The blog post originally appeared on the OnCourse Systems Blog...
The #Satchat Blog is a recurring retrospective on the tremendous insights and resources shared by educators from around the world. Learn more about the founders at www.evolvingeducators.com.
Recently on #Satchat, educator and author Denis Sheeran guest moderated a discussion on his newly released book titled Instant Relevance. Did you miss out? No problem, you can access the Participate Learn archives by clicking here. There is no doubt that relevance plays a critical role in classrooms, schools, and districts. It's what separates effective learning environments from highly effective learning environments. Throughout the hour long #Satchat discussion, it became abundantly clear that participants had a clear understanding of relevance, but also looking to enhance their toolbox of best practice strategies.
For example, Kevin Cullen, a middle school social studies teacher from New Jersey, tweeted out about the role of sharing personal stories, and Dan McCabe, principal from New York, shared an inspiring quote from Jean Piaget. Educator and Edupreneur Mark Barnes, from Ohio, highlighted the fact that we must meet kids where they are if learning is to be relevant and engaging.
Relevance in the digital world was also discussed in great detail during #Satchat. Kristin Kochheiser, a 6th grade teacher from Michigan, spoke to the roles that ownership and autonomy play in making learning relevant in student’s lives. Access to devices and online tools provide students with an outlet to gather perspectives, show what they about the topic at hand, and to share their work with others. There is no doubt that educators can leverage the power of technology to impact student learning through autonomy and differentiation.
Some of the most impactful parts of the book focus on applicable lesson ideas focusing on such things as the State of the Union Address, food and math, and integrating your surroundings into various units of study. Often what is relevant to students will engage them with the topic at hand in ways once thought unimaginable. Educators from all walks of life need to take risks, step outside of their comfort zone, and really ask themselves the question “is this relevant?”
Relevance will not be instant if educators do not build relationships with students, know their content, and implement effective teaching strategies. Furthermore, relevant learning environments will cease to exist if school and district leaders do not support efforts of teachers and students to do things differently. For educators, it's all about evolving one day at a time so the success of students will be promoted from now until the end of time.
The #Satchat Blog is a recurring retrospective on the tremendous insights and resources shared by educators from around the world. Join the #Satchat conversation every Saturday morning at 7:30 EST on Twitter. #Satchat is moderated by Brad Currie, Billy Krakower, and Scott Rocco, Founding Partners of Evolving Educators LLC and the co-authors of 140 Twitter Tips for Educators. Learn more about #Satchat and other relevant professional growth opportunities by visiting www.evolvingeducators.com.
Brad Currie, Billy Krakower, and Scott Rocco.