Creativity v Delivery, Sir Ken Robinson
I have attended the ISTE annual conferences for 10 years but 2012 was a special year for me. I had volunteered to work at the conference’s keynotes that year. When I found out that I was assigned to work at the keynote panel moderated by Sir Ken Robinson, I felt like I had won the lottery. My reward for being on the set-up team for the keynote was sitting in the VIP section to see and hear Sir Robinson.
Sir Robinson was the featured keynote that launched the panel discussion with a candid criticism of the culture of the American education system. Sir Robinson argued for greater individualization of education experiences for students by saying that “Sometimes I hear people say ‘we can’t personalize education for everyone because we can’t afford that.’ I say ‘we can’t afford not to.’”
Those words jumped out at me because I use Edmodo, a free and secure K-12 social learning platform where teachers can personalize and differentiate education for their students. Yes, as teachers we have a tool that is available to us.
Educators have much on their plates, but integrating Edmodo into their instructional strategies is not “one more thing”. It is a tool to help educators go beyond the demands of education today and create a collaborative, creative environment in their classroom.
Sir Ken Robinson is a frequent presenter at TED Talks. In his presentation on “Teaching Creativity v Delivery”, he addresses the role of the teacher. He says “Teachers are the life blood of the success of school…” He continues stating that there is not a school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teaching is not a delivery system; it is a creative profession. Teachers are not there just to pass on information, great teachers “…also mentor stimulate, provoke, engage…”. He continues with “In the end, education is about learning…if there is no learning going on, there is no education going on…”
In the end, education and learning are personal and that is where Edmodo becomes the digital tool of choice. Teachers who have integrated Edmodo into their teaching practices have discovered that they can use this tool to engage their students. It allows teachers to set-up a collaborative environment where students become involved in activities where authentic learning takes place.
Edmodo is a one-stop shop for classroom digital needs. Built in tools can aid a teacher in retrieving student’s digital work, polling/quizzing students and assigning work. It brings a social learning environment right to the classroom. Edmodo allows the teacher to provide a personalized learning environment for their students giving them a tool to differentiate instruction, create an environment for group collaboration and be creative. Edmodo can be used to individualize and personalize teaching. Edmodo provides a large selection of apps that can be used by students to learn creatively. My favorite creative apps are GoAnimate! and Pixton.
In addition, Edmodo provides a parent connection. Every student is assigned a parent code so that parents can connect with the teacher on Edmodo, check grades, assignments and posts to the class and their child.
Edmodo offers many more built-in tools, too many to list them all here. A few of my personal favorites are a digital library, “digital backpack” area for students to store files, a calendar and small group work areas.
Edmodo can be the cornerstone for creative, individualized instruction for the classroom. It allows teachers to be creative in their instructional strategies and go beyond “delivering” information.
GETTING STARTED WITH EDMODO:
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