Will Richardson Makes the Case for Connecting School to Real Life

As a full-time education consultant, Allison Zmuda works with educators to grow ideas on how to make learning for students challenging, possible and worthy of the attempt. Over the past 19 years, Zmuda has shared curricular, assessment, and instructional ideas, shown illustrative examples, and offered practical strategies of how to get started.

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3680989277_316762e49fWill Richardson advocates that students can do authentic, meaningful work as early as Kindergarten if they are given the opportunity.

This blog post is an excerpt of his new TED book entitled, Why School: How education must change when learning and information are everywhere. This dovetails with our call to action to design tasks for audiences well beyond the scope of the classroom both to measure and motivate student learning.

“So what if we were to say that, starting this year, even with our children in K– 5, at least half of the time they spend on schoolwork must be on stuff that can’t end up in a folder we put away? That the reason they’re doing their schoolwork isn’t just for a grade or for it to be pinned up in the hallway? It should be because their work is something they create on their own, or with others, that has real value in the real world.

“I’m not even necessarily talking about doing something with technology. (Let’s face it, though: Paper is a 20th-century staple that has severely limited potential, compared to digital spaces.) There’s lots of creating our kids can do with traditional tools that can serve a real audience. Publishing books, putting on plays, and doing community service are just a few examples.”

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