Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Empowering Students Through Meaningful Jobs

Alan November's "Digital Learning Farm" was the inspiration for my classroom jobs. The idea couldn't be more simple: people are empowered through meaningful work. Children used to be, in the times of farming, useful and necessary contributors to their families' farms and other livelihoods. Once children's work became going to school full-time, that feeling of usefulness and importance faded. Most teachers understand the importance of giving kids jobs to do, and many traditional classrooms do designate roles such as "line leader" and "pencil sharpener"to fulfill these needs. Digital tools offer the possibility of exciting upgrades to these jobs, allowing students to learn through doing while making authentic contributions to their communities.

I am experimenting with how to best structure this so that it becomes a deep learning experience for students. I introduced the jobs to 5th grade a few weeks ago, then introduced and started with 4th grade. I decided that students would need to apply for the job and, once "hired" would have a tenure of about one month.

Classroom Jobs from Andrea Hernandez on Vimeo.

Available Positions:
Global Connectors : Tweet, look for and organize possible learning connections, manage maps
Researchers: Research information in response to questions that arise
Official Scribes : Take notes, write weekly summary post on classroom blog
Documentarians : Photo and video documentation of the week’s activities
Kindness Ambassadors: Make sure that all community members are included at lunch and recess, remind community members of habit of the month, model and recognize kindness, give appreciations and remind others to do so
Librarians: Keep classroom and virtual library shelves in order. Add books to class GoodReads shelves, keep GoodRead-Alouds wall updated, set appointments with Mrs. Hallett
Graphic Artist/Designer: Design things for the classroom and class blog- graphics, bulletin boards, displays, etc.
Job Requirements:
Previous experience is helpful but not required. You will be able to learn on the job. Most important qualities:  proactive, self-motivated, desire to learn.
All classroom work must be up to date in order to be considered for a job. 

1 comment:

Brylyn Cowling said...

Hi! My name is Brylyn Cowling. I am an elementary education major at The University of South Alabama. I am commenting on your post as an assignment in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. Thank you for sharing such valuable information. Once you assign these jobs to your students, do they keep the exact same job the entire year? I look forward to implementing digital jobs in my future classroom!

Check out my EDM310 blog!
Brylyn Cowling's EDM310 Class Blog

Check out the EDM310 Class Blog!
EDM310 Class Blog