I'll admit, Google Slides and Powerpoint are excellent tools...
but in the time of COVID, we need to let the lectures pass on.
There is a funny misconception floating around that we can repackage what classroom learning was before COVID into a Zoom room and an LMS and everything is rainbows and peaches. Let me tell you, this is not the case.
Grades aren't happy.
Teachers aren't happy.
Students aren't happy.
Parents are overwhelmed.
And yet here we are pushing forward with the false assumption that "things will get back to the way they were".
In the words of the great philosopher Dwight Schrute, "False".
This is a time for us to lean into the changes, see that the system was not strong enough to endure COVID and come up with something more. I'm sorry to say it, but COVID has taken our lectures away from learning.
What if you created a learning experience that empowered your students to discover the content? COVID brought an influx of mobile and personal devices to the physical and home classrooms. Teachers words are on trial every single day. Instead of telling the students what they know, let's harness the energy of the tool at their finger tips and empower them to do more.
Dr. John Spencer writes in his book Empower, “Your legacy as an educator is always determined by what your students do. You change the world by empowering your students to do the same.”
What are you going to challenge your students to do? Take notes in Zoom? Take an online test and ask them not to use the internet to research the answers? Students are creative, innovative beings that have energy, when harnessed the right way, can change every aspect of our world. Create an experience that students find inspiring as they discover the knowledge along the way. Figure out the "Un-Googleable" question and have them answer it in words, drawings, video, and song. Challenge your students to own their community, taking the information that they are learning and putting it to real world use right now, not later.
In teacher lingo there is a phrase "no-opt out". We see it in other phases of life but in the classroom it means a student can't opt out of an answer simply because they SAY, "I don't know". It is now time for teachers to understand you are in a no opt-out mode. That powerpoint slideshow that you have used since 2009 has caught the virus and passed away. It is time to move away from being a rock in the mud, to being a log on the river, moving with the new flow of learning and engagement.
Seth Godin wrote in his book (from 2016), Poke the Box, "Now the whole world is in flux...If your project (school, department, classroom) doesn't have movement, then compared to the rest of the world, you are actually moving backward." (My additions)
Is your classroom, school, system stuck? Are you trying to bandaid the incredible changes and forced innovation that we are going through so it can "go back to the way it was". We
Teachers are meant to be the first learners. It's time to accept that my lecture ppt is gone, and it is time to learn a new way of learning design that has not been experienced before.
Administrators exist to lead, inspire, and protect their teachers, so that the teacher can do their job. Stand up to the mundane and the stuck. Find inspiration and challenge the status quo.
The goal is to build our students into the powerful leaders of tomorrow. Why not start today by accepting the passing of your powerpoint?
Taylor currently serves as a Coordinator of Innovative Learning for a mid-sized school district in Texas. He is a speaker, writer, and coach for all who are in conflict with the status quo.