Today the kids were answering some questions in a Google Form to help guide their film story for the White House Film Fest submission. My 4th graders had a lot of questions that were the spark to many conversations around the classroom about blended learning, technology and the arts, and how all the things we are doing this year help us to learn. I realized that we’ve never explicitly defined and discussed some of the terminology that is a part of my vernacular these days, like “blended learning” and “critical thinking”. We engage in those practices every day, but haven’t necessarily called attention to the terminology and what it means to them as the learner.
Some of the kids likened blended and personalized learning to making a smoothie, and that when you put all the different fruits in the blender (tools available and ways we learn) the end result is a really delicious beverage that brings out the best flavors of all the fruits when combined together. They said the smoothie was like their education, and that with just one fruit the drink would be “meh”, but that when put all together it is a great end result.
I’ve often found myself explaining blended and personalized learning to adults, but there was something really eye opening and beautiful in having to explain it to a child who engages in those practices. It made me wonder about the role these conversations should play in blended classrooms, and how valuable it could be to call out these terms and involve students in defining and discussing them throughout the year. Thoughts?