5 Year PLAN
Earlier in the winter of 2017, I penned two goals:
- I wanted to create more video resources and online tools so that my students so that my classes would be a bit less lecture based and more problem-based, using pieces of a flipped classrooms
- A move towards competency based progression. My school, Lindblom, is part of a pilot program where students will hopefully be able to show mastery at their own pace, with built-in differentiation aided with technology for lower level questions.
These are still my goals for the following year (and the next), but now I need to add more details to the plan, since the work starts over the summer. I have managed to secure grant funding, through a partnership with Lindblom, so that a team of 3 or 4 math teachers can get paid to help set up the competency-based framework. I have created a working draft proposal for the work we must do to set that up.
I do not think that competency based learning is the panacea that many an education reformer believes it to be, but I think our education model must adapt to a more active, social, technology presence. Currently, most of the communication by teenagers is through text, images, video and yet....we have a traditional pencil/worksheet aspect to learning. At the same time, I do not think that this means we eschew the physical learning pieces. I think we will see a return of the shop, making class. Of course it looks different with a 21st century spin to it, but making a physical thing that did not exist before it was an idea in your mind can be a very, very powerful learning goal.
So, how do we get to this space? Well, I have to find people that have done things like this before. Right now, I follow a lot of education people on twitter, math educators, google educators, teachers who work with black and brown kids in cities, etc. I'm more passive than perhaps I should be here. I can try to answer more questions from part of the #edchat or #mathchat landscape. In addition, "in real life" I know several professionals working in STEM fields. I have asked a few of my friends, "How do you problem solve with your work?" and I'd love to get something formal, where they can interact with my students, or maybe with a video answering that question. It's a long shot, because everyone is very busy, but it would be great to get that resource going.
I think that if I have gathered anything from MSUrbanSTEM, it's that it's ok to try out new stuff in tech because it's fun and it can energize you to think about something new. I am always looking to get better, even if I'm not entirely sure what "better" exactly means. This is my 6th year in teaching, and I have never done the exact same course load as the previous year, and I haven't done the same thing during the summer two years in a row. I don't think I will ever abandon my past as a math educator, but I believe I can continue to innovate.
Below you can see I created a Sharing Resource Using TES Blendspace !