Teaming for Transfer at GEMS

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Sometimes we educators can overthink things. As we move into this proficiency-based, personalized learning world we have to sometimes sit back and remind ourselves that many of our existing designs for learning in FWSU are personalized. These current designs for personalization are already facilitating demonstrations of proficiency of content and transferable skills in our classrooms. Our work then, not only includes creating what doesn’t exist and is needed to improve student learning, but also involves constantly moving our existing work forward. That continuous revision and resign in our classrooms is the foundation of continuous improvement in our schools.

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Case in point, Eric Hadd’s middle school social studies class at GEMS.  Earlier in the year, students were observed preparing for an assessment on the Constitution.

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GEMS middle schoolers worked collaboratively to create a small-group framework for their review, and determined the role of technology in facilitating the process.  Each group had a bit of a different take on the task and used their devices to facilitate that work.

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What could be observed was not only a deepening of understanding of social studies content, but the useful application of transferable skills to accomplish the task.

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FWSU is a digitally rich learning environment for both student and adult learners.  In a proficiency-based, personalized learning culture, students and teachers are partners in the learning. The role of teachers is shifting to Activator and technology can play the role of Facilitator. Michael Fullan, a noted educational researcher and writer, refers to this as a “the new pedagogy” (The New Pedagogy: Students and Teachers as Learning Partners).  When entire classrooms engage with their teacher, each other, and the technology to deepen learning, we can move the pedagogy even further through  “teaming for transfer.”


FWSU Action Plan

Target 1 – Student-Centered Learning – FWSU students will engage in personalized learning.

Action Step – Engage all staff and students in creating personalized learning networks (PLNs) that contribute to learning and instructional practice.

Indicator of Success – Students and staff will create personalized learning networks to communicate and collaborate with others.

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