approx read time: 2 min.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had a coach with you in the classroom whenever you wanted? You know, someone who watches you play your game, and then helps you adjust your technique.
Imagine you got a great idea from a blog post, Twitter chat or conference workshop over the weekend. You’re going to try it out Monday. Wouldn’t it be great if someone else could be there to watch and give you some feedback, engage in some reflection? Someone who knows the learning targets, but is free to watch the action unfold rather than be caught up in facilitating?
Or maybe you have a tried and true activity that could use a refresh. It flows wonderfully, but you want to build on it and take it to the next level. Unfortunately, when one is engaged in facilitating the lesson, opportunities to observe and learn as a teacher are few and far between.
One way to see it all is with the use of a tool like Swivl. This little robotic video stand offers a great option to observe and reflect on your practice. You can either set it in a convenient spot and let it go, or you can wear the marker and have it follow you around as you speak. Upload your video and watch at your leisure. And if you choose, you can invite others to comment by sharing your video. You can expand this out to filming students as they work individually, in small groups or presenting. Share clips with students as exemplars. Using Swivl is an easy way to step into using the ISTE educator standards as you strive to increase modeling, collaboration, and student choice. Use Swivl to:
Leave a comment below to share how you’ve used Swivl or other video coaching methods to improve teaching and learning.
Headed to MACUL18 this week? Me too! And you're cordially invited to any one (or all) of my three great sessions!
Thursday from 3-430 take a deeper dive into Google mapping tools; Earth, Tour Builder, My Maps & Lit Trips, at my What a Wonderful World session. Follow this link to a one page handout with session description and resources.
Friday I'll be presenting Formative Assessment by Design. This talk highlights the role of formative assessment and some of tech tools you can use to support empowering learners and create lessons targeted to the individual needs of each student. Follow this link for complete session description and handout.
Friday afternoon I'm back at it from 1-2 co-presenting with physics teacher extraordinaire, Elizabeth Maitner from Catholic Central high school. Elizabeth is sharing a project she did with students in which they applied for a grant and used the funds to build a drone! Not trained in project-based learning, this project developed organically when she told the kids, "if you want to do this, we need funding and I can't do it alone!" Learn from us the what, why and how of connecting with community to make it happen.
So I'm one of those who grew up mildly to mostly uncomfortable with math. As a high school student. I excelled at linguistics, and intellectual though processes. But math just didn't add up (haha) I loved the proofs of geometry. The built in meta-cognition worked for me. But algebra? in the traditional manner of do all the odd (or even) problems, show all your work, one right answer? Not so much. Sound familiar?
Now that I'm a part time field supervisor, coaching student teachers in all content areas, I've been brushing up on content specific methods and strategies. Enter Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler. This book has been life-changing. And it aligns with the design thinking work I've been doing the last couple of years. Whether you're a math teacher or not, this book is for you. Boaler provides excellent examples of how to create a collaborative classroom where students learn that there really is no such thing as a mistake. Instead, they are encouraged to share and debate ideas based on the familiar, claim, evidence, reasoning technique we see in science and language arts. Armed with the basics of number sense, students discover math facts for themselves in a constructivist style of learning. We are reminded that while there may be a right answer, there is no one right way to arrive at that answer and the power of allowing students to explore and explain their thinking.
Boaler provides tons of great examples of simple 'games' aka activities to encourage this thinking including one of my new favorite apps kenken puzzles along with a variety of resources from youcubed.org that will start you on the way to understanding the benefit of a growth mindset in mathematics.
She touches on a variety of related topics as well, such as the benefits of heterogeneous vs. homogeneous grouping in math classes. Her position on the role of homework is particularly relevant to any content area. She espouses the value of reflection as opposed to repetition, advocating for a sort of flipped classroom model in which the practice and discover is done in class with students engaging in self-assessment as homework.
As I visit schools and have sat in on curriculum committee work, I routinely hear how math is 'special' that there is such a broad range of abilities teachers require special consideration in designing programs that essentially track students and impose upon them a fixed mindset related to math ability, setting them up continued struggle, failure and lowered self-esteem. Jo Boaler offers practical methods that can be implemented without a complete curriculum re-write that will ease the tension and frustration for students and teachers alike. Add this book to your summer reading list!
(reading time approx 3 minutes)
We wrapped up our 1st year of implementing Design Thinking (aka Human Centered Design) last week with an amazing showcase hosted by Aquinas College. 200+ community members came out to see the innovative work spanning grades k-12 in our schools this year. Below are some comments and a photo gallery for those who couldn’t make it. You can access this Google doc for more details on each individual project. Feel free to contact any of our teachers or the Office of Catholic Schools if you have any questions about the project. See my previous posts on this topic for the background. A Time to Dance | Innovate with Empathy
Response to the event:
“How exciting to see all your culminating work at the showcase! You are all humble Catholic school teachers, and it sometimes doesn’t feel natural to “show off” what you’ve done. I heard many positive responses from those who attended — parents, future parents, other educators, administrators — as your work has helped them to see innovation in our classrooms and your leadership in teaching others about what you’ve learned. Thank you for your continued commitment to our year of learning.” Assistant Supt Jill Annable
It [design thinking] has completely transformed the way they teach. They are so excited and energized about using this process. Teachers have requested mixed grade level classes because they see so much potential. ~Suzi Furtwangler, Principal St Thomas
“Thank you for inviting us! It was a wonderful collection of Design Thinking in action, and I loved the conversations that I had with Sara Olson about how she changed the direction of her Art 4 class utilizing Design Thinking (going to try some of this out myself with my art students next year).” Tricia Erickson, Art Teacher Northview High School
“This year I learned that failing is a good thing because you have the opportunity to really grow! If you don’t fail sometimes that means you aren’t really doing anything new or hard. God created us to DO things!” ~anonymous student
(reading time 2.5 min.) Author: Carol Glanville
This week has been a flurry of activity as we put the finishing touches on our inaugural spring student showcase. This year, we’re showcasing work from the 1st year of our design thinking in the classroom initiative, aka. innovatED.
A bit of history. Last spring we started exploring how we might bring the design thinking (aka human-centered design process) to our schools. We discovered that Xavier University in Cincinnati has an undergrad degree program in exactly that. So, we connected with them and created a customized 4-day workshop where staff from five or our schools, St Thomas, All Saints Academy, St Pat’s Parnell, West Catholic and Catholic Central participated as teams of teachers to learn all about it. We also explored coding, computational thinking, simple design software, 3-d printing and much more. We all left excited about the possibilities and many of us, without any experience in such things, were emboldened to discover how simple it really was! For more information on that program check out this posting from my blog archive: Innovate with Empathy.
Over the course of this year, we’ve continued to support each other, sharing our successes, failures and learnings along the way. The culmination of that work will be on display this coming Thursday, April 27 at Aquinas College. Teachers, students and administrators will be on hand to demonstrate and discuss how we’ve implemented this process and how it is related to future curriculum planning.
We’ve also made some exciting new connections throughout this experience. We’ve been invited to host sessions related to this work at the annual MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference, the iie (Institute for Innovation in Education) gathering at U of M, and Aquinas College School of Education. We’ve also made some valuable new connections partnering with local industry experts to demonstrate the connection from school to life; Kendall College of Art & Design, IDEO/Steelcase, Spectrum Hospitals Architecture and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, and the design team at Mercy Health Innovation Hub In addition, by participating in West Michigan Design Week events, we’ve connected with Wolverine World Wide and a local Stanford d.school consultant.
This exciting work has helped us broaden our reach and stands to benefit our schools not only in terms of the skills we teach our students but in ever-growing access to real-world application of learning and partnerships that can enhance our educational programming.
Please join us at the showcase to explore and celebrate the innovative teaching, learning and administrative practices of our journey thus far. As an added benefit, you’ll also have the opportunity to see the Documentary Screenagers; Growing up in the Digital Age. We showed this film last fall to a sell-out crowd of 300. It was very well-received and this showcase event provides the perfect venue for screening it again for those who missed the first go-round.
The event is free. The showcase is open-house style with no ticket needed. However, you do need to reserve seat(s) for the film. Follow this link for complete event details.
(reading time 3 minutes)
MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) hosts their annual conference next week in Detroit. A number of Diocese of Grand Rapids teachers and administrators will be in attendance as casual observers, presenters and award winners. MACUL’s mission is “ignites learning through meaningful collaboration and innovation.”
With 5000+ attending (including teachers, admin, support staff, coaches, school board members, and state education leaders) and over 300 sessions the MACUL annual conference is one of the largest, and well-recognized state ed tech conferences in the nation. MACUL draws speakers of international acclaim, such as George Couros, Jaime Casap, and Kathy Shrock.
This year, as in years past, our own Office of Catholic Schools will be represented among the rock-stars of ed tech by a range of educators and administrators. Our presenters include Asst Supt. Jill Annable partnering with Josh Aldrich (English – CC) and Brett Lynch (Math – WC) to share work they’ve done around using metacognitive strategies to improve student growth. Director of Ed Tech (me, Carol Glanville) will join with Abby Giroux (ASA – Principal/science teacher) to lead a session on integrating design thinking in the classroom. And Pam Thomson (Tech Director/teacher St Stephens, Level 1 Google certified educator) will be guiding educators on how to best use Google for ed tools for effective instruction and content management.
Catholic schools are further represented by the Diocese of Lansing presenting strategies for recruiting reluctant teachers to engage with technology. (Renee Hornby) And the Archdiocese of Detroit; tried and true tricks for teaching the modern student (Maria Gonzalez). Larry Baker (Mercy High School Farmington Hills) leads three sessions; best practice for administrators, becoming an Apple teacher and creating dynamic student tech teams. We’ve partnered with Mr. Baker in the development of our own tech team program at Catholic Central — born out of a previous MACUL conference.
But, I’ve saved the best for last. MACUL also presents annual awards at the conference. This year, Angie Dressander (St Stephens) was selected from 100s of applicants to receive the Technology-Using Teacher Award. The application process involves letters of recommendation, evidence of practice as well as a personal narrative. This is a great honor for Angie, St Stephens, and the Diocese. We’re proud to be actively supporting teaching and learning that is regarded as the best in the state. Congrats Angie and all our presenters past and present who embody our vision to be an “alliance of Catholic schools expanding outstanding Catholic educational ministry.”
Digital Learning Day 2017 is officially in the books. Each year, the Alliance for Excellent Education sponsors DLDay as a celebration of “any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience.”
West Catholic and Catholic Central high schools have participated in DLDay for the last two years. We use this day as an opportunity for students to recognize staff for their excellence in the integration of technology to enhance learning. We survey the entire student body a few weeks prior and on DL Day, the students award teachers who meet or exceed their expectations in digital learning. Each school records the day using Storify. For a round-up of activities at each school follow their link. West Catholic | Catholic Central
Carol Glanville, M.Ed.
Organizational Design Consultant