Monday Success: Freedom Reflections

Apr 22, 2013 by

Last week, I helped to administer a three day professional development on learning disabilities in Singapore.  There were 125 teachers in attendance and I was lucky enough to work with 22 of them in breakout sessions throughout the workshop.  Fantastic teachers!  As I tweeted, one of my takeaways is that most teachers face the same challenges but excellence is all over the globe- their creativity, dedication, and commitment to students was inspiring.

One of the things the teachers were required to do during the breakout sessions was to submit two reflections on their experiences in the workshop. While the reflections were initially assigned to be written reflections, I altered the assignment so the teachers were asked to submit one written reflection and one reflection that was anything but written… meaning they could share their thoughts doing anything BUT writing.  They could use any other tool (except PowerPoint) to show what they learned.  Some of the teachers were, of course, slightly intimidated by the assignment.  They groaned (like many of us would!) because they were going to be forced to do something new instead of just jot down meandering thoughts on a piece of paper and submit it for points.

However, as the reflections came in over the next week, here are a few of the comments I received:

“This forced me to think and be creative.  Although I didn’t want to do it, I ended up enjoying something new.”

“This took a lot of time but I learned a new skill that I had been wanting to learn anyway.  Videotaping my family, editing it, and uploading the video to you was a good experience.”

“FINALLY, I get to do something that isn’t just standard writing (which I was never really good at- even as a student).”

“My students use Popplet all the time- I am glad I got to use it too.”

“My kids make cartoons all the time- I decided to try it for this reflection.  Kind of cool, thank you.”

Teachers and I often discuss giving students the freedom to demonstrate their learning in multiple ways using technology.  Reflections are an easy way to do it.  Stay Crazy!


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