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Peter DeWitt's

Finding Common Ground

A former K-5 public school principal turned author, presenter, and leadership coach, DeWitt provides insights and advice for education leaders. He can be found at www.petermdewitt.com. Read more from this blog.

Education Opinion

Why Do We Need Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today?

By Scott Rocco, Billy Krakower & Brad Currie — February 27, 2016 3 min read
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Today’s guest blog is written by #SATCHAT‘s own Scott Rocco, Billy Krakower, and Brad Currie, Founding Partners of Evolving Educators LLC.

What does the phrase Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today mean to you? To us, along with many educators around the world, it means that school stakeholders exhaust all options to provide and support an innovative learning environment that fosters collaboration, creation, and curation with educational technology. It means identifying the best ways of implementing educational technology in an effort to improve learning and instruction.

Unfortunately, not all classrooms are created equally and today’s classrooms continue to look exactly like they did decades ago. Although some schools have implemented BYOD programs where students have access to netbooks or tablets, the students in those classrooms are using the tablets to complete worksheets, and they are not necessarily having conversations around learning.

Today’s classrooms should look and feel different. They should have more flexible spaces where students can engage in collaboration with peers, and they should be curating content more than they are consuming it.

Besides classrooms and learning, tomorrow’s classrooms today is about a mindset and framework of understanding, and we need to make sure that we are not just talking about it on Twitter or Facebook, but we actually need to be doing something about it.

So more than anything right now...

Tomorrow’s classrooms today is a call to action for stakeholders to stay current with school happenings through social media and on their mobile devices. It’s a message to disconnected educators to take advantage of all the ideas and resources that connected educators are able to utilize on a daily basis. For example, joining a Voxer group to discuss and reflect on the impact 1:1 learning environments. Tomorrow’s classrooms today is a mindset that focuses on best practice teaching techniques that are enhanced by the integration of devices, web applications, and risk-taking. For example, having students teach their classmates about important science concepts using a tool like Blendspace.

Where Can Educators Learn About Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today?
Tomorrow’s Classrooms Today is a conference taking place at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ on Saturday, May 21. This one day educational event will feature over fifty innovative presenters from all over the country, an on-site Makerspace, and a keynote address by world renowned innovator Will Richardson.

There is nothing better than being in the same space with like-minded educators who can help stretch our own thinking. Educators who are currently using these innovative practices in their classrooms...and here’s the thing....they don’t even think they’re innovative. It’s who they are and how they think.

Tomorrow’s classrooms today is all about educators committing to changing learning environments that meet students where they are and arming them with an arsenal of skills that will give them a fighting chance to be successful well into the future.

There are several key characteristics that make up tomorrow’s classrooms today...

  • Autonomy

  • Risk-taking

  • Embracing failure

  • Tinkering

  • Collaboration

  • Real world application

  • Patience

  • Caring attitude

  • Technology integration

In the End
We have established a call to action. We know that there are thousands of educators out there in the world who are creating innovative spaces for their students, but we need more teachers doing it. Sometimes they’re not engaged in innovative practices because they have unsupportive leaders, and other times they just don’t know where to start.

If you take the time to venture out to Rider University on May 21st, we promise you that we will help inspire you to take action, and will provide, not only actionable steps, but also help you create a network of people to keep you going when the going gets tough.

The opinions expressed in Peter DeWitt’s Finding Common Ground are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.