As most schools re-start or have already re-started, many are asking deeper questions around how to create more authentic, meaningful, and real world learning experiences for students. Making the shift doesn’t happen overnight. It takes unwavering commitment to putting the systems and structures in place to support them. Holistic scheduling, planning, reporting, and curriculum are all pieces of the puzzle. To help support anyone with the courage to make the shift, I have put together a short 10 video series. Each whiteboard video features a different shift and simple strategies for how to make them at your school or program. I hope they support you in your meaningful work!
GET THE 10 SHIFT VIDEO PLAYLIST:
In the real world, content is not neatly sub- divided by academic subject, learning level, and step by step instructions. Instead, it’s interdisciplinary, and oftentimes messy. How do we create learning experiences in school that mimic the way learning looks in the real world? This short video provides simple strategies for how to create these experiences and how you might adapt timetables and curriculum to best support them.
All meaningful learning begins with inquiry and curiosity. It’s the same for building a home, learning a new language, or starting a business. Yet oftentimes, learning in school begins with boring, dry content. We want to teach students everything they will need to know before the true and meaningful learning begins. What would happen if we started the learning process with inquiry? How much more engaged might our students become. The short video above teaches how to begin learning experiences with inquiry, and the impact on students when you do.
Shift #3: How to move from teacher designed to co-designed learning experiences
Oftentimes, the planning of learning experiences happens within closed doors in the corners of a school. What if we co-designed learning experiences with the community? This video demonstrates how to co-plan learning experiences that involve multiple stakeholders across the school, local and global community, and the impact on student learning when we do.
Shift #4: How to shift from a reporting system based on grades, to one based on growth
What if there was a way to motivate 100% of our students without using grades? What if instead of grades, our student’s learning journeys were guided by solving real world problems?
As innovative leaders we realize that real learning is a dynamic conversation, requiring continual feedback and dialogue, not a static end of term evaluation. We know that every learner is on their own unique journey, and that it is our job to collect evidence of their growth every step of the way. We understand that just as in life, learning should provide us with second, third and even fourth chances. So how to we make the shift? This short video demonstrates how to make the simple shift from a reporting system based on grades, to one based on growth.
Where do you publish student work? Perhaps a class website? Within SeeSaw or another online portfolio?
If we want to increase the quality and professionalism of our student’s work, we have to give them an audience that lives beyond the classroom. Real scientists, anthropologists, business owners, college professors, academians, and museum curators can not only provide students with feedback, but help them get their ideas and work to a wider audience. This video introduces a real case study on how to expand the audience for our student’s work.
Shift #6: How to move from Deliverer of Content to Facilitator of Learning Experiences
Oftentimes, the pace of learning is dictated by the teacher. Students who are ready to march ahead are left waiting for the next assignment or lesson; while students who fall behind are forced to move at a pace they can’t maintain.
What if students could determine the pace of their own learning? What if there were systems in place to help students progress through learning experiences at their own pace? This short video demonstrates how to make the simple shift from the deliverer of content, to the facilitator of learning experiences.
Shift #7: How to Break Silos and Build Partnerships
In earlier videos we discussed how to break subject-specific silos, become facilitators of learning and connect on meaningful learning experiences.
There is one more piece to the puzzle.
Community partners. From helping students design health related apps related to CoVid, to teaching students how to grow their own food, community partners help make learning real and support us educators where we lack expertise. The short video above demonstrates the power of community partners; their purpose in projects; and where to find them.
Shift #8: How to Move from School-Owned to Student-Owned
Who owns the spaces in your school? What happens when you allow students to organize and curate the space? What impact might it have on their learning?
The video above demonstrates how to move from ‘school-owned’ spaces to ‘student-owned’ spaces and the transformative effect it has on students when you do.
Shift #9: From Top-Down to Distributed Leadership Models
Creating meaningful learning experiences requires communities built on strong relationships, autonomy and trust. It’s hard to build that community in schools with over 1,000 students.
The short video above teaches how to make the shift from a top down, slow moving bureaucratic school model, to a fast moving, autonomous learning community model.