Unleashing the student within

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. But I knew the woman I wanted to become.” Diane von Furstenberg

Her career was an accident in her life, but as a result of it, she became more confident. “To be confident makes you beautiful, makes you happy, makes you fulfilled.”

When I heard Diane von Furstenberg’s words in this commercial last night, it struck me that this is what we want for our students.

In his keynote this morning at BLC08, John Davitt touched on similar themes.

‘Students get assessed but don’t get noticed.’ Unleash the wonder. ‘Open the bandwidths of talent.’ Can you find three people who seek information in the same way? . . . There are many paths to the same destination.’ — John Davitt (from Liveblog of notes) (Ustream of the presentation)

It isn’t about the tools, but it is about what stories inside of our students that the tools can unleash (just as the film of the commercial unleashes for us a better understanding of von Furstenberg.)

It’s about the happy accidents along the way, about the way that creating a more interactive atmosphere in our schools allows our students to create, explore, and share themselves in a more engaged way. It’s about the way we bring the passion of each person involved into play so that learning becomes a more enriching experience for all of us.

And helping our students explore their vision is a way of giving them an anchor–a thing to tie back to–as their own unexpected pathways unfold. Because ultimately, we want our students to be confident, happy and fulfilled.

It’s not that the tools “magically” do this. But when we bring in any methodology into our practice that makes our classrooms more interactive, more dynamic, more active, less passive–it shakes up the paradigm and does lead us to a place of more student engagement.

And as people, not just educators, isn’t that the place we want to be?

One thought on “Unleashing the student within

  1. You hit the nail on the head – methodlogy that makes our classrooms more interactive. I think that our students are tired of the staid book, pen/pencil, overhead projector, talk-talk method of yesteryear teaching. Unfortunately, too many teachers are used to this method which they were exposed to themselves in school – this may be the singular impediment to higher order teaching using web 2.0 tools. I cannot wait, so will go ahead and agressively attempt to recruit teachers who are on board for students sake.

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