Session Title:  I Don't Give Homework Anymore.

Your Name:  Justine Hughes

Work Title:  Education Consultant / Teacher

School or Organization Name:  The Innovative E

Co-Presenter Name(s):  N/A

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: New Zealand

Language in Which You Will Present:  English

Target Audience(s):  Teachers, parents, administrators

Short Session Description (one line):  

Preparation for Learning (Prep. for Learning) - changing the concept of homework to motivate and engage students, teachers and parents.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

There are many arguments for and against homework.  As teachers, we focus on individualizing our learning and teaching programs but, when it comes to homework, there is a tendency to go the route of the 'one size fits all approach' where the tasks assigned are not individualized in any great way, if at all.  Homework then becomes a chore for the students and a battle ground at home trying to get it done.  Often projects which may offer little in the way of meaningful learning are completed by parents anyway - think the long-term projects or Science Fair projects.  (If you're a parent I'm sure you can relate to this!!)

If we are to meet the needs of our students as 21st C learners then there needs to be a shift in what we expect of our students for homework.  This presentation is part of an idea that I began to develop in 2010.  My classroom program was very individualized but the homework was not and I knew I could do better - for everyone involved.

The concept for Prep for Learning came from many discussions with my students about what they would change.  The idea became a classroom inquiry - a large group Action Research in many ways.  I wanted a program that would link directly to classroom learning and, because I am a strong advocate for the ideas of flattening the classroom and flipped learning, Prep for Learning was born.  

Prep for Learning is about being engaged and in charge of your learning, thinking about upcoming discussions and learning and being prepared to participate.  It provides strong links with the home - we've often had parents join in the discussions online and state that they are so much more aware of their child's learning.

Prep for Learning is supported by online tools such as our blogs, Google Docs, etc and provides a platform for connections both locally and globally.  It also gives our more reluctant or quiet learners a voice in an environment where they can take time to think about their ideas - not always possible in a classroom discussion where a small group of students can dominate and do all the thinking for others.  Prep for Learning demands that you are prepared to participate and engage as you've had time to think about the upcoming in-class learning.

By using Student Voice to adapt the program, I have seen levels of engagement and motivation leap ahead and that is what we want for all our students.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:  

The eLearning Buzz

Room 14 Learning Journeys

Henderson Literature Circles

The Innovative E - Everything eLearning in Education

URL to a Slides or a Video Showcasing Your Presentation Skills:  
I Don't Give Homework Anymore

Putting the 'Oomph' Back Into Reading - Literature Circles, bloggin...

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