Empowering Learners

I intended to write about the recent talk and data surrounding science education both locally and nationally but stumbled upon this Education Week chat that grabbed my attention and deserves some props.  The session, “From Engagement to Empowerment:  How 21st Century Tools Put Students in Charge of Their Learning”, featured Darren Kuropatwa, educator and founder of the K-12 Online Conference.  Here are my take-aways:

  • “All voices speak at the same volume online.”
  • “Technology helps students see their thinking.”
  • An interesting way to use blogs – “Scribe blogs” – each day a student is selected to summarize what he/she learned in school that day, with enough detail that an absent student could get up to speed.  So, essentially, the students are creating a running log of learning over the course of the year.  Kuropatwa describes this as a “distributive approach” to technology use.    
  • He also discussed how he uses blogs to identify student misconceptions and to help students reflect.  He referenced a resource http://kidblog.org/home.php as a good, safe option for K-5 students.
  • Interesting science resource –  Symphony of Science offers unique science music videos, good to pique student interest.

If these take-aways resonate with you, you may want to review some of Kuropatwa’s presentations.  He provides links to them in the chat.