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Student-Centric Learning vs. Traditional Instruction

What technology has done for education in K-12 classrooms nationwide and worldwide for that matter, has been an unexpected marvel which most would agree. However, the shift brings a completely new way of student learning. Some experts are saying that teachers need to take on more of a coach’s role than an instructor in the classroom.

New reports like a recent Ed Tech Magazine article are linking the most progressive districts with their adoption of student-centric learning. Student-centric learning differs vastly from traditional instruction because it allows students to learn from each other rather that listen to a teacher who prepared a lecture for each day.

“Teachers really need to understand this instructional shift,” said Sally Lindgren, director of technology and innovation for the Great Prairie Area Education Agency in Burlington, Iowa.

“They must become 21st-century learners before they can be 21st-century teachers.”

For the most part, student-centric learning involves breaking students down into groups which enable them to put their ideas together in order to troubleshoot, problem solve and gain the different perspectives their classmates hold. This changes the role that a teacher takes on and puts them in a position where they can find ways to help the team of students, whether it’s source material or technological devices.

“There are so many digital educational tools today that teachers are in the best position to sort through all the information and guide students to the ones that will be the most effective,” said Richard Benvenuti, executive director of the Division of Instructional Technology, Instructional Materials and Library Media Services at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, according to the report.

Student-centric learning doesn’t completely eliminate lectures. If teachers feel that the group needs to make improvements, the report claims that going back to a lecture format is never out of the question. The article extensively identifies ways in which teachers can gain a better grasp of the proper technological tools for the classrooms, as well as a comprehensive list of some of the most popular tools used by the “progressive districts.”

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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