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Smart teaching can eliminate homework, says US expert

 

 

Homework can be reduced or even eliminated by innovative and efficient teaching, US teacher, blogger and author Matt Miller says in his new book, Ditch That Homework.

The Indiana-based educator will discuss his book and give a keynote address at the second annual TeachTechPlay conference at Melbourne’s Ivanhoe Grammar School on April 3-4.

Matt’s earlier book, Ditch That Textbook, argued that innovative teaching could positively harness technology. Ditch That Homework says efficient, technology-rich teaching can also minimise the need for homework and maybe eliminate it, even up to Year 12.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if you and your students needed homework less and less until you didn’t need it at all?” Mr Miller said. “If we can be more efficient and effective, we can lessen our reliance on homework — maybe completely.

“This isn’t a homework-bashing session. It’s a practical one with strategies you can use in your classroom immediately. Use brain-friendly activities, creative approaches to assignments, student-centred practices and more.”

Started by Melbourne teachers Eleni Kyritsis, Steve Brophy and Corey Aylen, TeachTechPlay is independently run by teachers for teachers.

The professional learning community inspires learning through empowerment and connection. It hosts online discussion, a monthly web show and an annual conference.

This year’s conference topics include coding, children’s entrepreneurship, 3D modelling, building empathy, using Minecraft in teaching, robotics and carbon-free classrooms.

Ivanhoe Grammar School hosts the event, but does not necessarily endorse the speakers’ views. TeachTechPlay will be held on Monday-Tuesday April 3-4 at the school’s Ivanhoe Campus, The Ridgeway, Ivanhoe. It costs just $395 for two days.

“Every teacher knows his/her situation best, but if they’re like me, they’d like to become more efficient and effective to the point where they relied so little on homework that it was unnecessary.

“There are so many concerns about assigning homework that should cause teachers to worry about assigning it. It gets copied in the hallway before class. Students struggle with it at home – especially those whose parents have less education. It’s not an effective use of students’ time, and it kills relationships with parents and with teachers.”