Get organized, then get tech
Many of your current — or future — collaborators teach at other schools around the state or world. But when you’ve got a great idea for collaboration, don’t let distance stand in your way. Let’s look at this example from three Vermont schools on how to plan, manage and support one unit run across three different schools.
(Hint: tech helps. A lot.)
Place-based learning with real world implications
For your students, learning about the local landscape can be amazing. What’s that tree? How long has that building been here? What does that plaque, “1927 Flood Level” mean?
Here’s 3 tech-rich ways to study local history: by updating your town on Google Maps, creating a QR code-powered history walk or shooting a historical documentary. Roll tape!
Every May for the past 10 years, Lamoille Union Middle School’s Team Extreme launches an integrated unit. This year found them shifting and building upon past successes to include the goal of giving students access to their growth and skills progression in a brand new way.
3 examples using blended learning
Let’s explore how some Vermont teachers are shifting their instruction and assessment practices to move all students toward proficiency. Three different educators have changed the way they assess proficiency in their classrooms. Each has created a way for students to have control over the pacing of instruction and have included students in monitoring progress and growth, using a blended learning environment.
5 benefits of doing action research in the classroom
Teachers are constantly tinkering, creating, learning, and growing. Action research is a slightly formalized version of what skilled teachers do every day.
By honoring action research as systematic professional inquiry, we empower teachers to improve their practice. It’s easy to get started undertaking a small, powerful action research project in your classroom. Let’s see what it can look like.
Introduce a student-centered tech-rich year
Looking for ways to explore digital identity with students? Here are 4 student-centered, tech-rich digital identity exercises for working with students. As a bonus, all the exercises produce media that students can add to their digital portfolios. Let’s watch!
Too many ‘awesomes’ to count.
That was a note I took while experiencing students’ reactions to Google Expeditions at Lamoille Union Middle/High School this week. Audible collective “wows” along with “this is awesome” “I feel like I’m flying, that’s why I’m scared” “I love this” permeated the air as students put the cardboard devices to their faces and entered a virtual world. As the Google representative described it to one class, “buckle up your magic school bus seat belts for a virtual reality tour of National Parks and the world’s seven wonders.”
Motivating students around goals by connecting schools
Many Vermont students have worked hard this year establishing personal and academic goals as an important part of developing Personal Learning Plans (PLPs).
But when we speak with some of them or listen to teachers reflect on the process and progress, many share the need for additional motivation to keep these goals and their achievement active and present.
Student-created virtual park tours
With access to online and tablet-based tools for digital curation and content creation, students can research the history, challenges and attractions of one of our nation’s 58 (!) National Parks. Under the rubric of planning a visit to them, students can answer an essential and timeless question: What features make National Parks special and worth saving?
It’s almost as good as being there. Especially if you’re trapped in snow and/or don’t have your driver’s license yet. Let’s roll!
Is joy in learning an innovation?
Recently, I was charmed and inspired upon seeing a first grade student’s take on setting goals to improve healthy habits on the Franklin West Supervisory Union blog. I shared this student photo (at left) with a group of teachers during a goal-setting and reflection workshop. They all smiled, especially after I asked them to think about what evidence this student might gather and share to demonstrate she has met this resolution.
Wouldn’t we all love to see that collection of “demonstrated joy” from all of our students? Of course, that would require us to create “joyous” learning opportunities or at the very least honor students’ joyous learning where ever it takes place.