The title of this one grabbed me. I'm intrigued by the idea of allowing students to study what they choose--so was curious about this title. The more I listened, the more I "get it". The teacher had her students create Wiki accounts. I'm just learning about these myself...so it had my attention. She had one 3rd grade student who decided to write a review on a play he attended. A fifth grader saw it, then decided to run with the idea. He became a reviewer--critic so to speak of varying plays. He was inspired to see plays by his dad, who was in Iraq. his father was able to see his reviews, and make comments. This was a learning adventure! How amazing is technology where a student can start by doing something as an assignment, then make it into something completely enjoyable and meaningful for himself. His teacher had decided that turning over ownership of learning to the student made all the difference in this child's life. He said that he became a better writer because he knew that others all around the world would be reading what he wrote--and he wanted them to be able to understand him. He learned how to be specific with his questions (online searches) in order to receive the best possible results from his query. This student blossomed because his teacher gave him guided freedom. He told her that she was his favorite teacher. When she asked why, he responded, "because you let me learn what I know is good for me to learn...and you trust me". This is so key to the education environment! Encouragement, motivation to learn, and support are the basis for a great education for all ages.
I'm not sure how to take this approach with every subject area, but in technology, this teacher nailed it.