Social media has fundamentally changed the landscape for acquiring information in education. On one hand there is no lack of discussion around the latest and greatest tool, concept, or initiative. On the other hand, there is no lack of people pressuring educators to try everything or fear being considered “not innovative”.
Now that we are a digital K-12 district, I believe it is critical to continually add to our instructional toolbox, but that doesn’t necessarily mean only adding new tools. Innovative lesson design should be built upon best practices and can be enhanced with an idea, process, curation technique, etc.
We know there is no shortage of information or ideas out there, so the question for me becomes how do we build students and adults to be informed consumers and producers in the learning process? I believe one answer is focusing on increasing (tool or process) fluency. If our goal is to develop learner agency while increasing options for choice and voice in personalizing learning, we have to equip all learners to make intentional decisions and be able to articulate rationale for the choices being made.
Being fluent is a catalyst for making connections and allowing individuals to transfer their knowledge from one system to another. Next year we are going to dive into increasing learner agency by preparing students to take ownership of their learning. Our plan? We have developed a Designer Network for our LEADS iIN program. Throughout the 2016-2017 school year we will explore this driving question:
How can we, as educators, design engaging learning experiences that leverage our 1:1 technology access?
Through this Designer network, we will be exploring classrooms across Liberty Public Schools and diving into ideas for promoting creativity and innovation K-12. One of our focus areas will be developing and scaffolding processes to enhance learner agency.
We are looking for passionate Liberty educators who are willing to talk about what learning currently looks like and how we might tweak to begin preparing students to engage in a globally competitive economy as we move through the 21st Century.
No learning matters unless we “Take it to the Streets” and throughout our four full-day professional network collaborations, teachers will be sharing ideas and developing engaging lessons for their classrooms. Positively impacting students is our driving focus which is why we will reflect to highlight successes and learn from failures as we step forward together.
Will YOU join us in 2016-2017 as a LEADS iIN Designer?