“Where did I put that cord? My computer is dead!”
How many times have you heard this in your classroom? So much of middle school is developing systems to stay organized: “How do I get to all these classes? How do I open my locker?” And with the addition of technology: “How do I keep track of my school computer? Which Google Doc is the homework in? ”
Let’s look at 4 ways students can learn independence and grow leadership through the care and organization of technology.
Outcomes, process and automaticity
I worked with a group of teachers this summer to re-think goal-setting with their students. We know it’s a key component to developing Personalized Learning Plans (PLP), but students reported little engagement in following through on and reflecting about their goals.
In our attempts to think differently about goal-setting and reflection, we decided to approach goal-setting as a visualization exercise. Each of us set a learning goal for ourselves and experimented with visualizing the end result of those goals.
So how can this work for students?
Getting started assessing proficiency
School systems in Vermont and elsewhere are in the midst of a shift to proficiency-based learning. At the early stages, this transformation can feel overwhelming even for educators, even if they’re excited by the idea.
Where to start?
Start with scales for assessment.
Creative ways to share learning opportunities
Teachers at Lamoille Union Middle/High School learn about the latest tools and resources available to them in a unique and engaging way. Marc Gilbertson, the Integration Specialist and Meagan Towle, the librarian, carve out 20 minutes in their busy schedules to get together and crank out a short video podcast series called the Weekly Geek to share available resources.
Check out this week’s entry demonstrating three tools to encourage visual and audio engagement in learning.
What can you do with an LMS?
LMS stands for Learning Management System. An LMS is an application for planning, delivering, managing, and assessing a learning process.
Likely, your school or district will choose which commercial LMS package to deploy (Canvas, Haiku, Schoology and Google Classroom are a few), but how you use it is entirely up to you.
3 tech-rich strategies for exploring identity with students
“Who am I?” is the question at the heart of the adolescent mind. Almost all challenges, tests, and dilemmas relate to the central theme of identity.
Young adolescents seek to find answers to questions like, “Where do I fit in?”, “What makes me different or special?” and “What do I believe?”
4 edtech tools for family communication
How can technology help make communicating with your students’ families easier? These 4 edtech tools for family communication offer different ways to open the door to your classroom and welcome families inside.
Be your own Hero
Using the free iOS Shadow Puppet app, I created this brief look at an amazing unit designed by one of our partner educators, Jonah Ibson, at Harwood Union Middle School.
Ibson challenged his students to write their own “hero’s journeys” using the iBooks Author software. By taking ownership of the Hero’s Journey narrative, students are encouraged to create e-books that place them in the hero’s role. The resulting e-books will have a chance to be housed in an elementary school library, and read out by librarians to younger students.
Check out these amazing iBook Authors at Harwood Union Middle School, in Moretown Vermont.
The technology cannot thwart us, it can only make us stronger
I talk with my hands.
As many of you are aware, I was out at Harwood Union High School this past week for the Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) inservice day, armed to the teeth with iPads, apps, and tips and tricks for integrating technology into the classroom in a thoughtful, comprehensive and device-agnostic way.
Well, Harwood’s wi-fi network took one look at my plans and passed out cold, a victim of shock and awe, I’m sure!
As I have no wish to cause the wi-fi further damage, let me present all my resources to you here in the pages of our very own Tarrant Institute blog.
Educators are embracing digital tools for planning and sharing
Personalized learning plans, or PLPs, are non-traditional pathways by which students can navigate from entrance to graduation in a way that’s personally meaningful. By studying topics they’re passionate about, students continue to stay engaged; by collaborating on the plans with educators and family, students’ passions can be translated into real-world learning that oftentimes exceeds standards for learning.
But where do digital tools fit into this conversation?
With all schools in Vermont being required to begin implementing PLPs for grades 7-9 by 2015, let’s take a look at 4 ways personalized learning plans are already taking off in Vermont.