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At the Intersection

GingerLewman's picture

As I'm working with educators across the US and Kansas, I find that many of us are trying to figure out how to juggle our new technology investments with the new Common Core Standards. I get asked about where will they fit together. How we can ensure that we're using the high-dollar investments to the best purpose to meet the standards.

At the same time, we're also hearing that Common Core will change instruction. It will change how our rooms and buildings work. It will change how teachers interact with kids. It will change how kids will interact with the curriculum. But what does that mean? What will it look like? It can't be chaos. It's got to be some sort of logical method or we'll be in even worse shape than we're in now.

Yes, it's a confusing world with many more questions than answers, (thank goodness)!

In an effort to figure out how this all works together, I created a little sketch that helped me visualize how it all fits together. I'd like to share the explanation with you:

  • I see the Common Core as the vehicle we're all in. States have adopted this vehicle and as educators, we are all now inspecting our own rides. Does it have a transmission I'm used to or am I going to have to shift gears differently? Are the seats different? Is there enough trunk space? Essentially, we're discovering if it will fit the needs of our school families.
  • Once we have that car, we have to figure out how we're going to use it or how we're going to get it moving. I see technology as the fuel that provides the energy that gets us down the road. Sure, we could leave technology out of the picture, but the car isn't going to travel as well with us pushing it by hand. The proper use of technology allows our passengers, our school families, to go farther and experience more of life as we go. 
  • Finally, once we are familiar with the features and we've decided how we're going to get it moving, we can then choose to drive/push that car through pastures and ditches, or we can drive on roads, which are a much more effective way to get places in a car. I see Project Based Learning as being that road, or actually, a network of roads. Because in order to get to many different destinations, and that being getting our kids to their futures (none of them end up at the same place, do they?) there are many roads we can travel. Not all of us are going to exactly the same place all at the same time, nor do we need to travel the exact same roads, even if we are going to the same places. Someone might rather take the scenic route and some may prefer the super-highway. I see Project Based Learning the smoother and multi-functional option for us to get to where we want to go.

What do you think? Have I hit the mark or am I off target with my visualizations?
Is there anything you'd add or take away from the picture for your own vision?


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