Archive for February, 2012

Getting into the zone

Posted on February 24, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The Innovation Zone (iZone) is a community of innovative New York City schools committed to personalizing learning. The iZone project grabbed my attention as it challenges many of the assumptions we work to in education and therefore here at Totton College. Their starting point was to question the ‘givens’ that structure education such as the shape of the timetabled day, the need for students to be in school/College at all and to explore what technology has to offer. The key theme is absolute no-compromises-innovation.

So in izone schools digital resources supplement a teacher’s instruction. This means that students may spend 2 hours a day of what was traditional classroom teaching/learning time at a PC (but with guidance available) so the result is more blended personalised learning with careful individual tracking. Teachers have more time to plan lessons and often work collaboratively with colleagues to plan lessons to create an engaging curriculum and focus on each student’s needs. Have a look at the iZone site to see some of the practical changes that have been implemented and how these have had impact on learner engagement and success.

So this led me to wondering which seemingly ‘fixed boundaries’ we should be challenging Totton.

  • Should we be thinking about incorporating less ‘seat time’ into learning and spending more time planning learning?
  • Should we fundamentally change the College day?
  • How and where should a ‘lesson’ be delivered or should we move away from the concept of lessons and think only about ‘learning’?

The Principals managing  iZone schools are clear that the quality of the teachers is what matters (hear hear!). How could we approach our content heavy, highly prescriptive specifications differently?

We seem often, inevitably, too focused on the specification content and forget that modern technology and the flexibility and choices it brings is part of how our learners live and function and expect to work. So if we started with a blank slate… Comments please!

Alex Banks

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Welcome to Totton Learning!

Posted on February 10, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Welcome to Totton Learning, where we will share, debate and turn the spotlight on 21st Century teaching for learning.

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