Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Google Classroom: Where does it fit with SAMR?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting at the TIES 2015 Conference on the topic of "Stop Looking At Squirrels," where I spoke about the need to avoid the "squirrels," or bright-shiny tools that may look cool, but don't really align with best practice regarding digital age learning. The slide deck is here:



During the presentation, I asked the question: "Is Google Classroom a squirrel?" 
Don't get me wrong, I think Google Classroom is a great tool for organizing Drive files and managing sharing! Google opening it's API for others to access and share data between systems is a BIG deal! AND...as of today, you can't track students by standard within Classroom, you can't organize units of content without a lot of savvy with Docs and Drive, and there is no parent access. 

Note: After sitting in Andrew Stillman's presentation today on Growing Wings on Google Classroom, it may not be long before these shortcomings are no longer there! Stillman noted that for the most part, you can "get by" with Classroom for most projects, and on big group or differentiated projects you could break out Doctopus to push out the assignment. As long as you are clear with them how they will access the assignment, you should be ok.

As I was talking I asked participants yesterday this question:
Where in SAMR can you get with Google Classroom?
As stated in the past, I don't see the SAMR model like a ladder, I much prefer Carl Hooker's SAMR pool analogy



Jen Hegna pointed out that it depends. Most teachers probably only use it to push out and injest assignments from students that are at the knowledge level in Bloom's Taxonomy and the Substitution level of SAMR. 

The last few years, I've done an assignment for our Hopdina Cohort, where participants are asked to create an simile for "Technology Integration is like..."



This could easily get to the augmentation level if pushed out through Classroom, where all students had access to edit the same file and each student created a slide. But I wonder if these types of experiences are few and far between. 

I'd be curious to hear what you think! Is Google Classroom a "squirrel?" Is Google Classroom going to be a tool that allows students to redefine their learning? Comments are welcome!


TIES 15: George Couros Keynote: The Innovators Mindset

George Couros, creator of ConnectedPrincipals.com was the Tuesday Keynote at the TIES 2015 Conference talking about "The Innovators Mindset, the title of his latest book." 


George's definition of the Innovators Mindset is the belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are DEVELOPED, leading to the creation of BETTER ideas!

How do you leverage strangers? For our wedding photos, we tweeted, "Does anyone know of a good photographer in Edmonton?"

My mom is turning 80 and she's just now learning to read and write, but she's open to learning. She texts him with Emoticons. 
His dad came to Canada in his 20's with a 2nd grade education, and raised a family and went from a dishwasher to owning a restaurant, yet we complain about moving from Word to Google Docs!"

"Transformational leaders don't start by denying the world around them. Instead, they describe a future they'd like to create instead!" 
-Seth Godin

If kids leave school less curious than when they started, we have failed!

Comparing kids at a concert with their cell phones out, and business men on a train in the 1950's with their newspapers out. How are they different?
Then he shared this video:


When we tell students to put their technology away as they enter the room, what does that say about trust and how kids learn? Kids today see technology as more than a tool, that it can be used to allow them to teach, and when we teach, we learn! 

Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of a great teacher can be transformative.

How are you getting kids to find the good information being shared, and creat good information?
The best person to learn about space from is not a teacher, it's an astronaut. Like this guy:

We don't give kids a device to standardize, we give it to personalize

Carol Dweck's book on Growth Mindset 
It's not about agreeing, it's about continuing to grow.

the Innovators Mindset is the belief that abilities, intelligence, and talents are DEVELOPED, leading to the creation of BETTER ideas!

Empathetic/Problem Finders & Solvers

The Big Question: Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your classroom?
Think about what other teachers are doing in your subject area: Could lead to students making "Your topic in 60 Seconds" videos like this:

Ewan McIntosh-We should be focusing on students becoming problem finders rather than problem solvers, like this. How do we make this the norm in our classrooms? 

Couros showed "WestHighBros" similar to OsseoNiceThings, where students created Twitter accounts to compliment classmates.

We don't get people innovative around things they hate... Kids can be really resilient if they are passionate about the topic.

We need to understand that failure is a part of learning and how we grow from it!


When kids see themselves as innovators and finding and solving problems, they can do amazing things! 
The people who says you can't do something get in the way of those doing it!

Creators/Reflective


We watched TV, they MAKE TV! How can we give kids the space to create? Makerspaces, About.me pages

Students should leave high school with these 3 things:

1. A Professional Social Network
2. A digital portfolio
3. An about.me page


The shift in education has to move product to process! 

Social Media is like water. You can either let us drown, or teach us to swim. -Student

George learned a valuable lesson when inviting 2000 students to tweet out a hashtag, and the three of the students chose to tweet out inappropriate things. He thought about shutting it down, but when he asked kids to focus on the positive, they drowned out the negative voices.

We need to make the positives so loud, that the negatives are drowned out!

What if we had all teachers tweet out one thing that day they did in their classroom, and took 5 minutes to read what others send out? 
When kids do it for the teacher, they want it to be "good enough," when they do it for the world, they want it to be good!
To inspire meaningful change, you must make a connection with the heart!
Adults see distraction, kids see opportunity!

What is the biggest game-changer in education? 
An educator who sees themselves as an innovator! 




Monday, December 14, 2015

TIES 2015 Keynote: Sylvia Martinez: A Global Revolution Goes to School-The Maker Movement

Sylvia Lebow Martinez, co-author of the book, "Invent to Learn," was the Monday keynote at the TIES 2015 Conference
Maker movement has gotten a lot of buzz lately. 
She noted that she was a pretty good student, and got an engineering degree from UCLA. She was invited to be on a team that designed a GPS navigation system right out of college. She notes that our students today will be given opportunities to try things that are new and seemingly impossible. 
The maker movement is giving students the opportunity to come in contact with tools that they will be seeing the rest of their lives. "Sure, I used a 3D printer in Middle School." 
People all over the world don't have to wait for a company, they can design and problem solve the things they need without big infrastructure.
We are in the "2nd Industrial Revolution!" As manufacturing changes the way the supply chain works, new jobs, skills and opportunities are arising.
What does this say about learning? People are applying their learning to change the world!
Makerfaires are popping up all over. 300,000 people came to the "World Maker Faire" last year. Here's an example:

The enthusiasm, and combination of art and science is truly exciting!
When she and co-author Gary Stager talked to people for their book, the people talked about how they wished school was like "maker faire." They hope the book can serve as a tool for teachers to see how they can make school more project based, meaningful, and authentic. Martinez and Stager now have their own publishing company, and have been working with "Super Awesome Sylvia!"

Three main components of Maker Movement

Fabrication

3-D Printing-Coming soon to shoes, food, clothes and the medical field. By giving students access to a tool like this, they can create authentic items and learn how they can transform the world.

"I can do this! -What more can you want students to say?"
Kids know that they are being invited for their ideas. Even YouTube! These invitations are coming to kids from the world. 3D scans of artifacts, bones, etc. It changes the meaning of primary source. 
On Saturday, I saw a video from Jen Hegna, where for around $300 you can do this yourself!


Physical Computing

Raspberry Pi-$5!!
Arduino-Turn on lights, motors, "If-Then" opportunities
E-Textiles

These are low cost, easy to use items that allow students to create something that can be used in the real world. It's all tied in to the "Internet of Things!" 

Programming

Martinez believes programming is a skill all students should have. It helps students make sense of the world. 
LOGO is a great example, Scratch, and many of the Hour of Code sites are the "grand children" of logo.
An ecosystem is developing where modules are connecting together. Scratch can be linked into 
Beatle Blocks is the next step, that programs in 3 dimensions!

Expand the toolkit! Mix it up!

Cardboard construction using Makedo, Rolobox, or Hummingbird


The newest outposts in the maker movement is biology-Rapid prototyping a Euglena Gracilis environment.


Waterfall Design
Spiral Design Boehm 1988 (Rapid Prototyping), a chance to do something again till they get it right.
Computers make design less risky, you can try something, and then adjust.

Martinez talked about the "meaningful adjacencies" involved in designing the 9/11 memorial, so that people's names could be close to those they were close to.

Technologies are allowing us to be our best selves!
Can we do this in schools?
How do I choose, where should I start? 

Learning manifesto: Does the tool support what I believe about learning?

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge -Pappert

Artist with arduino behind art work

Simple Design process-Get kids working on the process as soon as possible!

Making is not a shopping list, it's a stance towards learning!
Isn't this like "summer camp?" 

Finding ways for kids to find value, helps empower them and builds positive citizens. 

How do teachers learn to teach this way? Have them do it!! 

Constructing Modern Knowledge Conference is a great way to learn it!

Seize this moment in history to give kids the opportunity to change the world!





Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Data We Should Be Collecting...

Modified from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/
At the start of the school year, Burnsville Tech Director, Doug Johnson had a great post, titled, "Getting To Know You As More Than A Number." In it, he shared the work of Mark Barnes and Jennifer Gonzalez in Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes For Every School 

The post resonated with me, because for a long time, I feel like the focus on data in education has been about knowing the standardized test results, instead of REALLY getting to know the student, their likes, dislikes, passions, values and dreams.

It was just after our district kick-off workshops, where I heard about trying to be respectful of students who are either trans-gender or are questioning, and starting the year by asking the students what they would like to be called as they're first name. In addition, Sharocky Hollie had opened our district-wide staff development on Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction. He spoke to the need to provide opportunities for learning in all three of the following domains:

After Dr. Hollie's sessions, I happened into Edina High School Social Studies teacher, Brad Dahlman's classroom. Taking what he learned about Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction, he asked students to share their favorite song on a form, and then he found each song on YouTube. Each day, the students come into class and Brad plays the next song in the list. This provides a culturally responsive intro to each class, which is pretty cool! 

I decided to take the information from Doug's post, and what I learned during our workshops, and Brad's idea and put together a form that teachers could use to gather data to really get to know their students. 



Here is the link to the response form if you'd like to make a copy and/or modify the form.

My hope is that this can be a tool we can use to better know our students, be culturally & linguistically responsive , make connections with them, and assist them to personalize their learning experience and connect their passions with our curricular area. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Edina High School Staff and eLearning2

Yesterday I met with staff at Edina High School to share some updates on our eLearning2 initiative for 2015-16. While the program is entering its 4th year, this is the second year that all students are required to have a device for their learning.

We talked about our Digital Age Learning Framework and how it ties into our Educational Competencies and Next Generation learning, as well as using the SAMR framework for thinking about how students are using devices in their classrooms. 



During the session I asked the staff to share at their tables ways that they had incorporated devices in their instruction. I gave them a Google Form to record their answers and share what they discussed. Here are the questions they asked and a visual representation of the responses:

How did you incorporate student devices in your instruction last year?


It was rewarding to see so many different ways devices had been used for learning! Not just for consuming information, but collaboration and creation in all curricular areas! 

What growth steps do you hope to take this year?

It was great to walk around and hear the conversations as staff shared their stories. This coming year, staff are excited to take advantage of Google Classroom's new features and go deeper in the "SAMR Pool"  
I am excited for the coming year, and working with a staff willing to "live in beta," and grow!



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Edina Learning Institute Keynote: Rafranz Davis "To Learn is to Wonder About Possibilities"

Rafranz Davis, author of the book, The Missing Voice in EdTech Conversations, Bringing Diversity into EdTech" was our keynote speaker at the Edina Learning Institute.

All of us as teachers have had times where we were NOT innovative, creative, brilliant!

She is the first college graduate in her family, and comes from a very supportive close knit family.

She comes from a "Minecraft Family," as a way to create as a family, both at home and outside. She loves that she can bring that outside activity into her classroom.

As a student, in 5th grade she realized that she couldn't focus in class, as she began to day-dream. She felt like she didn't belong, and didn't have the platform to do creative things. It fueled her desire to become a teacher, to help students just as herself.

She remembers the Tandy 1000 and AOL, and the first time she logged on to the Internet. It was the greatest thing ever to have access! It reminded me of waiting 4 hours to download a picture of Shaquille O'Neil. 

Her early years of teaching were very teacher directed, with a SMART Board and tools that only she used, rather than being more student directed.

Why is Math Different? Why do we need to do these worksheets? How is this a part of our lives? 

She started with games. Play the skill, test the skill, mini-game...

Back to Basics
She needed to get to know her students. To find out what made them tick. She found there were so many things that were connections from curriculum to their real life, but we weren't making those connections. 
She shared stories of students that she is still connected to, who became pregnant at an early age, or survived a stabbing, or were told they couldn't be something further on due to low grades, or were questioning their orientation and was beaten at home.

These stories put things in perspective on how getting to know your students can give greater understanding of what they are going through, and how you can help them.

New Tech High
Davis attended a conference, where she got to visit New Tech High in Coppell, Texas where they focus on Project Based Learning and was transformed.

She encouraged people to visit other schools and 

Twitter
She was transformed by the ability to connect with other teachers around the world through her personal learning network

Ask Questions that lead to more questions...
Classrooms need to be a safe place to learn. 

Empower learning through student interest
What is your students "thing?" What keeps them up at night that is of interest?
She started playing emersive games in her classroom, like SIMS build and Farmville and Angry Birds, which taught students design and application.

Emilio, loved rap, which allowed her to talk about beats per minute/measure as he used Garage Band to make music. 

Chonston, who loved dentistry, and was able to do internships in high school in the dentist office, and is close to having his degree.

Braeden, her nephew, who is 10, at 8 taught himself how to handmake puppets. He struggles with homework folders that take 3 hours per night, but taught himself via YouTube how to design and build amazing puppets. He has now presented at conferences, and even created a mascot costume, which provided great opportunities for problem solving, creativity and innovation. It didn't come from a packet or a teacher at a SMART Board. He blogs about his passion here.

Learning is fueled by curiosity and passion.
We do need to learn somethings that may not be part of that, but as teachers, we need to connect our curriculum to our student's passions!

Braxton's Story
Her niece shared in Rafranz's book how she did not have access to technology besides her phone. Her teacher didn't allow it. The teacher wanted a 20 slide PowerPoint, with paragraphs on each slide. Braxton wanted to make a video, but the teacher said she didn't have a rubric for a video, only the PowerPoint lesson that she has been doing for the last 10 years. She discussed how powering down at school was such a struggle. 


Davis challenged us to listen to what our students are saying. Learning should be happening while you are doing the homework, not after the homework.
At the end of the day, our students want to be better people, students and scholars!

At the end of the day, it isn't about the technology, it's about the relationships we build with our students!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thoughts on Vacation: Is Anything Truly Summative?

This summer, our family had the opportunity to spend time in the Andalusia region of Spain on our vacation. We visited Granada, where we toured the Alhambra as well as the Cathedral of the Incarnation. I was struck by the beauty of both of these architectural marvels as well as the cultural differences in design represented. It also struck me at how many years each took to build, and how even today, the structures are being updated, refurbished and added to. Some of the techniques used to preserve the structures 100 years ago were found to actually cause damage, and were being updated with the latest advances in preservation.

Alhambra
 











Cathedral of the Incarnation


These buildings were truly "works of art," and a testament to the people who designed and built them, and to those who continue to maintain them. 

On the last day of our trip, we toured the Pablo Picasso Museum in Malaga. In one of the rooms, there was a quote from the painter that gave me pause...
“To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.”  
-Pablo Picasso
It got me to thinking about assessment in schools today. Summative assessment is often defined as "at the conclusion of instruction/learning." How often do our assessments kill our student's love of learning about a subject, or rid THEM of their soul?" What if, much like the buildings I saw that have been "under construction" for hundreds of years, we thought of ALL assessment as formative, and allowed children to continue to grow and build on their understanding of a topic? 

Just something I thought about while on vacation...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#CLMOOC: Make Cycle 1-Unmake an Introduction

This summer, I am participating in Connected Learning Massive Open Online Collaboration, #CLMOOC, a collaboration between the National Writing Project and the MacArthur Foundation. The theme this year is Make Cycles, an opportunity to make, create, learn and explore as a way to experience Connected Learning. Over the last 8 years, I have experienced connected learning in many ways, and I am excited to spend some time learning with colleagues all over the world this summer!


Make Cycle #1: Unmake an Introduction

This week in Make Cycle #1, we have been asked to deconstruct something we have created as a way to break down barriers as a way to promote equity and participation among participants, a principle of Connected Learning.

The other day, while walking around Lake Harriet, near my home, I spotted this Great Blue Heron perched on a dead limb. I decided to snap a photo, as one of my favorite pastimes is photography. I thought it would make for a good subject for my Make Cycle #1 project! Using Pixlr, an online photo editing tool, I added the Kaleidoscope, Posterize, and Hope fllters to alter the image. You can see the before and after below. 

I've used Pixlr before, and love that it is FREE, and contains similar tools to Photoshop. At the same time, this MOOC is about learning, and so I wanted to try a new tool as well. I decided to play with PicPac Stop-Motion and Timelapse to see how it might work as a tool for this project, as well as for digital storytelling for students. 
Recently, I took down the tree house I had built when my kids were younger. I took a few photos of the process and used PicPac to put the short movie together. Since this make cycle is about "unmaking," it seemed like fitting subject matter! Here is the final product:





If you haven't joined #CLMOOC, there's still time! I encourage you to join me to connect and learn this summer! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Minnesota #GAFESummit Keynote: James Sanders- A Resume of Failure


James SandersDirector of Innovation for EdTechTeam and co-founder of Future Ready Schools, was the keynote speaker at the 3rd Minnesota Google Summit.

He discussed the ways that he has failed in his life, iterated, and moved forward, learning and growing. There were 3 main themes:


  • Take resks
  • Reimagine
  • Put Yourself Out There


The first story of failure has to do with a "little green pill." To prepare for a long flight, he took a sleeping pill, and overslept because of it.


In high school, he learned that just because something was a certain way, didn't make it right. He often shared too much of his opinions, and ended up spending a lot of time in the principals office... Most of what he learned was "non-academic." A lack of adherence...

Tried becoming a professional golfer...failed.
Went to work in the mill in his home town for 3 summers. Learned how to drive a fork lift and bobcat, but not very good at physical labor...3 trips to the ER...

In order to find out who you are, you have to make mistakes...

He talked about the mistakes he made in the classroom, as a history teacher, he made several

The Butterfly Effect
In 2010, this happened...
For the first time in his life, he got to work at something he was passionate about. He was able to partner with a school in Prague, and connect with other schools around the world. Artifacts were assigned to teams of students to research who they belonged to. On KIVA, students made recommendations on who they should give loans too. Authentic learning...

But he forgot the basics....The Chromebooks started to break... "Chromebook Classroom," started. He put himself out there, and looked for ways that students could as well.

He had the students start "KIPP Student News," for students to create and put themselves out there:

Watching 12 year olds do the news is much more interesting..
Decided EVERY studnent should have a YouTube channel.

Unfortunately, on a class trip, students posted video that was a wasn't the most appropriate... One of the students had over 1,000,000 hits! The student asked, don't you make money from this? 

He was taking risks, and knew if he kept pushing, it would be ok. He had students create Web Portfolios. 

Put yourself out there. 
He created, "EduNationCast," to put himself out there and promoted it with the hashtag, "#penismightierthanthesword"..... #Fail

What if we push it further...
He went up to Google to share his vision for the future of Google and education.
Teachers need help, what can Google do...
Google Teacher, Google Classroom,...
Rather than telling people what to do, ask what YOU can do?

He went to work for YouTube, and started "ClassBadges." 
Then he went to work at the Whitehouse, as an "Innovation Fellow."
He helped create the Whitehouse Student Film Festival, as a way to allow students to share their learning, and allow students to talk about what is possible. 

Sanders talked about the problems that we have in the world today. the United States prison population has skyrockedted 400% in the last 30 years...
Prince Charming isn't coming. It's up to us as teachers to create new learning environments and putting the questions out there.
It's when you take risks and put yourself out there is when change happens. Sanders recommended author Austin Kleon, "Steal like an Artist," and "Show Your Work" as worth looking at.  
How big is your Dung Ball? As you fail, and try again, who knows how big it can get?!!

His next risks are "Future Ready Schools..."

He's also looking at bringing Breakout (Escape Rooms), and Game Based Learning into the classroom, with BreakoutEDU.

He'll be leading a session on BreakoutEdu here at the Summit later this afternoon, and I'm excited to be signed up!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Edina High School Passion Project Fair

On Tuesday, April 28, Edina High School Sophomores shared their year-long passion projects with staff, fellow students and community members. This project is part of their Pre-AP English 10 course, and also involved completing a research paper, service learning, and digital age learning. This authentic learning experience has led to recognition for students beyond the school walls in the past, and I believe this year's sophomores will be continuing that tradition.
Here are some highlights that were shared out during the presentations.




It was great to see EHS alumni, Alec Fischer and Gabe Aderhold come back to encourage students to continue to foster their passions beyond their projects, as you never know how far it can take you!

This year's "Passion Fair" was the best yet, and it was great to see school and community leaders turn out to learn from the students. 


It was also rewarding to see the different ways students incorporated the use of their eLearning2 1:1 devices and digital age learning into their work. Students started the process using NoodleTools for research and Google Docs for writing.
As they declared their passion, several posted to social media:

All of the students maintained a blog for the class (Accessible Here), which allowed them to reflect on not only their passion project, but also the books they read and reflection on their learning. 

For the last two years, service learning has become an important component of the project. Students are asked to take action on their passion in some way. One student raised money by holding a pancake breakfast for the St. Joseph's Home for Children, an organization that helped him out when he was younger, another created this video to raise awareness around standardized testing:

Students used a variety of tools for presenting at the fair, including PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, Screencasting, and Piktochart, and built Websites using Weebly, Google Sites and Wix.

The Passsion Project is a great way that Edina students are able to personalize their learning and follow their interests in authentic ways. The service component builds on work students completed in the 7th grade Apathy project and 9th grade Government project. As we continue to evolve the Next Generation of Learning in Edina, I hope the Passion Project continues to be a vital component.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Digital Learning Day 2015....Just another day of learning in Edina

Last Friday, March 13, was the 2015 Digital Learning Day, an effort to promote innovation and technology integration. With our eLearning2 Digital Age Learning initiative, it felt like just another day of learning! To me, every day is "Digital Learning Day!" I asked staff to Tweet out pictures of their students accessing content, collaborating and creating using both the #DLDay and #eLearning2 hashtags. The result was a great mix of activities from all grade levels, K-12. 




In addition, Jackie Roehl and Rachel Hatten had their Pre-AP English 10 students create a "Twitter Tableaux" around themes in the book, Slaughterhouse Five. Here were their instructions for students:


   Twitter Tableaux

  • A tableau (tableaux is the plural form) is a group of motionless models representing a scene from a story.
  • As a group discuss your chapter to determine the three scenes that illustrate war themes and then create one tableau per scene for a total of three tableaux.
  • Have someone take photos of the tableaux and tweet them with two hashtags #DLDay #s5tab.  With the remaining characters write a theme statement for your tableau. What are you trying to say here about war?
  • You will present your images and explain your motivations to the class.  You have to be back here in 25 minutes to present or you get a 0.
  • Chapter 5 is split pp. 87-113 and pp. 114 to 135
This is what the students came up with!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

COSN15: Preparing Globally Competitive Students-Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools

Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools shared how his district is developing Globally Competitive Students at COSN15.

Baltimore County has a 87.6% graduation rate. It's mostly urban and diverse. 

  • 2nd Highest Grad rate umong large school districts
  • More than half of the schools are among the best in the nation 
  • 17 Blue Ribbon Schools
  • Multiple Wards
  • 91% of families say the school is effective or highly effective
Good is not Good enough! 12% of students not graduating, 18% of African American Males not graduating

ALL MEANS ALL is their Motto! 
Brainpower does not discriminate

How they began...
  • Reaching out to the community stakeholders
  • Previous Admin-Blueprint for Progress
  • Stagnant in academic approach
BluePrint 2.0 Developing their purpose
  • Prepare students to be globally competitive and globally prepared
  • Define what the diploma means when they leave the school system
  • Access to an equitable digital learning environment
  • 2nd Language prior to graduation starting in 4th grade (Leveraging Tech to do so)
68% of Building Administrators thought that the academic program was set up to meet the needs of all students.
1/3 didnt' think students had the instructional technology to succeed.
Conversations around equity and leveling the playing field took place.

  • Globally competitive
  • Rigorous
  • Relevant
  • Accessible
  • Responsive
What do we mean to get kids engaged?

Classrooms NEED to be Learning Centered!


Learner Centered Environments
  • Students have independent choice
  • Students develop responsibility to evaluate learning
  • Removes artificial barriers 
  • Teacher takes into account what they know and create responsive environment for students
  • Teacher has freedom to focus on students struggling
  • More student collaboration
  • Student "experts"
  • Technology now used as an integral part of learning rather than an add-on

Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow (Link to site)

Students owning the classroom, K-12
18 months focusing on Curriculum First
  • Curriculum created by and for BCPS educators
  • Digitally enhanced in Core content areas
  • Redefining delivery
  • Greater emphasis on Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills
STAT Transformation involved:
  1. Curriculum Conversion-Needs to happen first
  2. Instructional Conversion-Looking at transforming pedagogy
  3. Assessment Conversion-Moving away from pencil/paper, formative daily
  4. Organizational Conversion-About people, everyone needs to be on board (Buses, Food Service, School Board) Full Time STAT teachers in each building (lesson planning and student centered first, then Tech
  5. Infrastructure conversion-System level updates ($12 million)
  6. Policy Conversion-Responsible Use rather that Appropriate, Grading conversion
  7. Budget Conversion-85% of the budget is people, weekly fiscal issues meeting, 
  8. Communications Conversion
Principal Leadership and Teacher devices were the focus first
Decided that 1:1 would start with Elementary because learner centered is easier there. k-3 first, and then 4-5 next year. 

Lighthouse Schools started this year.
Start slow to go fast.
10 Laboratory Schools, so teachers can see what it looks like
Maryland chose 5, the District chose 5

Dance shared a video highlighting the shifts that have been made 1/2 way through the year. Teachers see the transformation and how equity is being addressed. Students and teachers are exhibiting more passion for their learning.

Expansion in 2015
Schoolwide at current Lighthouse Schools
All elementary schools, grades K-3
7 Lighthouse schools, Grade 6 only
Ensuring support

They have single sign on, BCPS One, that ties Digital Resources (Discovery, Brainpop, NBCone, Learning Management, Student Information, etc...

Students log in and see calendar and see progress. 
Assessment taken goes into gradebook and teacher than customizes the learning plan for that student.

Todos Adelante-Middlebury Interactive is what they are using for 2nd Language in Grade 4.

Rationale:

Dance, who started with Mark Edwards in Henrico County, VA,  notes that they are changing classrooms, but they are also changing the community. 

Never underestimate culture! People need to be valued, and work as a team to make things work.

Engrade is their single signon vendor, and Infinite Campus will be their Student Information System.

Maryland has become a competency based state, so seat time is no longer an issue.