Tag Archives: active learning

What’s Your Pulse?


Just as a physician takes our pulse during an office visit to check our health, schools should be doing the same. What’s your school’s pulse? Here are some thoughts on a healthy school pulse.

When walking through the building do you see:

  • Students in groups, not just talking, but asking questions, using content vocabulary, creating learning together, excited about what they are doing?
  • The teacher is involved in student discussion and learning and not the center of learning?
  • Students can tell anyone who comes in to the classroom what they are researching, discussing, analyzing?
  • There is high expectation for learning, not just test scores? There are student projects showcased?
  • Learning is taking place all over, even in the hall with students are spread out using computers, textbooks, library books, other devices as allowed? My favorite pictures in my classroom are those of students putting together a presentation while the textbook, notebook, etc are on their laps and desks. I co-wrote and article for Educational Leadership in 2009 and it is still timely. Here is the link for those interested- http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/mar09/vol66/num06/Anywhere_Learning.aspx
  • Learning happening anytime, anywhere and are you, the teacher, a part of it during non school hours?  Are students sharing writing, projects, and anything else with you on Google Docs, Edmodo, etc.?
  • Active not passive learning?

As I walk through the halls of my own building, I think about our pulse. What does learning look/sound like to you?


Defining Dimensional Learning


In an increasingly flat world, learning has the potential to become more and more dimensional.  So, what exactly is dimensional learning?  There is really no brief way to describe it.  However, it can be easily contrasted to less desirable, flat learning.  Yes, that’s right–  In our flat world, dimensional learning is much more preferable than flat learning:

Flat learning is passive learning, whereas dimensional learning is active learning.  Flat learning is bound by time, location, and someone else’s ideas.  Dimensional learning offers opportunity, choice, and a different perspective. 

Whereas flat is status quo and stagnant, dimensional is innovative and ever-evolving.  Flat learning scratches the surface and can be easily reproduced. Dimensional learning is a one-of-a-kind and value added.  Flat learners merely consume content; dimensional learners produce and share it.  For learners to grow dimensionally, they need to have freedom to discover their potential, find their talents, synthesize, and apply.  Such learning is timeless. 

As we spot evidence of dimensional learning every day, we long to see it more frequently.  How can we capitalize on the atmosphere our flat world offers to give learning more dimension?  It is with this question that we start the conversation…