As my first year of teaching comes to a close, I find this to be an excellent time to reflect on what I have learned and been able to put into practice. In following posts I will discuss what I believe to be staples in education and what I attempt to maximize in my classroom: relevance, interactivity, and ownership.
When I was a student in Middle Years and Senior Years, I was constantly enthralled with assignments that were relevant to my life and my interests. With relevant material and activities, I felt like I could really show my teachers what I was capable of accomplishing. After graduating from High School and receiving a undergraduate degree, I began to pursue a career as an educator. During my time in the Faculty of Education at Brandon University, I made an effort to create projects and future lesson plans that would appeal to the interests and lifestyles of those I may be teaching.
I always knew using technology in my classroom would be one of the ways I would make learning relevant to my students. Technology is something students are constantly engaged in, whether it be videos, music, computer games, cell phones, or social media. It is my belief that bringing these things into the classroom will increases student engagement and make their educational experiences relevant.
Even though many students are driven and interested in the advances and possibilities of technology, this is not the only tool a teacher can use to increase relevance in student learning. As I discovered early in my pursuit to become a teacher, relevance in learning lies in the choices we give our students. Encouraging students to use their learning styles and interests to choose how they carry-out assignments and demonstrate their knowledge and ability will allow them to get the most out of each experience.
What are other effective ways have you found to increase relevance in the classroom, using technology or otherwise?