Monday, April 18, 2011

How students want to be taught

I have often throughout my teaching career striven to teach students the way that they learn. I take pride in providing a fun and engaging education for students. While I often guess or ask a select few students for their opinions on projects (and luckily have been correct in the past), this time, after having students read an excerpt from Don Tapscott's Grown Up Digital for their NetGenEd project, I decided to have students blog about it. Students consistently mentioned in their blogs that teachers who teach the way that they were taught should rethink their methods. Following are some passages from student blogs regarding education:

"This topic is something i feel very strongly about. After reading about Tapscott's 8 norms, i really realized teachers I come in contact with every day need to change the way they teach. We are in the 21st century in the year 2011. This is the future! So i have to wonder, why are they still teaching the way they did 20 years ago? School is about the STUDENTS. If that means changing up the way you teach to actually get the students involved and interested, then do it. There shouldn't be a question about it. We are bored in the classes that are still using worksheets from 15 to 20 years ago. Everything is evolving in the way we live, so why isn't our education, the most important thing, not doing the same? Interaction is key."

"The first things that teachers must realize is that instead of being angry for our push for complete freedom in the classroom, teachers should embrace the fact that we enjoy taking charge of our own situations and put that into their classrooms."

"Lessons should be entertaining, fast, and collaborative."

"For several years teachers have been using the same teaching techniques. They stand in front of a classroom and lecture about the given topic. Students are supposed to write down and take notes of what the teacher is saying. They give you heavy books and handout worksheets for you to read a[nd] fill out. What theses teachers need to understand is that although this an effective method, times have changed and students learn in a different way now. I believe that with the use of technology we can improve education greatly. This a more modern and effective way than just the old lecture and book work. Give the students something they are familiar with, and something that they will want to use. . . . If we can get teachers to upgrade their lesson plans and teaching styles we can prepare our students better for the future."

"Teachers should try to use the internet for some topics when they're teaching. If they find a video on YouTube, let's say, then they can show their students the related video and get them involved more."

"The importance of personalizing a students education could be the difference from someone graduating and dropping out."

Having honest discussions about Education with students is critical. We need to keep in touch with How students learn as well as what peeks their interests. Lessons need to prepare students for the 21st Century Skills so they are prepared for the next stage in life.