If you’re the band leader you ask more of yourself than anyone else, so they tend to raise the bar for me.-Kristin Hersh
If you look up the definition of the idiom “raising the bar” you will find it means to set a higher standard for people to follow. Leaders in education are looking for innovative ways to improve student achievement by raising the bar.
A growing number of state and local leaders are working to redefine education in the 21st century, embracing technology and implementing creative reforms that help students customize their education. Initiatives such as blended learning, online classes, and virtual schools allow parents and educators to move away from outdated, ‘one-size-fits-all’ coursework and instead personalize curriculum to meet students’ unique needs. This is a hard shift for many who have difficulty with change or who see no reason to change.
iPads have changed the landscape of teaching and learning. The ability to research, create, read, write and expand using these tools looks different for each child if done correctly. I recently read an article that explored the effect of iPads on student achievement. There was no disagreement on the engagement of students, but there were mixed thoughts on the achievement. One teacher said the iPads take up too much of her time and she only uses them in her high school classes a few times a month. (Wait, What?)
Whatever technology you incorporate must be a part of your curriculum. It’s not about the apps. It’s not about having iPad time. When adults in the workplace work on a project or assignment, they have the “what”. They then must decide the “how”. You look at the job and decide what tools are necessary for completing the job. Back in the dark ages when I was in college, we hand-wrote every paper that was turned in. Now, a handwritten essay won’t even be considered and it is turned in electronically. Our students today will be entering the work force in the future. They have to learn how to look at a problem and decide the best tool for solving it.
If we wait until iPads in classrooms raise every test score then they will never be purchased. This is not a magic bullet. We still need quality teaching and best practices. The iPads enable us to raise the bar by meeting individual student needs…but only if the teacher empowers his/ her students to take charge of their own learning.
My grade level team works together to reflect and change. We have high expectations for our students. They help me raise the bar in my own teaching. How are you raising the bar?
Today, we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!