The past few years our education system and needs have continued to change as our society has changed. We have moved from an industrial age to the digital age...as we look around our world we are more mobile, digital and have information overload (*by 2007, 94 percent of information was digital, meaning that the world's digital information alone would overshoot the moon if stored on CD-ROM. It would stretch 280,707.5 miles (451,755 km)). We are now able retrieve facts, information, formulas at our fingertips. We as learners will need to take this information and do something with it.
With this change in ability to retrieve information we need to shift our learning for our students from recalling facts to being able to do something with facts and data. The term learner agency is defined as: **when learners have “the power to act”. Agency is when learning involves the activity and the initiative of the learner, more than the inputs that are transmitted to the learner from the teacher, from the curriculum, the resources and so forth. In the past our schools have catered mostly for groups of learners, for classes of kids, with a one size fits all approach. Arguably, many students felt disenfranchised in the midst of that, as they just had to sit and do what they were told. Lessons were delivered to students who were passive in the way that they received that. When learners move from being passive recipients to being much more active in the learning process, actively involved in the decisions about the learning, then they have greater agency - per Core Education.com Core-ed.
At Underwood Elementary our mission is to provide a relevant and engaging education that will graduate students who are collaborative, creative, effective communicators and critical thinkers. Last year in an effort to increase our digital capabilities we piloted BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in eleven of our classrooms. This year we will have over 20 classrooms utilizing BYOD in their learning. Along with an increase in digital use, many of our classrooms are getting makeovers in their seating and learning appearance. Remake your classroom to support collaborative learning is taking place in many of our classrooms to increase collaboration, support individual learners, and provide choice for students. We are utilizing Google Classroom, Google Application, Genuis Hour, Makerspace, and other tools/resources to support students' learning.
How are you creating a learner agency in your school?