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Teaching the iGeneration - Surrey Schools

Page history last edited by Bill 9 years, 4 months ago

Teaching the iGeneration

Building a Bridge to Better Learning for Today's Students


Direct link to this pagehttp://bit.ly/tigsurreyschools



You know what the iGeneration looks like in your classroom: Inheriting a world with almost universal access to the Internet, iGeners are almost universally plugged in.


Ear buds hang from backpacks, and cell phones are stuffed into every pocket. Instant communication has replaced listening to messages, streaming video has replaced waiting for television shows to start, Xboxes have replaced Ataris, digital images have replaced negatives, and high-speed connections have replaced dial-up modems.  iGeners aren’t always the best students, however! Working quickly instead of carefully, they infosnack their way through class, flitting from instant experience to instant experience. Reading deeply, considering multiple perspectives and interacting with others in meaningful ways is pushed aside in a race for immediate gratification.


Today’s students can be inspired by technology - but only after we build a bridge between what they know about new tools and what we know about good teaching, a process introduced by full-time classroom teacher Bill Ferriter in this January 2013 dinner series conversation for the Surrey School District.




Slides for Today's Session


The slides for today's session are embedded below.  You can download them directly by clicking on this link.




Handout for Today's Session



During the course of tonight's presentation, participants will be involved in three separate conversations with their table-mates.  This handout includes the questions that will guide those conversations.  It also includes contact information for session presenter Bill Ferriter and links to additional materials that participants in tonight's dinner series session might be interested in exploring. 




What Does "Building a Bridge" Look Like in Action?


For most educators, the notion of "building a bridge between what today's students know about technology and what we know about good teaching" resonates because it recognizes the fact that efficient and effective learning should be the primary outcome for any digital project.  But many teachers still struggle to imagine what this kind of instructional bridge-building actually looks like in action. 


During tonight's dinner conversation, session presenter Bill Ferriter will share a sample from his sixth grade classroom:  A microlending project that has seen his students use a service called Kiva  to fight back against poverty in the developing world by making loans to people who want to start businesses to improve the lives of their families. Together with classmates, Bill's students have loaned out over $13,000 to over 400 people in 28 different countries all while polishing skills required by his state's social studies, language arts and computer technologies curricula.


Learn more about this project by exploring the links below:


One Tweet CAN Change the World - In this post from his blog, session presenter Bill Ferriter explains the origins of his classroom Kiva project.  More importantly, he details the direct connections between Kiva lending and his curriculum and provides a series of links to handouts and materials that other teachers interested in Kiva lending can use in their own work with students. 


We Kiva Because Video - In this video created by session presenter Bill Ferriter's Kiva Club, student members explain the reasons behind their choices to become Kiva lenders.  What resonates throughout the video is the sense that every student sees Kiva as an opportunity to do work that matters. 


Poverty's Real Video - This video was created by two of session presenter Bill Ferriter's Kiva Club students in order to market the work of the club to potential sponsors.  It is a sample of the kinds of meaningful curricular lessons -- lessons on persuasion, content creation, and visual influence -- that are possible when students are engaged in Kiva lending. 


Salem Middle School Kiva Tripline - This Tripline -- or interactive timeline -- is another tool that session presenter Bill Ferriter's Kiva Club uses to track their influence and to raise attention to what's possible when people embrace Kiva as a way to make a difference and to do work that matters. 


Additional Microlending Resources - Because session presenter Bill Ferriter is so passionate about using microlending as a way to give students opportunities to do work that matters, he writes about it often.  You can find additional microlending resources on his professional development wiki here, in the materials that his Kiva Club used for a Simple K12 webinar hereon his blog here, and in the handout section for his book on teaching with technology here.


Additional Examples of Doing Work that Matters


The Story of Malala Yousafzai - Growing up in the Taliban controlled regions of Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai -- a teen girl -- faced almost unimaginable challenges and a strictly regimented life that treated girls as objects instead of individuals.  At the age of 11, she decided to take action -- starting a blog on a BBC News website about just what life was like in her part of the world.  Her bravery quickly earned her the admiration of thousands of locals -- and the scorn of the Taliban.  Yousafzai -- now 14 -- was shot by Islamic militants in the Fall of 2012. 


Westwood Middle School Makes a Difference - Sixth grade at Westwood Middle School in Coon Rapids, Minnesota is a year-long lesson in community activism, where social studies teachers Bob Schneider, Chris Clark and Dominic Martini assign their students a civics participation project every fall.  Students learn more about the role that local government plays in their lives and get involved in advocating for change that they believe in.  Whether they're sitting in on school board meetings, writing letters to the mayor or volunteering at groups dedicated to fighting hunger, WMS students care about their community -- and are taking action on their concerns.


Our New Value - Making Stuff with Kids - In this blog entry, Will Richardson details the steps being taken to give students the opportunity to "do work that matters" at the Marymount School -- an independent Catholic school in Manhattan where real projects that have real implications for changing the world in a positive way are being used to drive the curriculum.  "If we see this as better learning than the lockstep curriculum that we’re currently delivering in a variety of ways in schools," Will writes, "then why aren’t we fighting harder for it? Why aren’t we demanding it? Why aren’t we at least starting conversations around it?"


High Tech High San Diego Bay Project - For juniors in Jay Vavra and Tom Fehrenbacher's science and Humanities classes at High Tech High School in San Diego, the issue that matters most is how to better protect the environment in and around the San Diego Bay.  The entire year is spent studying the habitats of the Bay area and the impact that humans are having on the environment.  Together, Vavra and Fehrenbacher's classes publish a field guide that is used by everyone from environmental scientists to local politicians interested in looking for solutions to improve the overall health of the Bay.


The Napa Valley Language Academy Helps Orphans in the Congo - After learning about the struggles of children orphaned by war and disease in Africa, the teachers and students at the Napa Valley Language Academy -- an elementary school outside of San Fransisco, California -- decided to adopt an orphanage in Gomo, Congo in 2007.  Since then, the school has used annual fundraisers and Christmas concerts to provide the children in the orphanage with everything from books and clothing to clean water and security fences to protect them from violence.



Additional Sources to Explore


Participants in the Surrey Schools Engaging Digital Learners dinner series may also be interested in the following online sources created and/or maintained by session presenter Bill Ferriter:


Teaching the iGeneration Handouts - All of the handouts from Bill Ferriter's teaching with technology book are available for free download on this website. 


The Tempered Radical - Bill writes regularly about teaching and learning with technology on his award-winning blog. 


Digitally Speaking Wiki - Bill posts almost every digitally driven lesson that he creates and materials for almost every digitally driven presentation that he gives on his Digitally Speaking professional development wiki. 



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