Presenting your Learning

When I recently visited Randolph Elementary School, I visited a lesson “in action” where students were presenting information they had mastered (presumably for review purposes). This is a very strong instructional approach, and I was pleased to see the students had used video to capture their instructions for their peers on how to solve math problems.

student presentation

During the visit highlighted above, a student had made a mistake in the video, and then told everyone about the mistake and the “correct” way to solve the problem. This reflection on the recorded performance was another excellent sign of strong learning.

Earlier this spring, I began looking at our G21 Framework and areas for improvement. One of the things I wanted to “remove” was the necessity of any expert in the room to fill out the planning form. While it made for a nice sleek form, I wanted to put more of what it takes to develop a good project-based experience for students into the form itself. It would make for a more complex form, but hopefully too would provide teachers a scaffold on which to present an awesome learning experience.

Instead of re-inventing the wheel, my new proposal for G21 adopts the Buck Institute for Education model for project-based learning. The format is more complete at helping teachers plan for the project-based experience. One of the things it encourages, too, is student presentation. While I am not certain that every PBL needs a presentation, and there will be times where the resource of time may prevent a formal presentation, it does not dilute the effectiveness of presenting as an instructional activity. Since 2008 when we started G21, we have used “teaching others” and “communication” as two of our core 12 twenty-first century skills. But we need to remember that these skills do not need to wait for a “G21″ to be utilized in our designs for instruction.

I look forward to sharing more in my blog throughout the summer about G21 3.0. On August 7, for our Mission Possible: Operation Engagement professional development day, Bea and I will be offering sessions on the new framework. For now all I will say is consider the new format “smaller” but “more potent!”