How to Maintain a Connection with Teens

The future is changing and we need to prepare our students to navigate life’s superhighways. The following video demonstrates why it is so important for educators to maintain a connection with Today’s youth, to promote discussions around DIGITAL LITERACIES and DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP SKILLS.

But how do we do that, when at times teens seem to be tuning us out and relying on peer mentorship rather than adult guidance?

Well, from what I can tell in my office it’s all about the RELATIONSHIP, LANGUAGE and INVITATIONS.

Students’s want to be heard, and they want to feel valued. The power of the internet allows them to FLIP our classrooms, and if given permission, to become the expert. Learning is no longer about who has the answers. It’s about allowing students opportunities to explore areas of learning and then modelling to students how to ethically share their knowledge.

Jeff Merrell was one of the connections I made during my #etmooc experience. He is “dedicated to researching and designing innovative solutions for sharing knowledge across organizations intent on making positive social contributions” His recent blog and our interaction during #etmchat last night led to the following:

Thank you, Erin. During last night’s #etmchat I had a short Twitter conversation with Carolyn Durley, Catherine Cronin and Bonnie Stewart about this very topic. Carolyn really captured it the best in her blog post.

But at the end of our conversation, Bonnie wrote “there’s something about shifting perspective to identifying as learner that’s really powerful.” And I think that has struck us all. I know it has, for me.

Flipping our classrooms allows both the adult and the teen to become active learners in the process of obtaining knowledge.

flip 2
Flipped Class Webinar (3/27/13)

In a Flipped classroom:
1) Teachers are not lecturers and students do not sit back passively and absorb info.

2) The focus is not on LOT (lower order thinking) but on HOT (higher order thinking)- Bloomstaxonomy

3) Learners are Active, Engaged and Involved

I often FLIP my high school counselling office.

When a student comes to me with a concern I maintain a strengths based approach, inquiring, asking and inviting them to help me “BUILD THEIR COUNSELLING TOOL BELT” with them.

Just the other day I was speaking to a student about anxiety. We were exploring how to stop her negative thoughts and she showed me this app that she was currently using (on her own without me telling her to) in order to make her worries disappear…. it was even better than anything I had been trying to teach her.