Community Based Learning in Vermont: What’s going on?

4 lessons from a recent gathering

community based learningOn Friday, March 11, more than 50 participants from public and private schools, community education partners, and higher education from Vermont and the surrounding region gathered for a Community Based Learning workday, put on by Big Picture Learning, Eagle Rock School, Big Picture South Burlington, and Partnership for Change. This day of speakers, working sessions, and roundtable discussions brought together educators from different settings to “explore the possibilities, challenges, and resources of community-based learning in Vermont.”

A few folks from the Tarrant Institute were in attendance, and in this post we present 4 lessons about community-based learning in Vermont, gathered from the formal and informal discussions throughout the day. Continue reading

4 reasons to make the #vted twitter chat part of your PLN

Asynchronous, flexible & friendly professional development

#vted twitter chatYou’ve read the recaps, seen the hashtag fly by and maybe even dipped a toe in the #vted twitter chat waters. But we’ve got 4 reasons to make the #vted twitter chat a regular part of your professional learning network.

Here we go:

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Act 77, Flexible Pathways and best middle level practices

Grappling with implementation

personalized learning in the middle grades vermontIn my current work with a number of Vermont middle schools, we have been trying to grapple with ways to tell the story of, or create a better understanding of, what our state’s Act 77 Flexible Pathways legislation looks like in action.

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Defining innovation in Vermont education

What do we mean when we talk about innovation in Vermont education?

Life Legeros, Tarrant Institute for Innovative EducationRecently, the #vted Twitter chat focused on innovation, and the conversation brought a mix of practical tips, brilliant insight, and positive sentiment. The take-home message for me was that innovation thrives in an environment with a balance of risk-taking, moral support, and professional learning.

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What does innovation look like in Vermont education?

#vted twitter chat, 11/19/15

Two dozen Vermont educators sat down for an hour of their evening to toss around what innovation in Vermont can look like. Here’s what they came up with.

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Augmented reality and student identity

Students explore the geography of self(ies)

augmented reality and student identityAn innovative way for students to explore who they are happens in Lori Lisai’s classroom at Lamoille Union Middle School where she works with them to craft an interactive biography through her Geography of Self project.

A bulletin board houses the student self portraits; 8th graders include their 7th grade portraits side-by-side: a visual representation of growth-over-time.

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Tailoring the Emergent Project approach for middle school

Emergent Project approach works wonders in middle school

emergent project approachAn unexpected highlight of my days at the 2015 AMLE Conference in Columbus, Ohio was hearing from young Ohio teacher Noah Waspe. He and his advisors, Sue Griebling and Patti Bills at Northern Kentucky University presented their preliminary research findings about the use of a project approach investigation in his sixth grade classroom.

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What goes into measuring the success of edtech?

What does “quality” mean in assessing statewide digital efforts?

The 21st Century Classroom podcastThe Foundation for Excellence in Education recently released its 2014 Digital Learning Report Card. According to this report, Vermont does not support digital learning. In fact, all of New England is a digital wasteland. But what does the data really say? How are these researchers quantifying “digital learning”?

And how can we use this report to look at other measurements of success with edtech?

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4 educators reflect on personalized learning

Setting goals for summer learning and beyond

reflections by middle school educators

Welcome, Mill River Union! We are very curious as to what you guys are up to.

It’s Day 3 of the 2015 Middle Grades Institute, a gathering of more than 200 Vermont educators all passionately invested in technology-rich, student-centered educational change. And with the Act 77 deadline requiring a Personal Learning Plan for every student in Vermont grades 7-12 coming up in November, talk around personalizing learning and capturing evidence of personalized learning are at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Let’s hear from four schools attending MGI about their engagement with the personalized learning process, as they spend their first week of summer planning for the coming year.

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Making a difference with watershed science data

Students partner with local scientists in collecting, analyzing & disseminating water data

interpreting watershed science dataA group of 7th and 8th grade students took a trip through the full cycle of scientific study this past year. Edmunds Middle School students partnered with the UVM Watershed Alliance to study the Lake Champlain Direct and Grand Isles Basins, very specifically, the Potash Brook that runs close by the school.

At the conclusion of the project, they presented the outcome of their studies in a variety of different ways, leveraging online tools to maximize the impact of their dissemination.

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