October 20, 2005

Kids credited for making connections

USATODAY.com – Online phys ed takes hold in Minneapolis:

“‘I would’ve had to go to gym class and take up an hour every day,’ the
17-year-old said during a break from tossing a Frisbee with a few
teammates. ‘I would’ve had to give up orchestra. If I’d taken it last
year, I’d have had to give up German.'”

Physical Education may be the last course you would think lends itself to online learning but the concept here is pretty powerful. Allow students to get credit for physical activities they are already doing outside of school. I also wrote about this for our in-motion blog.

If a student spent hours a week writing, wouldn’t it be nice for them to get credit for that? After all, if our goal is to help kids learn, doesn’t this consitute the most important learning of all, learning that goes beyond the classroom walls and is applied. The morphing of academic and every day activities should be a worthy goal. We are spending a great deal of time developing learning that is relevant and meaningful. And we should continue our efforts to make our curriculum as relevant as possible. In this case, the kids already figured it out for us. Why not acknowledge that.

Now, to take that beyond this example and permeate all subject areas would be a great help in our quest to narrow and focus the curriculum on essential outcomes.