Student empowerment. Active learning. Relevant skills. Control. Learning how to learn. Flexibility. Adaptability. Creation.
These are all words and phrases I want my students to know and do. Gone are the days of searching through an encyclopedia for some outdated facts about Lemurs. Information is no longer a commodity; in its place learning how to learn. The merging of pedagogy, content and technology (TPACK) allows for just this.
The last PBL designed unit of the 2017-18 school year brought ideas into action. Through a PBL design, supported through HyperDocs and other digital scaffolds and tools, students were able to create, figure out and take charge of their learning experience. At the end, students had an artifact to show their learning through a digital portfolio.
As we move into the 2018-19 school year, I want students to continue to add, edit and extent their portfolios to include pieces about them and about their learning. The amazing thing about something digital is that it can always evolve. Our staff has already come to an agreement about using these portfolios in each content area and I can see the just-started student portfolios becoming this robust source of who a student is (initial examples can be found here). Next year, technology is going to play a more deliberate role. Our students now know the basics. They have designed presentations, collaborated with Google Docs, shared ideas through Flipgrid, used Desmos to investigate functions and other representations, created posters using Canva and built quizzes using Kahoot. Since the base is there, we can really begin to utilize these tools on a larger scale. I can't wait!
First off, I want to give a huge shout out to Touro University California! Not only did Touro support me through my initial teaching certification work (circa 2009) but has been a huge source of inspiration and motivation as I worked to completing my Master's of Education.
This journey would not have been possible without the motivating educators in my life. Thank you Liz Martin for asking tough questions around equity and student-centeredness. Thank you David Correa and Michelle Wong for being a collaborative Mathematics team and striving to improve through constant reflection and learning. Thank you Dawn Joella-Jackson for being one of the most inspirational leaders I have ever had the chance to work under. Finally, thank you Tony Hutchinson. In your second year teaching, you had the intellect, wit, charisma, and patience to teach me 8th grade math (circa 1994). You are the reason I am on this journey in the first place.
Finally, thank you Cohort 14! The amount of support you gave each other throughout this program is incredible. We are the agents of change that education needs. Keep fighting!