Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Future of Teaching: Steps Teachers Might Follow as They Design Learning Experiences

As the slideshow in one of my previous posts indicates, the future of teaching and learning means that teachers are designers of learning experiences. This post is an excerpt from my book, Educational Technology for Teachers. As teachers design learning experiences using available learning resources, they might follow a process like the one presented here.

  1. The teacher starts out by determining the student’s individual learning needs using her own observations and any available pre-assessment data.
  2. The teacher seeks out learning resources that are appropriate to the student’s learning needs. To find these resources, the teacher could search in a variety of places including personal collections, libraries, databases, app stores and Internet search engines. A variety of media formats can be used including text, audio, video, animation and multimedia.
  3. When the teacher has found appropriate learning resources, she gives her student access to these resources along with detailed instructions telling the student what to do with the resources.
  4. The student has the responsibility to follow instructions and learn from the learning resources. While the student is learning, the teacher moves on to help other students, but she is available to answer any questions.
  5. When the student is finished learning, the teacher assesses how well she learned. If the student has adequately learned the subject, she will move on to other learning experiences and resources as directed by the teacher.

This model allows for differentiation of instruction because each student can work on learning resources appropriate to his or her needs. Central to the idea of designing learning experiences is the existence of quality learning resources for students and teachers to use in the learning process. Prior to the Information Age, learning resources were scarcely available, but now there are abundant learning resources for use in education. Teachers should know how to find, evaluate and suggest relevant learning resources for students.

Not only should teachers be able to seek out and use information and learning resources, but students should also learn information literacy skills including finding, evaluating and using relevant information to complete papers, projects and presentations. Information literacy is an important part of the 21st century skills and ISTE national educational technology standards. Do you follow any of these steps as you design learning experiences for your own students?

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