I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday break with your families and that we are all ready to continue on our journey of creating “Multiple Pathways to Success”.
While contemplating the journey to success for our students I have thought many times of the new and exciting ventures that are happening in the world of education. Digital citizenship, flipped classrooms (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojiebVw8O0g&t=1s), standards based grading, blended learning and flexible learning spaces have really changed the face of schools as we are moving through the 21st century. Change is hard on all of us usually because our children are not attending the schools that we went to as children.
Why the changes? Why different “Pathways” for our students? Do you remember when we used to say “computers will be taking over our jobs in the 21st century”? Computers did not take over our jobs; they changed the roles we play in our jobs. Jobs are available but there are not enough skilled applicants to work in the jobs that are available.
Did you know that we can currently order groceries on our phones and they will be delivered to your door via Amazon, Amazon. The jobs that are related to Amazon require a different skill than our manufacturing jobs did in the 80s, 90s and even 2000s. This changes the landscape of what our students are being asked to do “NOW”, not in the future.
What does this mean for our special needs students? What skills will they need? We are contemplating these issues and at the same time our classrooms are changing to meet the “Multiple Pathways to Success”. The changes in education to meet those needs and to develop hire-able students with disabilities cannot bypass our students. We must embrace the change, challenge our students to embrace the change, and make sure that we are preparing our students for “NOW”.
Flipped Classroom – an instructional strategy and a type of learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom.
Digital Citizenship – appropriate, responsible use of technology
Standards Based Grading – measuring and reporting students' proficiency on well-defined course objectives rather than letter grades at the end of each grading/reporting period
Blended Learning - education through both digital and in-person instruction, typically involving some degree of student control over the time, place, or pace at which learning occurs; the strategic integration of teaching, technology, and date to increase personalization, engagement, and mastery of all essential skills