Saturday, June 26, 2010

ISTE 2010: Edubloggercon Session 5: Students Redefine School

In this session, Monika Hardy and students from Loveland, Colorado shared a new learning opportunity that they have been exploring called "Innovation Lab". Students are designing courses and modules based on their passions, and creating peer learning opportunities for others.

One student named Aimee shared how her teacher suggested setting up a Website for students to study for an AP test. Aimee asked if instead she could post it to Students 2.0 so that others around the world could benefit and prepare for the test. The teacher agreed, and

A student named, Chase shared projects he has been working on, including student led tutorials, such as translating adult language into kid/student language by posting to Youtube and Voicethread. Here is an example of a video he created.

Another student created her own audio files for students including her own "Rosetta Stone" for German, allowing students to learn the language from another student.

Morgan will be studying the abolition of slavery from a macro-economic level, connecting anti-slavery organizations with students in her school.

Much of what the teachers want to do from a networking stand point is being blocked by standardized tests in other districts, which limits availability for collaboration.

They believe that the standards should not be based on content but based on three things:

1. Access
  • High Speed Connection
  • Tool of Choice
  • Time of Day

2. Teachers in a Personal Learning Network

3. Connectivity
  • Developing a PLN for students
Austin, another student is helping facilitate learning between students and experts, based on the passions of the students. They are running it during the "Zero Hour". He commented that he would like assessment to be on what you've done or know.
To say "I got an "A", doesn't mean as much as "this is what I've done and this is how I've demonstrated my learning."

They are exploring seat time and when students are most creative. This is similar to a student in our Blended Learning Pilot who said that he did his best work at 11 p.m.!
There hope is that within the next 4 years they will have at least 10% of their students and teachers involved. The students are still required to fulfill their "day job" of regular school.

They shared "Livemocha" a site where students here are teaching students English, and in turn are learning Spanish from the students they are working with.

The approach of Innovation Lab takes personalized learning and puts it on steroids! It combines it with the passion for learning that will take these students and teachers a long way!

Hardy has created this Prezi that explains more:

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