Thursday, April 26, 2012

Calling for Examples of Best Teaching Practices

So the other day… I was trying to find video clips illustrating best teaching practices.  You know, examples of actual educators in front of actual students in an actual classroom modeling a best practice (in my case example of a math classroom in a 1:1 learning environment).  I assumed a quick Google search would give me pages of results ….  should be pretty easy in our media rich world where we as educators are ready and willing to work on our craft.  Apparently I was mistaken in this assumption. 

I did find page of videos with an adult talking through wordy PowerPoint slides to an audience of adults taking notes about best teaching practices.  I did find videos of newscasts with talking heads discussing the merits of one educational paradigm over another.  I did find vendor advertising explain why their product would make a practice feasible based on statistical data they collected at a school.  What I did not find was an actual classroom teacher, in a real learning environment modeling a teaching practice.  No wonder legislators under estimate the value of a professional educator in the classroom – we’re creating very little evidence of our work.

This sharing becomes more important with the burst of innovative practices - Flipped Teaching, Project Based Learning, Discovery/Inquiry, Paper-less Classrooms, BYOT/D.  We can talk about new paradigms but what do they look like?  What are the students doing in these classrooms?  How is the space arranged?  What resources are needed?  All excellent questions that someone out there can answer with a phone video camera and YouTube (Teacher Tube, Posterous, Google Video, Vimeo) account.

It’s time to start intentionally sharing and modeling best practices with one another.  Not behind a pay wall or vendor product, but really engage and share what works with fellow educators.  I know in our little world of Bring Your Own Technology/Device that @MyTakeOnIt (aka Jeremy Angoff) is creating a wiki of shared resources here.  This would be a great place to post pictures, videos, lesson plans of Bring Your Own Technology in the classroom.  Even feel free to use the comments section and post something on this blog!  I challenge us all to look at the context of our learning environment and pick one best practice to  document in some manner of media to share with other educators, parents, students and legislators.  I know I am challenging myself (and of course @jdferries) to do the same - thus the new pictures in this post of actual students in our actual school building going about their actual business as students.  

**** And if anyone has a good video of a high school or college math classroom in a 1:1 learning environment please send the link to @40ishoracle or post below :-)

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