Spring Break 2020 – not the relaxing holiday I was anticipating.
On March 17th the provincial government announced that all in-class instruction was being suspended indefinitely throughout BC. School districts were suddenly being tasked with turning our primarily face-to-face teaching paradigm on its head — to move everyone into a virtual teaching platform by the end of Spring Break.
To be clear — we were not being asked to move the entire district to an on-line platform. We were not creating a system of on-line teachers and learners. We were being tasked with creating remote learning during a crisis.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will recall that I’m a big fan of taking risks to make things better in our classrooms and schools. How better to show my belief in this statement than me writing about technology in our schools. It’s hard to find a more polarizing issue in the world of public education.
So, let me put it right out front — I believe in the power of technology to make a difference in student learning. Full stop.
I view technology as that tool that makes curriculum accessible to more children in more ways than if we didn’t have it available. Some examples that come to mind include:
e-resources that can be adapted to varying reading levels making curricular content more accessible;
reading intervention software that helps build neural pathways to strengthen the reading centers in the brain;
math programs that provide just the right amount of practice to master basic skills before moving to the next topic
Being a teenager is difficult work — both for the teenager and those who surround them. Mixed within this tumultuous life event are their emotions — those effervescent expulsions that can sometimes leave us perplexed as to what just happened. Brain research may have a possible explanation.
Recent research points to the developing teenage brain and its inexperience at recognizing multiple emotions simultaneously as a possible reason for this sometimes bewildering display of fireworks. Learning and the Brain (one of my favourite sites to go looking for neat stuff related to learning) recently posted a blog by Andrew Watson which highlighted this fascinating research on teenager emotions.
At the heart of the study is an analysis of why teenagers are so frustrating at times, especially when they are experiencing multiple emotions simultaneously.