In the past few months, I have found myself very interested in the conversations happening in some of districts about the removal of letter grades on both formal and informal assessments. The topic resonates with me as it seems this 101 point scale we hold on to so dearly actually does very little to enhance and support meaningful learning for students. I am excited about what is happening in districts like Maple Ridge and Surrey and hope that we continue to have this important conversation with educators, parents, students and other stakeholders so that one day we have a reporting system that aligns with purposeful learning.
Seems to me that the more and more prevalent technology becomes in schools, the more and more important it is that the conversation focus on learning and not on the technology itself. Now I understand that people need to actually have access to technology and be comfortable in its use, but my wish for 2014 is that the technology can get out of the way of the learning. That it becomes a seamless part of what the teachers do, the students do, and the learning is what remains the primary focus. Far too often, the conversation is about how much or what type of technology we have. My hope is that we continue to have the important conversation, which is LEARNING.
Learning is best when it's enjoyable. So is work. In fact you'd be hard pressed to find an activity that isn't better when your having fun. So as we move into 2014, I want schools to be genuinely enjoyable places for kids AND adults. Let's focus on inquiry and passion based learning. Let's connect learning to the broader world so it is meaningful and has purpose. Let's be sure we all have the opportunity to explore and discover so that a passion for life long learning is fully developed.