Do you remember these things? They used to be everywhere! Now, you can hardly find them. Oh how times have changed. Take a moment and watch the video below about the phone booth and pay phones.
Sadly, there are some of you reading this right now that have never made a call from a phone booth... or even a pay phone for that matter. Now, please do not think that I am wanting to see the return of phone booths and pay phones. Instead, I am taking a moment to point out how something that was once so common place for so long has slowly disappeared from the American landscape.
What does this have to do with an education related blog you ask? Everything.
Did you catch the discussion at the 3:29 mark about the cell phone stealing the thunder of the pay phone? The response was the cell phone stole the relevance of the pay phone. It was too laborious to make phone calls from a pay phone as compared to a cell phone. Think about that. You had to be able to find a phone, hope it worked, have the right amount of pocket change on hand (yes, pocket change did serve a purpose once), and then hope the person you were calling was physically there to answer their phone when you called. No wonder cell phones were invented.
The same is true for education. The way we have been "doing school" has been the same for over 100 years. Slowly, that has been changing. Instead of seeing as many lectures, desks in rows, and rote learning we are seeing things like collaborative learning activities, flexible student grouping, student collaboration, student choice in learning, and on demand learning all in the world of education. The way students and parents want school to look and feel is different than how you and I went to school.
Continue to change how the teaching and learning looks in the classroom. This does not mean that lectures and knowledge based learning does not have a place in education because it absolutely does. What this means is we cannot rely on lecture and knowledge based learning to be the ONLY WAY we expect teaching and learning to occur in our classrooms. We must take the knowledge gained and use that to fuel the more engaging and exciting approaches to learning. Students should want to come to your classroom to apply their knowledge in new and different ways, not sitting as passive "learners" just taking notes and completing worksheets.
What we cannot do is allow something else to come along and make what we do in classrooms irrelevant. Not possible you say? Ask the phone booth I say.
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
7th & 8th Grade
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