It was a great week to learn that other educators are aware of the need to change the educational institution. No longer is the teacher the sole provider of teaching, the lecturer, the grader, and the authoritarian in the class. And the student is not a passive observer, an individual learner, a paper and pencil worker, and textbook serf. Teachers need to be a facilitator of learning for students, embrace the idea that they can learn from students, and take a more back stage presence in the learning process of students. Students need to be more collaborative with other students, learn from each other, and have some ownership of their learning by taking the initiative to have a growth mindset to learn what they need to be successful in any endeavor. This is all possible by digital technology and the use of makerspaces.
This past week during our makerspace session, it was great to be able to collaborate and ask each other questions during our project with the Arduino. My project was building a digital hourglass, and after completing the circuit and programming the code, I had to wait 10 minutes for the first LED light to turn on. I wouldn’t know for 10 minutes if my code or circuit was correct! One of my classmates suggested I change the time interval to a shorter time, and hearing that suggestion, I did change the code to have an interval of about a second. It worked! All six LEDs lit up as programmed. I didn’t have to wait an hour to see if it worked. Thanks to a classmate. I, too, was able to help my classmate on another project I completed the week before. Collaboration works.
But as an educator, I can say this method works, but it is totally different for current students to see themselves as independent learners that can collaborate to increase their learning. I see the majority of students have the impression that it is the teachers’ duty to help them, not each other. Yes, some students do engage in this behavior, but it is not the norm.
I hope we can change the roles of educators and students in our education system. I believe it will increase achievement and success for all.