Engaging the Digital Learner: Learning by Design

Change is the end result of all true learning.
Leo Buscaglia

We were fortunate to kick off January 2015 with a return to our very successful Engaging the Digital Learner Series. Each year we try to find educational thought leaders that will challenge our thinking and encourage our growth as professionals. Participants attend in school teams and sit at tables so we can create opportunity for thoughtful conversation about practice and provide an opportunity for informal and formal networks to grow. All of our attendees are encouraged to find something to take away that they can experiment with in their classroom. With Ignites and a Keynote, along with an overactive and enthusiastic hashtag (#sd36learn) that shares our learning, each evening has become an inspiring touchpoint for educators across our district.

This year our first evening focused on Learning by Design as Superintendent Jordan Tinney and Deputy Superintendent Rick Ryan unveiled the district’s refreshed vision. The vision is anchored by a focus that explores new structures, the use of tools, and fresh ways of learning. It provides us with a mindset with which to think about our work as we move forward as a district. You can see their story here:

Every session we have been highlighting the innovative teachers that we have right in our own backyard who are experimenting with their practice. These brave educators share their passion through the form of an Ignite. The motto for an Ignite session is teach us but make it quick! (People are given the challenge of sharing their passion in 5 minutes using only 20 slides). Think of it like a haiku, a sonnet, or even a tweet. The form is pre-established and the challenge is to communicate your passion and message within that structure.  Ignite presentations, are designed to provide us with new information, explore unknown territory in teaching & learning, or give us an actual window into classroom and instruction that is taking place across our district.

We have some really amazing work taking place across the district and I am pleased to be able to share some of it here.

The Learning project shared by Johnston Heights principal Sheila Hammond.

Be a Superhero with teacher grade 7 teacher Ron Dorland.

Making the Shift featuring Elementary Helping Teacher Karen Fadum.

Innovation Fair: A Fun Way to Learn featuring grade 8 student Owais Kharadi.

I want to thank all of our courageous Igniters for sharing their learning. Their experiences epitomize and showcase Learning by Design in action. Thank you to Jordan Tinney and Rick Ryan for acknowledging, validating and celebrating the work of all our teachers through creating a truly inspiring new vision.

Note: Our video and audio will be better next time. We have learned from this attempt. Thanks for watching and we will share our next session soon.

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