When she and her dad played the other night, they made sure that the heads and bodies matched (same color) as well as all bugs had the same sets of legs (shoes, skates ,…).
Tonight when she was on her own, she pulled a green head off and put it on a red body.
Then she looked at me and said, “It is still a bug even if it doesn’t match.”
Her small comment got me thinking.
We may not do things the same way but as teachers we are working towards the same goal: student learning.
We use many different tools, technology-related or not.
It is not about what tools we use, but it is about what we are trying to achieve.
Our classes look different; our students are different; our ways of teaching are different; so the way we “build our bugs” is different, but they are still bugs (hopefully bugs that have learned something).
Over the last few weeks, I have been involved in training in the school system where I work. About 300 or so of our teachers are planning for Mobile Learning Communities (MLC) in their classrooms this year.
There are many ways the MLC program is like a BYOD program, but there are also many ways that it is very different.
The focus of MLC is not on the device that students may or may not bring into the classroom.
The focus is on the LEARNING.
The focus is on the RELATIONSHIPS.
The focus is on developing, supporting, and encouraging a Community of Learners.
We (all of us…teachers, students, administrators, parents) are in this together.
Yes, we are going to make mistakes.
But we also are going to learn.
When I heard my daughter talk about making bugs in different ways, the Mobile Learning Communities are what came to mind.
Those communities are not going to look the same in a 4th grade classroom as they are in an 11th grade English class or an advanced Commercial Arts class.
And that is OK.
Communities (in a classroom or not) are different because communities are made by the people involved in them.
Communities are different based on where they are.
Communities are different based on where they want to go.
Communities are different based on interest, focus, and commitment.
But communities are still communities.
And learning is learning, especially when it is not the same.