In preparing for an upcoming series of EdTech Workshops in Victoria, I thought I’d take a look more closely at the learning framework, to see where Web2.0 tools and enquiry approaches can be aligned in the focus curriculum. The workshops I’m involved with this year are not orbital, we are looking to find pedagogical imperatives and deliver practical ‘take home’ ideas and approaches to renew curriculum. Doing, rather than talking about doing.
Victorian Essential Learning Standards, are quite explicit about the need to engage students is range of activities in it’s motherhood statements.
- the processes of physical, personal and social development and growth
- the branches of learning reflected in the traditional disciplines; and
- the interdisciplinary capacities needed for effective functioning within and beyond school.
These statements are not surprisingly saying that learning should be reflected though blended learning in such a way that it develops an prepares the students for their lives beyond school. Although it refers to ‘traditional disciplines’, in this it is referring to way in which we identify the component contexts; English; Maths; Science etc., and not suggesting that the method to teach it is ‘traditional’.
It goes on to talk about the future and an integral part of learning today.
- manage themselves as individuals and in relation to others
- understand the world in which they live; and
- act effectively in that world.
These things clearly represent the ‘softer skills’. Collaboration; Co-Operation; Co-Production and Global Citizenship. Perhaps most significantly the framework states “There is, however, no single approach. Schools have responsibility for, and control over, the educational program they develop to enable their students to achieve the standards.” It offers clear advice that “Schools may, choose to incorporate the interdisciplinary and physical, personal and social strands of the Standards into existing discipline-based subjects and broaden their focus in this way.”
So in approaching a series of workshops, to help teachers enrich their classrooms, the learning framework already provides for and encourages for 21st Century Learning. Perhaps the challenge is then to enrich current frameworks, and provide better, more specific translation into classroom methods. What do these things actually look like? What kind of technology can be used to assess it? How can we create a chain of incremental engaging lessons, that not only comply – but exploit the offer made in VELS.