Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Redefining Awesome: The 2012 South View 9th Grade Service Learning Showcase

Great Learning
For the past 12 years, 9th grade Government students at South View Middle School have been involved in some type of Service Learning project. As you will see in the video below, the project, the product produced by students and the depth of learning that happens has evolved significantly. This year's iteration kicked off last fall in October, with a fair organized by Edina Service Learning Coordinator, Julie Rodgers Bascom, and media specialist, Cathy Heller. The students had a chance to meet with partner organizations that they might consider volunteering at, and to learn more about those institutions. 
Once students were paired up with organizations, they spent the next 7 months volunteering time and talent, and documenting their learning on Websites and blogs. What was truly remarkable about this experience was to hear how it transformed students, and how most said that they would like to continue with some type of service into the future.

On May 24 and 25th, students had a chance to showcase their learning, and how they were transformed by the experience. I stopped by on the 25th with my Flip camera to record some of the projects featured. The transformative aspects of the learning were POWERFUL! I wish I had used some better equipment to capture the experience, but hopefully the message will come through as you watch the video. This project is definitely an "EduWin" and another way that Edina teachers and students are "Redefining Awesome!"

New Tools
Students were able to put their sites together this year using Google Chromebooks, through a grant teachers Claude Sigmund and Eric Lowe received through the Edina Education Fund. The students felt like they worked pretty well, booting up quickly and allowing them to get right to the task on hand. One student even commented that as soon as his Macbook dies, he's getting a Chromebook! It was a good first hand account of what will be possible next year, when many of our staff who applied for Integration Initiative grants will be implementing them in their classroom.
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