Showing posts from June, 2016

If You Build It...They Will Come

There are nineteen middle schools in the Fulton County Schools District, but Ronald E. McNair Middle School has one of the most innovative learning spaces in the United States. The building literally has classes with no walls to foster collaboration between teachers and students, and multiple presentation spaces for students to share their ideas with a variety of audiences. Additionally, all of the students bring either an iPad or cellphone to use during the instruction each day. Considering that McNair is a school that typically uses traditional pedagogy,  how will the teachers fathom the idea of an open space where students are encouraged to use devices? Will the teachers receive support?

Fulton declares personalize learning as one of the fibers of its instructional creed, and the school district has galvanized the best resources to support McNair make the transition from traditional pedagogy to a more personalized approach. Although McNair students and teachers moved into the new b…

Behaving Blended

The bell rings. Class starts. The same students and the same teacher enter the classroom to begin their day, except this time, they are met with more technology than any of them has ever had access to at school. The teacher is feeling a bit out of her element, and she’s losing her ground quickly against the mobile device she’s in the ring against. Students are off task, and disengaged. They’d rather take selfies than listen to her lecture. By the end of her 50 minute bout, the teacher is ready to lock up all the technology and never touch it again.
As technology permeates K12 schools across the country, folks like myself who coach and support teachers and school leaders encounter this situation more than we should. One of the top concerns of all of these stakeholders is what to do when kids 'do something they aren’t supposed to do’ on a device. Instead of focusing on creating positive culture and expectations, schools often buy into a deficit mindset.
Let’s just agree on one thing:…