Conversations begin at home. And at the bus stop. Also the market. And–
So much of the change we need to see right now can be kicked off by starting conversations with members of your community.
It takes a certain amount of courage to address issues that affect your whole community — such as bullying, hate speech and equity — with people who you may never have spoken with before.
But it’s effective. And the more you do it, the easier it gets. Let’s look at 4 ways to start a difficult conversation in your community.
“It really is nice being able to teach others. I know that I had an effect on them.”
The Essex STEM Academy, at Essex High School, lets students pursue their passion for tech and science with support from the Vermont STEM community. They also let the students teach.
We spoke with Ian, an Essex STEM Academy student who taught arduino programming, for an episode of our podcast. Find out what it’s like when students are given the freedom, support and authority to step into a teaching role.
Using technology to help build relationships
Remember when you were in middle school? How awkward did you feel, asking a teacher for help with everyone else watching?
Well #everydaycourage is a two-way street.
Laura Botte, 6th grade math educator at Edmunds Middle School, in Burlington VT, shared with us how she’s been using Google Docs to encourage her students to open up about what’s going on in their lives, and how that affects their ability to be present in the classroom. This is how you can use Google Docs so students talk to you.
Summertime, and the reading is easy
Or is it? We checked in with a few of the folks here at the Tarrant Institute to hear about what they’re reading this summer.
When last we left the students of these two plucky Vermont middle schools, they had managed to connect students and educators via Google Hangout. They’d gotten together to make pizzas and plot the future of personalized learning plans (PLPs). And they’d paired up students as PLP peer collaborators and spent some time reviewing PLPs in pairs.
So we wanted to ask: what’s next? How’s this peer PLP collaboration thing going?
Proctor’s STEAM Family Night
The sleepy little town of Proctor VT, is making some big waves when it comes to showcasing their students’ STEAM achievements. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) is a hot topic in school innovation right now, and rural towns like Proctor are primed and ready to show their communities just why STEAM matters so much to students.
Be an X-Box Hero (with stars in your eyes)*
Meet machinima. The word’s a portmanteau of “machine” and “cinema”. It’s a unique form of storytelling that appears in video games, and students creating or mixing clips of video games to create new stories. And for educators, it presents a fabulous opportunity to channel students’ love of video games into producing personally relevant artifacts that demonstrate learning.
Machinima film festival, anyone?
Student keynotes, presentations, panels & partners
All with a side order of tech.
Dynamic Landscapes 2017 is in the bag, and it was easily the best one yet.
Why? Because not only were there a ton of great tech-rich, innovative sessions for attendees to choose from, this year also featured authentic student voice.
What advice would your 7th grade self give you about teaching?
Remember when you were first starting out as an educator? The ink on your certification barely dried, and there you were, standing in front of your first class, 30-some pairs of eyeballs staring back at you, waiting for you to lead.
We hear from six amazing middle level educators graduating this spring from the University of Vermont. We ask them about their hopes, their fears, and… what their middle school selves would come back to tell them.
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The middle school team at Rutland Town School in Rutland, VT have been working on a more fully integrated implementation of personal learning plans (PLPs) at their school.
They’re also passionate believers in student choice and learner-centered classrooms. Given some flexibility to change the school schedule, they came up with iLearn, a model of student self-direction and choice in tackling PLPs.