Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I'd like another cup of time, please.

If there's a commodity that is constantly in short supply in education, it's time. No matter what the subject, inevitably someone will jump into the conversation with, "I just don't have time." Which is why I really like this analogy.

The Cup of Time and the Saucer of Lost Learning
Imagine a cup holding all the time we have to help our students learn. Each new thing we add to the cup fills it more until something overflows into the Saucer of Lost Learning.

Think for a minute about your overflowing curriculum. When you add something new, what stays in your cup and what overflows into your Saucer of Lost Learning?

Reality is that we cannot change the amount of time we meet with students unless the Board of Education changes the length of the school day or year. We must take a hard look at what we do and make serious management decisions about how to make the most of the time we have. We need to minimize the opportunities that spill over into the Saucer of Lost Learning.

One of the myths of technology use in the classroom is that it takes too much time and forces other important subjects to spill into the Saucer of Lost Learning. There is truth in this widely held belief if we envision technology as something more to drop into the Cup of Time. If we treat technology like a new subject, it will force something into the saucer, creating new problems and frustrations.

If, on the other hand, we see technology as a tool to help accomplish the learning goals we would seek to accomplish anyway, then it is not an add-on subject. In this view of technology, we are trading traditional ways of learning for newer, perhaps more exciting ways of accomplishing goals. When we replace something in the Cup of Time, less, or nothing, spills into the Saucer of Lost Learning.

To read the rest of the article from The Creative Educator, plus find out what suggestions they offer about time management, click here.

1 comment:

Julie said...

This is a great story and perfectly captures the dilemma of what to add and what to delete from the learning experience for students -- there is only so much time in the class period/day/year/K-12 experience. Technology is a part of our students' lives and they are already incorporating it into their own outside of school learning.