EACH Student a Learner!!!

When I see young people – I see potential!

Currently there are too many students that are left behind.  Dropouts, underachievers, and minimal learners are all too common. The current system for educating society’s youth is broken: Broken if we agree that there is student potential that is not being tapped.  Yet, there are those that might cling to that status quo in our schools because it is familiar and in some ways comfortably predictable.

Chris Dede and John Richards have published: Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student, 2012.  They are providing a ‘bright light’ on what is currently possible for, as the subtitle says “customizing learning for each student”.  The powerful presence and potential of interactive technology and learning is presented and explored in their book.

To move forward into the possibility of customization, highly interactive, and evolving learning environments for each and every student means ‘letting go’ of the status quo.  It does not mean teachers are not and will not be important.  I absolutely know that teachers are and will continue to be essential for their ability to know their student, planning, evaluating, orchestration, implementation, supportive relationships, direct teaching and so much, much more to insure that high quality learning deeply touches each and every child.

To go back to the fact that currently, many students are not benefiting from school leads me to believe that learning opportunities need to continue grs45to evolve.  Learning has to and needs to continue to benefit from technology.  All learners deserve to have access to precise, in-depth learning opportunities at a pace that fits them.  Digital Teaching Platforms, as explain by Dede and Richards in the book their book mentioned above (p 1), are designed to bring interactive technology to teaching and learning in classrooms where each student and teacher have laptops, or some equivalent computational device, connected to the network designed to operate in a teacher-led classroom as a major carrier of the curriculum content and function as the primary instructional environment for students.

Learning through effective and vibrant technology platforms means that a student is afforded the opportunity to adjust the learning pace to match his or her own pace.  Students who find the depth of learning in traditional situations to be either too sallow or too deep can work from the precise place they are in the continuum of learning and move forward. For learners who find that the content presented in traditional learning settings to be something they have already mastered or is dramatically beyond their prior knowledge are able to make sense of the potential ‘learning puzzle’ and begin to move forward with their learning from where they are.

If society is going to work toward tapping the potential of each student we are going to have to be willing to be resourceful and let go of the past as our ‘lens’ for the future.  We are going to want to find and use platforms of possibility.  Digital Teaching Platforms are worth investigating if we want to customize classroom learning for each student.

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