Leveraging Time

Edu Gridlock Part 4:

This post in the  Gridlock  series will focus on leveraging time, but first, some context. I have been fortunate to have Dean Shareski in my PLN and enjoy the occasional face to face conversation.  The two most recent conversations, at Educon, and in this panel discussion: The Future of Learning , the notion of leveraging schools and students to really do something special in education.  While the full panel discussion is very worthwhile, I have set the video below to start at a relevant point for the purpose of this post. Take a moment and listen to for 2 minutes.

I have been reflecting about the idea captured in the video to the context of personalizing education.  It seems to me that one element of personalizing learning would be to tackle the challenge the barriers of timetabling. I believe one strategy to improve student learning would be to create a flexible yet seamless approach for students to interact with the teachers they need to spend time with, and when they need it – not when the class is scheduled within a  fixed timetable approach.

Imagine for a moment, a school scheduled on the premise that all students would take half of their subjects in online e-learning or blended learning (say 2 of 4 courses in a semestered arrangement). Rather than emphasizing working remotely, students could be in the school during these times, at least strongly encouraged,  per say, but not locked into fixed class time. Teachers could be available for F2F student help, tutorials etc. as needed rather than teaching formal classes — more of a flexible mentoring approach at a time or pace that the student requires.

Creating this flexible time could also be used to support student wellness with various self directed activity options, noting that a high percentage of students enjoy self directed non competitive recreational activity.  This is also the type of flex time that would allow the exploration of the points Dean made in the video – doing something special, making an impact.

Now for the challenge:

Zip line guide

It is easy the allow your thinking to drift into the what about this, what about that, how would we … Try to put that aside for a moment, stay student focused and let the idea of a more personalized student centred, flexible learning journey percolate.

Percolated

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and ideas about creating and leveraging flex time for learning.  Please comment or connect on Twitter: @markwcarbone 

Acknowledgements:
Creative Commons photo credit: ziptheusa (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ziptheusa) and lockergnome (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lockergnome)

~Mark
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