I don’t believe every class should be about changing the world, but if we are serious about “The Deep Learning Competencies,“, we need to think about real-life projects. The Deep Learning Competencies, better known as the 6 C’s, are the skill sets each and every student needs to achieve and excel in, in order to flourish in today’s complex world. COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY, CRITICAL THINKING, CITIZENSHIP, CHARACTER, COMMUNICATION.
This project we started in the autumn of 2017 is an example of that. The topics we touched were Sustainable Economic Growth, Employment, and Decent Work for All. Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls. Quality education, life on land and below water. We had discussions about human trafficking, the conditions for animals we eat. We had discussions with a state senator and the mayor of Long Island.
Another example of a real-life project is the book my students wrote in 2012, “Connected Learners”. I am constantly looking for other, not too complicated ways to do this. I have now published books with my students both on Amazon and using iBook Author. Since Amazon is for all platforms, that is the easy way to go even if iBook Author might offer more functionality.
I know there are a lot of other ways to work with the 6 c’s, and it will be my priority to investigate and learn more this next school year.
Many teachers at my school are concerned that the use of technology it taking the focus away from content, and that content should always be our priority. I do not disagree. Without knowledge technology we can use in school, like publishing, creating and fancy software can be compared to the wrapping of the gift. I have I admit I have struggled to explain why even so, I think technology is vital. Then I read this article about extending your reach. And that kind wraps it up in three words. Because if you are reading this article, that is what you are doing. And if you are helping your students reach out and participate in conversations with students in other parts of the world, then that is what you are doing. Helping your students to extend their reach. And if we are learning from each other’s experiences, learning together, then we are using technology the way it can be used. We are extending our reach, realizing that together we know more than we do on our own. And I like that idea a lot.