Research is verifying what many teachers know: Well-designed digital games in the classroom increase student engagement, learning and retention. They improve students’ on-task time and even their social and emotional well-being. The benefits are especially significant when high-quality games are integrated into a curriculum over multiple lessons. So how can we put this knowledge to use as our new school year begins?
As of last school year, white students no longer make up the majority of students at Valley Point Middle School in Dalton, Ga.—a small Southern town near the Tennessee border. This shift reflects one that is taking place nationwide for the first time this school year, as projections show U.S. schools becoming ‘majority minority’ for the first time this school year. Although there is a sizable population of Latinos at Valley Point, there is currently no racial majority. Hear what school administrators, teachers, and students at the middle school have to say about the school’s diverse population.
What was the inspiration for the book and its title?
It can be looked at from a bunch of different lenses, which is what I wanted. For educators, I thought it was sort of a rallying call to try to get more teacher stories out there about the things that happen in their own classrooms from a personal perspective, looking from the inside and working its way out. It’s far too often where educators are limited in terms of getting the chance to speak up about education policy and how it affects their classrooms.
And yet, perhaps in our quest to enthusiastically promote the power of a blended approach, in our zest to revolutionize, we sometimes forget that the real power lies in the full range of learning styles met. It must be remembered that the most effective “blend” is likely to involve a comprehensive range of learning options — even those that might be deemed traditional in nature. Great innovators understand that the real potential of transformation lies in the way that change is integrated into the best of traditional practice.