The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

This morning I had a somewhat disheartening conversation with a good friend.   We get together every week to talk about education, what we see, our point of view, and give push back on ideas. He commented that he doesn't read his Twitter stream because there is a lot of noise. Educators are repeatedly talking about the same things and the conversation isn't changed. Topics I see repeatedly are reform,  government oversight, 5-100 best ways to do something, the best apps, and more. The lack of anything new and innovative is disconcerting.

A keen focus for me is assessing if my own work as an educator is innovative. What creeps in is the noise I hear about how to do this or that or use this or that. The number one predictor of an engaging classroom is the strength of pedagogy being used. I have no specific data to support that statement but I do have hours of teacher coaching experience. My Spidey Sense tells me that knowing how to teach really well is the only key to student achievement. The teacher must be soundly aware of the approach being used to engage learning and learners. If this is absent, there is nothing a teacher can do deepen learning.

It is often said that technology deepens learning. As a tech integration specialist this is true but there is one condition that has to be met - strong pedagogical practices. Tech doesn't automatically make better learners in fact, it can make more distracted learners. The teacher must make the standards the focus. With a clear vision for learning, teachers use tech as a seamless and transparent tool to deepen learning. I am aware that some see tech as the panacea to cure our learning woes. This couldn't be further from the truth.

What about noise? There is too much distraction in the professional life of a teacher while in the classroom. Collect this data, use this formative, differentiate this, email, create online learning spaces, and make sure every kid is wildly engaged. Noise is the stuff that creates pedagogical confusion because the essential element of what educators do is being lost to other louder channels. Pedagogy is being washed out in favor of irrelevant noise like vendor assessments, apps, technology, textbooks, and testing. This noise drives away the notion that sound practice is the foundation of learning.

What's innovative then? Find your grassroots again, find your pedagogy. What should you be using to engage students in real learning? How will you change after you reflect? How will students know you are filtering out the noise and getting back to what is essential? The only real innovative practice to get to is knowing and using sound pedagogy.

Views: 165


You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN


Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

John Maker commented on Catrin Cooper's blog post Top Ways Computer Games Effect Student Creativity Choices
"Good video! I agree that some video games can be useful. As for me I prefer to play casino games on online services like There are many cool modern games, video slots are my favorite! Highly recommend to try!"
Christy Glore joined Shelly Terrell's group


Join this group to extend the discussion of edchat topics!
Dec 3
John Maker commented on Regina Adams's blog post To let or not to let your children to play gambling games?
"I think gambling for young kids is not a good idea. But in general I think it can be like a normal hobby. I play for fun quite often with paypal casino nz and don't spend many money on this. Now you can play even with $1. Such games are good…"
Dec 2
John Maker commented on Veronica Hunt's blog post 10 Top Essay Writing Tools To Ease Your Students’ Lives
"Hi there! Good post, these tips are really useful! I also can share one website which can help you to save time when you writing essay. It is StudyMoose, here you can find many essay examples. Like example check these military essays…"
Dec 1
John Maker commented on Jennifer Broflowski's blog post Symptoms You Should Never Ignore.
"Good post! I also can say that you should pay attention on your mental health. Almost all our problems are from this..If you suffer from insomnia, depression or stress you should do something with this! As for me I found good decision, it is CBD…"
Nov 23
Julia Galkina updated their profile
Nov 19
John Maker commented on Thomas Whitby's video

Dan Pink on Motivation in Business.

"Great video! I also want to ask question about accounting for business. I read that modern companies prefer to hire remote accountants for tax filing and other work. Is it good variant? I have small business in Singapore and I want to try services…"
Nov 18
Ruth Herman Wells posted an event

Portland OR Teacher Classroom Management Course at Courtyard by Marriott

October 8, 2020 to October 9, 2020
Management problems in the classroom ends here. This Teacher Classroom Management Course delivers hundreds of strategies for students who struggle with motivation, depression, work refusal, violence and more. Visit our website for more information, or via email ( or call toll-free to 1-800-545-5736See More
Nov 13

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service