Thursday, June 28, 2018

It's not about me or you; it's about the kids learning

We are at that time of the year where we start making financial decisions, human resource decisions and changes to the school's look and appearance. We need to continue to focus on what's best for kids and their future? Many times we focus on what is best (easier or comfortable) for the adults, it makes us feel good and "we have always done it that way".

We are in the process of making changes to our learning spaces and classrooms. Often in discussions are focused on what the educator wants to do to make it easier or safer for them as the leaders of the learning and not always focused on how to support the child and their learning, because if they are not the focus then who is it benefiting? As we explore the world that are children are going into it looks much different then the one I entered 18 years ago...

With changes there is resistance, confusion and doubts that the changes will yield their tended results.  I am excited about our flexible learning commons; we are moving away from a traditional library with books and setting spaces. This is an area where we would like students to collaborate discuss and learn together or by themselves. We have continued to tweak the furniture, layout and look of the space. More importantly the content and resources inside the space. We have added wonder walls and discussion boards, along with more updates devices and books.

I am also excited about the learning space changing to a maker space for all students. Like any change we need to focus on how is it going to benefit students learning and creativity. This includes content/learning outcomes, opportunity to be creative and solve problems as well as being able to articulate ones thoughts....oh things are changing but the changes are to support student learning not to make out job easier?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Learner Agents

The past few years our education system and needs have continued to change as our society has changed. We have moved from an industrial age to the digital we look around our world we are more mobile, digital and have information overload (*by 2007, 94 percent of information was digital, meaning that the world's digital information alone would overshoot the moon if stored on CD-ROM. It would stretch 280,707.5 miles (451,755 km)). We are now able retrieve facts, information, formulas at our fingertips. We as learners will need to take this information and do something with it.

With this change in ability to retrieve information we need to shift our learning for our students from recalling facts to being able to do something with facts and data. The term learner agency is defined as:  **when learners have “the power to act”.  Agency is when learning involves the activity and the initiative of the learner, more than the inputs that are transmitted to the learner from the teacher, from the curriculum, the resources and so forth. In the past our schools have catered mostly for groups of learners, for classes of kids, with a one size fits all approach. Arguably, many students felt disenfranchised in the midst of that, as they just had to sit and do what they were told. Lessons were delivered to students who were passive in the way that they received that. When learners move from being passive recipients to being much more active in the learning process, actively involved in the decisions about the learning, then they have greater agency - per Core Core-ed

At Underwood Elementary our mission is to provide a relevant and engaging education that will graduate students who are collaborative, creative, effective communicators and critical thinkers. Last year in an effort to increase our digital capabilities we piloted BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in eleven of our classrooms. This year we will have over 20 classrooms utilizing BYOD in their learning. Along with an increase in digital use, many of our classrooms are getting makeovers in their seating and learning appearance. Remake your classroom to support collaborative learning is taking place in many of our classrooms to increase collaboration, support individual learners, and provide choice for students. We are utilizing Google Classroom, Google Application, Genuis Hour, Makerspace, and other tools/resources to support students' learning.

How are you creating a learner agency in your school?


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

First GAFE

I just completed my first Google Apps for Education Summit this week and as with many of these events I leave with lots of items rolling around in my head...

First idea, the power of voice, choice and telling our stories. I have spent the last year working on telling my story and telling the story of the school that I have the honor of leading and I am more energize in helping students and teachers voice their stories.

Celebrating the great things at school!

Who is telling your school's story?

Who is telling your story?

Second item was continued focus on being a supporter of learner driven learning environment. This will require reflection on our school spaces. We are looking at our hallways, common areas, classrooms for seating, collaborative areas, independent learning, etc.

For all of this reflections and learning opportunities there needs to be a balance.