Introduction


The phrase “The Shifted Classroom” is a term I developed to describe my vision of what education should become in the near future. It refers to a new educational paradigm that shifts the focus from lower order thinking skills to higher order thinking skills. While this vision is influenced by changes in technology, it is not merely about technology. Rather, it is about looking at the affordances made available by technology and finding a way to mirror this pedagogically.


The Shifted Classroom is:

  1. Guided by the relationships between and amongst assessment, and curriculum;

  2. Driven by the students, whose learning is facilitated by the teachers;

  3. Balanced with regard to diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment;

  4. Differentiated according to students’ needs abilities and interests;

  5. Focused on high yield instructional strategies that promote collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking;

  6. Focused on curriculum planning that begins with essential understanding, critical thinking, and higher order thinking skills.



Rationale


Throughout my M.Ed. program at UOIT I considered ways in which we could harness the affordances made possible by 21st century technology to inform 21st century pedagogy. It was, and is, my belief that merely inserting 21st century technology into a paradigm of education that has not evolved significantly since the 19th century does our students a disservice. This belief can be explored through three main themes that I have followed throughout my coursework:


  1. Constructivist and Connectivist Learning Theories

  2. Authentic Assessment

  3. Web-Based Learning Tools


In the screencast on the right-hand side of this page, I explain the relationship between these ideas and how they inform my vision of the shifted classroom. Essentially, the shifted classroom is guided by constructivist and connectivist theories of learning which are enabled by authentic assessment and web-based learning tools. In my vision, authentic assessment enables constructivist theories of learning by mimicking real-world tasks that are often collaborative in nature and allow students to connect nodes of learning in both digital and face-to-face environments. An example of this would be blogging to share, develop, and defend ideas. Similarly, web-based learning tools enable a connectivist and constructivist learning environment by providing the networks and tools for connection and collaboration.


Within this website, I have collected a variety of artifacts that demonstrate my growth and exploration of these three main themes. It is my hope that they help to articulate and make a case for my vision of the future of education.

Introduction