Monday, April 18, 2011

See what happens when students are allowed to embrace free range learning

If we allowed digital devices in school,
it would be chaos!
New Cannan High School is unique in that it provides a free range learning environment, meaning, what is contraband in places like New York City is embraced at this school. Students are free to bring their own personal learning devices (i.e. cell phones, iPads, laptops, etc.) and they are not blocked from gaining access to any website. In fact sites like Facebook and YouTube are embraced as powerful learning tools. 

Unfortunately, it seems teachers where the devices have been treated as the enemy, have bought into this idea, but where students are given the freedom to learn and create using the tools they want about subjects in which they're passionate, the school environment can move from celebrating success over scores on a bubble sheet, to celebrating success on the creation of a YouTube video viewed and commented on from folks around the world.

That was the case this week, when Michelle Luhtala's students created this video as part of American Library Association teen video contest, Why I NEED My Library! Contest winners can receive thousands of dollars for their library.  Not only do these students create a great video, but they also make a great case for school libraries everywhere.  The video was the result of what happens when teachers support (rather than control) their students passion-driven learning and allow them to use the tools they embrace in the real world inside schools.

Here's the video. Please watch and if you enjoy it, please "like" the video.



To read more about this project visit their librarians blog post, "What kids can do when they love what they do."
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