Our district is exploring our vision of Learning by Design. We are examining how manipulating the variables of traditional structures, simple & complex tools, and learning strategies can deepen the learning experience for students.We create these important conversations through the Engaging the Digital Learner Series. The event is designed to expose our educators to different ideas, new frames for thinking, practical applications of innovative practice and inspirational speakers.
This past week our evening was punctuated with inspiring stories from four teachers who shared the ways they are experimenting with their practice. From “trying on” new teaching strategies, such as SOLES or Maker Spaces, to believing that anything is possible and preparing students for a future in physical education, each of these teachers shared their thinking and their challenge for us as individuals. Our keynote presenters, George Couros (District Principal of Innovation from Parkland SD) and Superintendent Jordan Tinney, had us anticipate the future as they examined new ways of learning and leading.
The educators in the room represent teams of three from some of our schools. They sit at tables with other teams and engage in structured conversation in response to the presentations. Table seating remains constant each evening so relationships can develop, informal networks can be established and community can be built. When you have over 5,000 teachers in your district, creating opportunities for connecting allows us to humanize and personalize the organization.
Each evening is live streamed (we had a teacher from Singapore following along and tweeting into our #sd36learn stream) and the videos are included here. Our purpose is to share our learning with not just our own community but with educators across the world so we can all learn from each other. There are no district borders to separate our commitment and passion to make schooling for our students the best it can be.
Laura Mayer, grade 6 teacher from North Ridge Elementary School, shares her story of her experimentation with Self Organized Learning Environments. Sugata Mitra’s research Hole in the Wall formed the original ideas behind SOLES. You can find his TED talk here. Laura takes a deeper dive into wonder and inquiry with her students using the SOLE framework.
Glenn Young, District PE Helping Teacher and District Athletic Coordinator speaks on Motivating the Future Learner in Physical Education. Glenn explores the power of motivating young learners through the integrated use of instructional technology in the PE context.
Marilyn Carr, grade 5 teacher from Harold Bishop Elementary, shares her belief that Anything is Possible. Based on the book by the same name, Marilyn urges us to encourage our students. This would be the first time we have an Ignite presenter conclude her story by actually singing a song!
Jeff Unruh, grade 7 teacher from Pacific Heights Elementary tells his story of Learning to Share: A Twitter Discovery. You can also learn more about Jeff in this guest post, Guess What? That’s us, authored by George Couros.
What does great leadership look like to you? What are the implications for future change? These are just some of the questions posed by keynote presenters George Couros and Superintendent Jordan Tinney as they talk about Anticipating the Future and “going elbows deep into learning.”
Learning by Design, our district’s vision, happens when we take the time to listen to the stories of others who inspire us to be intentional architects and designers of deep learning experiences for the students in our classrooms.
Note: Thanks to all our presenters for sharing your hearts and minds with us.