Target 2 – Leadership in a Student-Centered Learning Environment. FWSU will foster development of teacher and student leaders who provide innovative opportunities for local and global student-centered learning.
Action Step – Develop learning habits, communication and problem-solving skills necessary for collaborative learning and leadership.
Indicator of Success -Teachers embrace role of coach, facilitator and co-learner in a student-centered learning environment.
Teachers this year are engaging in and modeling how to address learning, their own and their students’, through digital-age collaboration. In a very short period of time our educators are finding that our new learning management system, Schoology, has enlarged their opportunity to “collaborlearn.”
The Schoology teacher-to-teacher connections compress the physical distance between our three SU schools from highways to bandwidth. Each day FWSU teachers can see posts from a variety of schools, offering a snapshot (sometimes literally when pictures are included) of teaching and learning. This daily sharing often ignites a series of comments on “stealing ideas”, modifying a task, or the sheer joy of new learning.
While students are using Schoology to create their Personalized Learning Plans, teachers are finding ways to personalize their professional learning with Schoology. Schoololgy “groups” allow for educators interested in particular aspects of education to post updates around their interest area, have discussions on particular topics, and link or upload resources. Teachers can belong to groups that are school or SU-centric, or they can venture out into the larger Schoology world of groups. These groups are a new form of “PLCs” for teachers: Personalized Learning Communities.
Although digital professional learning doesn’t replace face-to-face “collaborlearning”, it does create opportunities for professional learning that most likely could not happen without it.
Face-to-face or “hands on” learning time with peers enriches the culture of learning in any setting. In Vermont, one of the important transferable skills in which we want students to demonstrate proficiency, is to be self-directed in such a way that they know when they need to seek out collaboration to advance their learning. Teachers need to model proficiency in this area also, and digital and face-to-face “collaborlearning” are effective modeling platforms.
Check out the blog post Five Ways for Teachers To Take Charge of Their Own Learning for a more in-depth examination of these ideas.