The Global Fountain of Knowledge

A Grattan Institute study this year, revealed that 40 per cent of Australian students are passively disengaged from school.

I wonder how I would respond this disappointing trend in engagement?

What seems lacking is learner motivation and connection. Professor John Hattie, director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne says “strong teacher-student relationships are crucial… and additionally, Project Based Learning (PBL) can engage students cognitively by connecting them to the world outside the classroom, inviting them to investigate authentic problems.

The possibilities for sharing and learning have changed.

By stimulating curiosity and encouraging learners to envisage a purpose for learning beyond the four walls of the classroom, inspiring learning can be shaped. By opening discussion about global issues, learners quickly see their purpose in today’s world and no longer see the classroom as the fountain of all knowledge.

First, become familiar with some common tools such Twitter, Facebook, Seesaw, Blackboard Collaborate, Edmodo groups, Google docs, Sway, blogposts, WhatsApp, Skype groups, Padlet and Global Projects including Flat Connections.  As educators, we cannot expect to be confident facilitators unless we have some working knowledge of digital tools.

Now for a purpose?  What would learners like to find out?  What do learners wish to say?  Learners easily adapt to online communication and the inspiration to seek answers to their own questions.

Martha Payne, a young school girl from Scotland, started her blog, NeverSeconds, as a writing project.  Her blog which involved school children across the globe, went viral through interest and curiosity. With a reason to write, learners found their voice and expressed themselves in their unique style.  A global audience is waiting-an audience of varying cultures, ages, faiths, gender, beliefs and experience.

Learning then becomes authentic and increases motivation and engagement. Success can be shared with the school community and audiences beyond. You and your younger learners will be enthralled at the possibilities for engagement when a shared purpose and involvement of authentic situations are established.

Let me know what you have tried.