It’s All About Context


I am lucky enough to work in a place that is not lacking in resources. Students have 1:1 iPads and teachers have Macbooks and iPads, not to mention classrooms required AppleTV. However, not all teachers are excited about having this technology at their fingertips. Many teachers blame iPads for the reason their students are disengaged. I have had teachers tell me, in all seriousness, that we need to get rid of the iPads and go back to pen and paper. 


In my mind, these teachers are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. They still want to lecture and give multiple choice formative assessments. They believe that the students have to meld to the teacher’s way of doing things. 


However, this does not take into account the context of our students. Our students do not live in a bubble. They have their cell phones in their hands almost every minute they are not with us. They spend hours watching Tik Toks and playing video games. Ignoring the experiences of their everyday life and expecting them to walk back in time to when we were students every time they walked into our classroom discredits us. 


One of my education heroes, Lainie Rowell, co-wrote an article with Katie Martin called “Evolving Through Connections, Feedback, and Relevancy.” In the article they argue that “Great educators and great practices can evolve and adapt to a changing context. Evolving in education is about aligning our practices in education with the world we live in.” Whether we like it or not, our world is rapidly changing. Ignoring these changes in the classroom does a disservice to our students. 


Rowell and Martin go on to say, “It also means that we have to let go of what no longer works, and continue to evolve to meet learners where they are. But how do we meet learners where they are? We must start by connecting to our learners to nurture the whole child and build community.”


What can you, or what have you had to, let go of that no longer works? How did this benefit your students? 

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