"When I grip the wheel too tight, I find I lose control."-Steve Rapson
For all my fine talk of "student voice" and being partners in learning, I realized the other day that I'm still in pretty tight control of my high school class. As the teacher, I certainly should set some parameters (not walls!), but there is room for student input and a bit of shared decision-making.
Once I'm sure the kids are clear on information literacy basics like website evaluation and source citation, I'll let them work on mini-research projects - alone or in small groups, their choice - as practice for a larger project later in the school year. They will need to choose a current events issue to focus on, but the shape their project takes will be up for discussion.
I've already told the group that they'll be helping me to master the fine art of podcasting. I bought a relatively inexpensive MP3 player specifically for the Current Events class and would be willing to let students borrow it for project use. Other techtools will be introduced, as appropriate.
Today, I turned over my digital camera to some of them during our class. Their shots weren't very different from the ones I usually take (except, of course, that now I'm also in the picture) but I'm hoping that they'll get more creative as we go on.
Not a radical instructional strategy but, hey, it's a start!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."- Mario Andretti