[Editor’s note: This post by Alan November, written exclusively for eSchool Media, is part of a series of upcoming articles by this notable education thought leader. Check back later this month for the next must-read post!]
Have you ever taught a lesson really, really well—but not all of your students got it right on the test? Or, as a student, were you ever surprised that you completely blew a question on a test? Stacey Roshan is one of those teachers who cannot accept that her students fail when the material has been covered in class. Stacey’s response to this universal dilemma is to leverage emerging technologies to learn more about how, when, and why her students make mistakes—and her techniques have led to deep learning of difficult math concepts.
Many of Stacey’s processes are counterintuitive to how teachers were taught to teach. In her blended classroom, there is less transfer of knowledge from the teacher, more conversations of problem solving among the students, and more listening and learning by the teacher about how students learn. All of this represents a major shift of control to the students, resulting in deep learning on their part. Various tools and a robust online community makes all of this possible and manageable.
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Stacey teaches AP calculus at the Bullis School, an independent coed day school in Maryland. Stacey’s journey to shifting control began with the simple step of recording her lessons with screencasting software to enable her students to have limitless review of the material. Students were helped by this video library, but many still struggled when it came time to take the test.
To facilitate deep learning, she then shifted her thinking to learn more about how her students learn rather than focusing on how to deliver her knowledge.