at the heart of every student’s individual success, school improvement and even national economic growth. For a student to survive and prosper in our fast-changing world they need to be good at continuous, effective learning.
No-one has all the answers, but our contribution to this topic will lie in three main areas:
We must train students to be better at the process of learning
We now know what learning strategies have the most positive effect on learning outcomes. So we should demonstrate and embed those techniques into classes day by day, to create self-managed, skilled learners.
The result is that students can at least partially teach themselves and their peers – so you get more learning from the same amount of teaching.
But it does more. If a student is skilled at the process of learning he or she can be motivated to learn independently from the increasing amount of high quality digitised anytime anywhere learning resources outside the classroom. So you can also get more total teaching at no more cost to the school - increased productivity!
We must personalise learning
I am an unashamed supporter of what has been called the digital school. Good teachers have always done their best at differentiation but in a class of 30, that can only go so far.
But now in schools where each student can have his or her own tablet or computer, and feedback from teacher to each student and from student to teacher can be instant, true personalised learning IS possible. Teachers can see where each student has got to on a topic, and what he or she doesn’t yet understand. Then appropriate content can be delivered to that student so he can master it before moving on.
Technology in schools is not about ‘cool’ stuff, but about how to invest wisely to create higher quality learning.
Lessons need to be as enjoyable, motivating and memorable as possible.
Of course that is what all teachers strive for.