This semester two of my classes are part of an innovative project here in WRDSB called the English Digital Learning Project. The project is designed on the ideas of student voice and choice and collaboration.
I love this model as it fits in with my pedagogical beliefs that we should be focusing on our students and their individual interests and even though some of my students felt a bit of apprehension and skepticism about this as “English” class. Now that we are almost half way through the course, I’ve had what I consider to be some major successes.
At parents’ night this past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of talking to some of the parents from those classes and the comments were overwhelmingly supportive of our program. I had a number of parents tell me that their son or daughter was enjoying working in the blended environment and that they appreciated that cell phones could be used for educational purposes not just entertainment. I also heard comments that about students feeling more organized since all their work is digital and in one location.
The most amazing success, however, came in the form of a thank you from one set of parents. They explained how their child is really enjoying working digitally, but more importantly, is loving reading again. The student has also used reading as a means of connecting on a deeper level with the parents and I’m definitely excited that the student is loving reading, but I’m happier that the student has a closer relationship with the family because of reading.
This is by no means a blog post to pat myself on the back. I really just wanted to express one of the unexpected and wonderful outcomes from teaching with this model.