Education is an ever-changing field. There are new ideas and concepts being utilized on a weekly basis! How can we keep up with these new trends and methods? First, we have to know what they are! Secondly, we have to open our minds up to learning about these ideas and reflect upon how we can use them in our own classes.
At NCEA 2017, there are 20 sessions of interest in the topic of Education Trends/Innovation! These sessions are wide-ranging and will connect to all areas of education. From standards-based grading, to coding, to flipping classrooms, to student-led conferences, to STREAM, and even virtual reality, there will be a session that will provide me, and most likely you, with some greater insight into education!
While looking at theses sessions, 4 of them really stood out to me. These sessions include Designing Cross-Curricular Units and STREAM lessons in the Middle School; Create, Communicate, Collaborate, and Critically Think-Incorporating 21st Century Skills in the Classroom; Success for All Students Through the REDO process: Our Story; and Shake Things Up with Makerspace!
One main aspect of education is the collaboration between teacher teams. We need to look at each other and find ways to connect our content to the Catholic faith. We also cannot go through the process of educating our students alone. We need to bring our subjects together and collaborate to find strength in our work. Designing Cross-Curricular Units and STREAM Lessons in Middle School will be an excellent session to build new ideas on how to connect the various subjects into a plan or lesson that combines all the essential areas of learning.
Create, Communicate, Collaborate, and Critically Think-Incorporating 21st Century Skills in the Classroom is another session that I found personally interesting. The 4 Cs have been around, but usually they are placed into individual components. Placing these 4 into one methodology allows for a way of building greater 21st century skills into lessons. Students will become independent and innovative through these new skills and become successful, creative students. The main thing about the 4 Cs is that educators still need to collaborate and demonstrate the importance of connecting the subject areas together!
The next session that seemed interesting to me is the Success for all students through the REDO process: Our Story. I am a true believer in learning from your mistakes. I would not be where I am today if I didn’t learn from my mistakes, so why should I stop another person trying to succeed by not allowing them to learn from their mistakes? I do provide redo opportunities in my classes, but I want to know of more effective ways to provide these opportunities. Where can I improve to help my students improve? Where can I learn from my mistakes to help them learn from theirs?
The final session that I found interesting is Shake Things Up with Makerspace! I have been wanting a Makerspace for my school and/or classroom for awhile. I am still learning what the best means to go about this are and what supplies would be best. I want an environment where my students are engaging in hands-on activities that provide them with an authentic learning experience. Students will do better when they are allowed to be creative, and I want that creativity to begin in my classroom! I am looking forward to learning how to best produce a Makerspace that serves my students!
Being innovative and staying ahead of the trends is critical within a school. Knowing where your students need to be and leading them through ways that best serve them is essential. Do you want to follow the trends or lead the trends? I believe these sessions, along with other sessions that may come up, will allow me to be a trend leader!