Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Person Doing the Work Is Also Doing the Learning

Whenever I design lessons, conversations, professional development, or a conference session, I ask myself the following question:

Who's doing the heavy lifting here?
If the design requires me to do an extensive amount of talking, showing, and prompting, then I'm likely minimizing the retention and learning for the participant. In short, if I'm doing the work, then I'm also doing the learning. (Hat tip to a great teacher in Toledo who always says that!) My students should be the ones doing the work; I should be guiding the experience.

That's why I LOVED Tim Bedley's recent lesson where fourth and fifth grade students ran an Edcamp for each other. They determined the content, created the sessions, self monitored using the "rule of two feet," and blogged about their learning. Check out this amazing video of Tim's students during Edcamp 32:

Tim's students are definitely doing some heavy lifting with this lesson!

I had the privilege of commenting on some of Tim's students' blogs. Check out these amazing, insightful quotes from Tim's students:
  • If there was more time to Edcamp, then it would probably be the best time of my life. ~Alex
  • Because of reflections and learning about something I had never heard of, Edcamp was the greatest time I had. ~Elyahn
  • Edcamp, in my opinion, was awesome! I liked how a lot of people were respectful to the other people that were teaching. ~Phoenix
  • What I also liked about it was that it was so much fun because you would either be listening, taking pictures, or video taping the people who made the whole session. ~Alan
  • Edcamp was the best thing that we could have done in the whole year. ~Cole
The next time you plan a lesson or unit, let the students do the heavy lifting. Kids can do anything if we let them!


  1. What a fabulous idea! Thank you so much for sharing - the video is super!

    1. Joy, thanks so much for reading! I certainly have been enjoying watching you share the "Edcamp Love" in the Twittersphere over the past few weeks! I hope all is well!



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