Monday, April 17, 2017

Reinventing Homework

by Kathy Mahoney

Digital Learning Day 2017 offered tremendous learning opportunities for the MHS staff. One of my favorite sessions was called “No Homework: Motivating Students to Learn on their Own.” During the session, we were challenged to revisit our traditional notion of homework, questioning whether it lives up to its purpose to extend classroom learning to home. But is homework time well spent? Rather than doing away with homework entirely, the presenter argued that there might be a better way. Additionally, with the role that technology has played in changing the shape of today’s classroom, why should homework stay the same?

There are ways to make homework more engaging, relevant, and supportive of student learning. Giving students some choice in the matter can increase their willingness to put their best effort forward. Encouraging curiosity can spark motivation. Allowing students the opportunity to incorporate their passions can boost their learning potential.

How do teachers transform homework so that it accomplishes these tasks? Finding real world applications to math problems, having students write about their passions, asking students to find an article that’s interesting to them to bring in and discuss, and setting up homework chats on Edmodo are a few examples that the teachers in our session came up with. The possibilities are endless if we can shift the paradigm and reinvent the way we think about homework.

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