Here are links to download both Randy Schultz and my presentations on generational theory in education that we co-presented at the 2014 TICAL Leadership 3.0 Conference.
Like a kid on Christmas, I was intensely excited to open up my box of goodies from Go Pro today! I'm participating in a pilot run by Common Sense Media and Go Pro to check out the educational implications of ubiquitous video. Here are my thoughts on how I'm going to use it. Stay tuned for some post-pilot reflections.
In the Language classroom
The language classroom is perfect for a GoPro. My students record many speaking activities, from presentations to small group interpersonal exchanges, for me to assess later. While this increases my efficiency, I often see students agonize over small mistakes, refilming again and again to be perfect. As a language teacher, I want to assess authentic communicative abilities, not a rehearsed script. The beauty of the GoPro is that it reinforces the importance of the journey over the destination, an idea that has profound resonance in education. I envision the GoPro as a way to facilitate authentic competency based assessment. Student wear the GoPro for a class period, recording all interactions and language use. At home they review the footage, reflecting on their skills and behaviors in the classroom, and pick out clips which document how they fulfilled learning objectives and add it to their portfolio.
In the Art classroom
I've got a couple of art teachers jazzed to try out the GoPro. Often times, the creative decisions and artistic challenges that happen along the way get lost as the audience views the finished product. Strapping on the GoPro and capturing the process through a series of time lapse photos would add fascinating depth to the final work. Imagine the deep reflection that would be possible if, as part of the critique, the student artist also had to select, show, and discuss one or two linchpin moments- either where the work began to take form or when they had to overcome a particular obstacle. I would love to use augmented reality to overlay an edited down process video over the finished product- more to come on that soon!
In the Tech lab
I've got a group of students participating in a technology fabrication lab. Using design thinking, student groups are creating some tech-enabled device that solves a school problem. We'll be bringing the students to MakerFaire in May where they will display their finished product. Using a GoPro to capture the making process seems like a no-brainer to me!
On Student Trips and service work
The Urban School has fantastic service learning and outdoor ed departments. Student backpacking, rafting, and backcountry skiing trips can now be captured as well as our student service can be documented and shared with the rest of the student body. The yearbook and our communications literature can include dynamic action shots instead of the just the tired posed group shot.
As part of the program, I'll be required to produce a 6-8 minute video and a written reflection on how the GoPro was used at the Urban School over the next few months. I'm excited to test it out and share the successes, failures, and ideas that we encounter along the way!
The question of language labs recently came up on an independent school listserv, and as a French teacher/Director of Edtech, I felt compelled to respond. I strongly believe that language labs are a waste of precious resources, both in terms of budgets and facilities. Here's why:
Integrate, not isolate
The idea of a separate lab runs counter to the idea of integrating tech into the everyday curriculum. Just as we've abandoned the isolated computer lab for more ubiquitous 1:1 or BYOD models, having to book a language lab and manage the hassle of getting students there and setting up/breaking down will limit the number of speaking/listening activities that teachers undertake. This is a bad idea for a communicative based language program. Speaking and listening activities need to take place as much as possible, both in school as well as home for homework. It is extremely counterintuitive for speaking activities to be recorded one way at school and then through another program at home. I'd suggest headsets for students paired with one of the options in #2 below. We keep our headsets in the classrooms in a cabinet. Students know where they are and how to set them up, creating an efficient workflow transitioning into and out of listening/speaking activities.
There are so many amazing options for recording and sharing sound files that are a fraction of the financial and facilities cost of a language lab. Dedicating an entire room to equipment that is occasionally used is a waste of space. Most textbooks now have an online component that allow students to listen and record their voice, as well as having voice based discussion boards. I used VHL and it was fantastic. If not the text, then your LMS will probably have excellent recording capabilities. At my former school Moodle had this functionality, and in my current one, Canvas has an even better and easier system. If neither text nor LMS, then there are great free Web 2.0 tools to check out. Audacity has been mentioned already, if you're a Mac school, Garage Band comes standard. Google Drive has voice recorder apps that are decent and easy to use. Finally, a free ridiculously easy cloud option is Vocaroo. Pushing video content to students is also easy with the plethora of options, including Youtube, Vimeo, Teachertube, etc.
The synchronous/asynchronous argument is a moot point. If your listening file is embedded into a website/discussion prompt/voiceboard, the activity and subsequent student responses will be as synchronous as a traditional listening lab. A good headset with mic isolates the students' voices so that only their response is recorded. If the idea of teacher synchronous listening is the issue, having the teacher walk around and listen to individual students performs the same function. (Protest: Having the teacher next to the student makes them nervous, anonymous listening is better! Response: Get over it! Our job is to prepare students for authentic communicative situations. Having a speaker next to them is much more authentic than being isolated in a booth!)
Overcoming resistance to change
Changing from a system where the teacher has all of the control and students are neatly organized into tidy booths to a classroom-based anytime system can be intimidating. That's where good edtech coaching and leadership comes in. As technology administrators it is our job to set up the systems as best as we can so that they are as easy as possible for our teachers to use. We also need to logically explain the benefits to teaching and learning that will result from abandoning an archaic methodology such as a language lab. But sometimes we also need to console, reassure, and cheer on our colleagues as they take coerced leaps of faith into the unknown.
Using Google Forms as quick formative assessments? Yeah!
Having to shuffle through multiple spreadsheets to check everyone's answers? Boo!
Getting lost when students submit multiple times? More boo!
After a lot of trial and error and Google searches, I created a workflow that aggregates multiple Google Forms quizzes onto one sheet and only displays the latest entry per student. The idea is for this to be as out of the box as possible, with no requirements for teachers to have to import rosters or do extra steps after the initial set up. Enjoy the fruits of my labor!
STEP 1: Make your google forms quiz
Create however many Google Forms quizzes and the corresponding spreadsheets that will receive their responses. Make sure to check the "Automatically collect respondent's (GAFE domain) username" option when creating the quiz!
In my example, I named them Quiz 1, Quiz 2, and Quiz 3.
STEP 2: Filter the latest entry per student
I found this formula that is way beyond my understanding on Yogi Anand's website. All credit goes to him!!!
Open the Form Response spreadsheet for one of your quizzes. In the first blank column, copy and paste this formula. You'll want to customize the column letter to match the column that can most easily detect duplicates. In my example, it's the username, and thus column B.
Duplicates will return a value of zero, while the latest entry from each user will return a value of one.
Next, create a new tabbed sheet within each of the Responses spreadsheets (click on + in bottom left hand corner). In my example, I named them SortedResponses.
Copy and paste this code into cell A1 of your new, sorted sheet. Customize with your sheet names and column letters where needed. Column E is where I added the formula above, resulting in either a zero or a one.
=query('Form Responses'!A:E,"select A,B,C,D where E=1")
STEP 3: Create your aggregated spreadsheet
Create a new spreadsheet with a tabbed sheet for each of your individual quizzes. On each of the individual sheets, import the respective sorted quiz results using the below code. Customize with your sheet names and ranges where necessary.
How do I find my spreadsheet key?
(optional) Step 4: Pull this to one sheet
Feel free to stop at Step 3 if that is sufficient for your needs. If you want multiple quizzes to show on the same sheet, instead of tabbing between the different ones, continue to the following step.
Create a new tabbed sheet in your aggregated spreadsheet, in my example it is called AllResults. Since there is no imported roster to match up the different quiz results, I collect usernames from the first quiz and then match subsequent quizzes.
To collect submitted usernames from Quiz 1, simply reference the username cell in A2.
Then pull the formula down to populate the rest of the column.
To populate the rest of the row, use a VLOOKUP function to reference the quiz results associated with that username on each of the tabbed sheets. Use the formula below, customizing sheet names and ranges as necessary.
Your spreadsheet is ready to go! There's always the option for adding a conditional formatting bonus, as well!!
Ahhh... Admissions season. Every fall and winter, independent high schools open their doors to a flood of prospective eighth graders and their parents who are met with a grueling admissions process. This past Saturday morning, I hosted such a group for two technology discussions at our Admissions Open House. Preparing for these talks forced me to reflect on what characteristics prospective students and their parents should look for in potential high schools with regards to technology. The fruits of that reflection are recorded here.
To begin, I feel that I am in an excellent position to delineate tech must-have, because last Spring I was a prospective employee, checking out my current high school, the Urban School of San Francisco. Beyond the many hours spent researching online, I was on campus for three full days of interviews, class visits, and panel discussions with students and faculty to see if this was a place I wanted to be. When I made my decision to uproot and move to California, Urban's strength in the six technology facets I flesh out below helped make my choice an easy one. The six characteristics break down into two broad categories: the first three speak to how technology affects the school culture and the final three on how technology integrates with the curriculum.
So here's my guide for would-be parents, students, and yes, even prospective faculty to assess a school through its use of technology. This list is designed to help form spot judgements during shadow visits, campus tours, and short open houses. First impressions should be backed up with further research!
When you walk around campus, what do you see?
What you are secretly looking for is twofold. Top tech schools must have a powerful and reliable wireless infrastructure to support mobile learning. If you see students tucked into corners of the library or sunning themselves on the grass all while accessing course materials and web resources, you'll know that the school you're looking at has the backbone to sustain heavy technological demands now and in the future.
Second, the beauty of a tech-enabled curriculum (see Blended Learning below) is that the physical confines of a classroom are becoming obsolete. Many schools are taking the first steps in transforming their physical spaces to embrace and enable hybrid forms of learning. The best evidence that these innovative discussions are happening is if the confines of the classroom are routinely being transcended by both students and faculty and that learning is encouraged to take place in every available nook and cranny.
2. Support for Diverse learners
Technology has the potential to be the great enabler: enabling students at the bottom to become more efficient and supported, and enabling the ones at the top to break through barriers and reach new heights. If a school is leveraging technology to help its struggling students or those with dyslexia, processing issues, or other learning differences, you can be assured that this school takes their commitment to equity seriously. You can infer that this attention will translate into efforts to create an inclusive community around other issues of diversity, such as race, class, economic background, and sexual orientation. In today's multicultural and increasingly global world, an independent school that comes across as an all-white bastion of upper-class privilege needs a serious attitude adjustment.
On the other end of the spectrum, take notice if a school makes the effort to accommodate its accelerated students by offering blended or online versions of high-level courses where low enrollment does not justify the costs, such as advanced math or language. If accelerated students are encouraged to enroll in independent consortium classes, such as those offered through the Online School for Girls, online college courses, or even MOOCs, the chances are greater that your student will benefit from individualized attention no matter where they fall on the spectrum.
3. Active Digital Community
Examine the school's digital spaces, including the website, learning management system (you'll need to specifically ask to get a tour of the password protected areas), and presence on social media outlets.
During campus visits, prospectives rarely see beyond the smiling faces of student ambassadors and the rosy picture painted by the Admissions Office. To get a real understanding of the nature of the school community, check out the virtual campus. If there is a good relationship and built-up trust between administration and the student body, you will see lots of student ownership of the space. Websites and social media feeds that feature students as contributors and managers of content are empowering students to be active members of the community.
Prospective families should explicitly inquire about digital citizenship initiatives at school. Whether through formal programs or embedded into larger character development measures, all independent schools need to address acceptable behavior in online spaces. Parent should be able to see visible evidence of those initiatives in the digital space.
4. Blended Learning
What families should be looking for in this category is the extent to which there is a whole-school approach to hybrid learning and innovative pedagogy. What does the school set as the ground floor for technology integration? For starters, each course needs to have a digital iteration, where, at the very least, course materials, resources and a schedule should be posted. Providing students anytime access to resources and dates for assignments and assessments is sound pedagogical practice and a must in today's world. Be aware that you will no doubt be shown a tech savvy teacher's course page, which will be impressive. To get a feeling of where the school is as a whole, ask to see course pages from a wide variety of instructors, including the tech-averse.
Likewise, prospectives should push beyond singular examples of teachers and courses using innovative pedagogy. Inquire about department or school-level initiatives and what accountability there is for teachers to be up to speed. There will be bright spots and early adopters at all schools, but what really counts is the lowest common denominator.
Lastly, a tech-savvy school needs to have a single portal through which students can access materials from all courses. A piecemeal, free-for-all system where every teacher is using their own platform with little to no integration should be a red flag. This belies an unorganized approach to tech that has severe consequences for student organization. If a student is having to go to one website to access their materials for Chemistry, then another for English, then yet another for French class, details and assignments are bound to be missed in the confusion. This does not mean that there cannot be variety in approaches to course sites. It means that the tech department should be stepping in and organizing the disorder into a learning management system or single sign-in portal through which students can keep tabs on all of their digital spaces.
5. Hands-ON Experimentation and Discovery
Beyond the digital realm, schools need to have a robust STEM program.
Tech is often equated with a one-way transmission of information, where students are passive consumers of information. This limited definition fails to recognize the connective, creative, and exploratory potential of technology. Prospectives should be on the look out for ways that students "make" with tech: make meaning through modeling and simulations, make connections with the outside world, and make stuff!
There is a growing movement to give students the time and space to get their hands dirty and create beyond the science lab or art class. These programs, known as Maker Spaces, Tinkering, Tech Lab, etc. are the 21st century equivalent of shop class with a healthy dose of design thinking thrown in. 3D printing, design and programming software such as Scratch, and beginner's electronics, such as Arduinos or Raspberry Pis are now affordable and accessible enough that they should be integrated into independent school curricula, no questions asked.
Prospective families, especially those with daughters, should be pressing schools on the measures they take to recruit, support, and retain girls in upper-level and elective STEM courses. Curriculum and culture in these areas skew male, so concerted efforts are needed to attract and interest girls. A lack of commitment on this front would concern me.
6. Tech-enabled creativity
This point looks both at creativity on an individual student level and at an institutional level. The first is simple to judge. Ask a student in the hall about the last time they made a film, podcast, or other creative product for class. Does the process sound invigorating or arduous? Quick and easy or labyrinthine?
The arts department assessment is much more of a wild card. For real world professional artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers, and photographers, technology is ever-present and essential. In schools, however, the arts department can often be the last in line for tech upgrades and/or a stronghold of analog purists. Making sure tech advances have trickled down into the classroom when appropriate will assure you that the school is making an effort to connect classroom practice to real world application and that every department is held accountable to the same standards. If you see an arts department that integrates digital recording equipment and editing software, or that has incorporated modern arts such as graphic, multimedia or web design, you can be sure that there is a wide-spread culture of forward-thinking innovation.
Hopefully this guide will be helpful. I'd be interested to get feedback on my six characteristics. So if you have ideas or other tech criteria by which schools should be judged, leave a comment.
All photos are either mine or the property of the Urban School of SF.
In a former post, I fleshed out my kid-friendly definition of digital literacy. In this post, I'll dive deeper into the idea that being digitally literate means knowing...
How to effectively and respectfully communicate online and to create various forms of digital content.
Chicken or the Egg: Digitally literate or Digital citizen?
What is digital citizenship? How does this concept relate to digital literacy? How many other hazily understood buzzwords can we create by slapping the word digital onto the front? All good questions, my digital natives, digital immigrants, and anyone else who falls between these two poles on the digital spectrum.
How would I describe the ideal digital citizen?
I would be so impressed with myself if I came up with that definition all alone. But the thing is, I didn't. My six characteristics of a digital citizen are directly based on the criteria Thomas Jefferson used to describe an informed and enlightened citizen in his failed 1779 bill (#79) to the Virginia legislature entitled "A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge". In Bill #79, he advocated for free primary education, which in his opinion was necessary to create a literate and therefore more perfect citizenry. The benefits of literacy in his words were...
Like Jefferson, who advocated literacy and education to form an enlightened citizenry, I firmly believe that digital literacy is the foundation of productive digital citizenship. When we expand the analog mission of education that is so deeply rooted in our American psyche to reflect the realities of today's world, digital citizenship is a natural result. Let me reiterate, digital citizenship is the end result, digital literacy is the path to achieve it.
Digital Citizenship in the curriculum
Too often, education approaches digital citizenship as a separate character development program divorced from the curriculum. As my example above shows, I see enormous potential to embed these principles directly into classroom content.
Any U.S. History class could take Jefferson's Bill (or in European/World History examine the Enlightenment debate between civil vs. natural education exemplified by Locke and Rousseau) and extrapolate its relevance to modern day. Based on historical documents and debate, students can define for themselves, just as I did above, what it means to be a citizen in today's digital world. Class discussions/debates can explore questions such as: What skills do digital citizens need and how should education adapt to include them? (How powerful would it be if students, not teachers or administrators, were the impetus to integrate digital literacy/citizenship into the curriculum!) Other topics: should a digital Bill of Rights exist? If so, what rights and privileges should be accorded to digital citizens? To prepare for such a debate, students can compare and contrast different rights documents (U.S. Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, French Revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, UN Declaration of Human Rights, etc.) to construct their own. To go further and embed a global component into the discussion, students can examine if the entire idea of a Bill of Rights is Western biased and analyze the arguments used by the Chinese or Arab Spring governments in censoring the internet and social media.
Additionally, the internet provides a fertile ground for civics and government classes to examine the concept of inflammatory speech. Debate topics that pull in Supreme Court decisions include: Why are hateful websites allowed to exist on the internet? At what point does hateful speech constitute a clear and present danger? The unfolding Twitter situation in which a man was arrested for threatening to rape a woman on Twitter is an excellent case to use. Another topic: can you legally impersonate someone online? Odds are there is at least one fake Twitter or Facebook account created by a student to impersonate a teacher, administrator, or other student at your school. (I stumbled upon two from my school when Twitter suggested the impersonated accounts as "People I should follow" on my Activboard in the middle of a class Twitter project and presented me with a perfect teachable moment...) Instead of admin going on a fishing expedition for these accounts, create a fake case study in class using exactly this scenario and have your civics students hash it out using case precedent. Believe me, the word will get around and those Twitter accounts will magically disappear.
As you can see, my examples skew older, as high school is my realm of expertise. Some fantastic resources exist that address lower and middle school applications, including a recent article in NAIS' Independent School Magazine by Don Orth and Edward Chen, entitled "The Strategy for Digital Citizenship: Children in a Digital World".
In a former post, I fleshed out my kid-friendly definition of digital literacy. In this post, I'll dive deeper into the idea that being digitally literate means knowing...
Why it is essential to be adaptable and develop lifelong learning habits concerning technology and the digital world.
Adaptability as a 21st century skillImage Source: www.digitalsparkmarketing.com
Preparation for standardized exams, such as Advanced Placement, SAT, ACT, or any one of the state proficiency exam acronyms, revolves around getting students familiar with the test items they will see on the big day. Students are given tips on how to eliminate multiple choice answers, drilled on how to score all of the core points for the Document Based Question, praised for writing canned thesis statements that lead off bland 5 paragraph essays. Can you imagine the uproar from educators, parents, and students if on the day of the big test, students sat down and opened their blue books to reveal...something completely unexpected!?! How many of the students would roll with the punches and forge ahead? How many educators would shrug their shoulders and hope for the best? How many parents would be lined up outside of the head of school/principal's office the next day? In our educational system where accountability is key, flexibility has been sacrificed in the name of preparedness and content coverage has taken precedence over diving deeply into the subjects about which our students are passionate.
Many voices in the world of 21st century education are prescribing a heavy dose of adaptability and lifelong learning to students' curricula as a way of preparing them for the world beyond graduation. For example, Tony Wagner defined agility and adaptability as one of the Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College, & Citizenship in the 21st Century in his recent book Global Achievement Gap. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills similarly named flexibility and adaptability as well as initiative and self-direction as part of the Life and Career Skills needed for a 21st century education. Further defining these skills, P21 cited the need to "adapt to varied roles, job responsibilities, schedules, and contexts", to "work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities", to "deal positively with praise, setbacks, and criticism", to "go beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand one's own learning and opportunities to gain expertise", and to "reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress", among others.
Those are great ideas, but how do you effectively teach and assess those skills? My answer: technology.
teaching & Assessing Adaptability with technologyBuzzmath's Adaptability & Flexibility Badge
The world of technology with its ever-present updates, version 2.better, different operating systems, and refreshed interfaces is the best authentic tool we have to teach adaptability and flexibility. These skills are ingrained in our tech savvy students because they live them everyday.
I have never heard of a student with even a modicum of tech facility being unable to function on a school's Mac computer because they had a PC at home. I have, on the other hand, encountered numerous adults who insist on having Parallels installed on their single computer to avoid having to learn a new operating system (individuals forced to do so because their software is not adaptable exempted).
It is often said that digital natives can intuitively use technology. I disagree. They can adaptively use technology. Instead of being wed to a particular look and feel of a software interface, digital natives see beyond the cosmetics to the logic behind it. If changing the arrangement of my new smart phone's home screen makes it more navigable and efficient, then so be it. Give me a few minutes to explore and I'm ready.
This corresponds directly to the skills that employers report they seek in potential candidates. According to the staffing company Manpower, adaptability and flexibility rank in the Top 10 Skills Employers Want. (Notice that computer skills and motivation and initiative also rank in the Top 10.)
So how does this translate into curriculum? Looking back on my days in the classroom, I blocked off a chunk of time before each tech assignment/activity/project to do demos and I distributed packets with step by step instructions. Instead of nurturing my students' flexibility and adaptability impulses, I was herding them all into a neat line to follow my detailed instructions. Should I instead have gotten out of the way? Here are some ideas that educators can put into practice the next time they introduce a new tech tool.
I have a feeling that if exercises like this became more frequent and students were given the opportunity to reflect on their own skill set, they would dig in deeper and enjoy the challenge. I'm not teaching again until Spring, so I would love to have another teacher volunteer to test the hypothesis!
What about Adaptability in teachers?
As Ghandi said, we must be the change we wish to see in the world. This statement applies particularly to teachers, who must model adaptability, flexibility and lifelong learning with respect to technology if we hope to see these attributes emerge in our students. Edutecher's Adam Bellow made exactly this point at a recent #140edu conference.
As an edtech director, part of my job is to shield my teachers from any and all tech problems and then to walk them through solutions when issues arise. The reasoning behind this suggests that teachers are fragile, unable to absorb setbacks, and ready to gasp in despair and throw their laptops out of the window at the first sign of a problem. Reflecting on this point of digital literacy has me thinking of applying the same methodology to a tech inservice. After all, restart a teacher's Smartboard and they're good for a day, teach a teacher how to restart their Smartboard, well then... maybe the students would notice.
In a former post, I fleshed out my kid-friendly definition of digital literacy. In this post, I'll dive deeper into the idea that being digitally literate means knowing...
Where to go to efficiently search and filter for the digital information you want.
Mac keystrokes: Command + F
PC keystrokes: Control + F
A search box will open at the top of the internet browser. Simply type in the search terms and all of the instances will be highlighted. Scroll through the instances using the up/down arrows. Find also works in word processing programs, such as Word or Pages and PDF viewer programs, such as Preview.
Google Search Tips
Use Quotes to search for an entire phrase. Example: "digital literacy" will search only for pages with this entire phrase, while searching digital literacy will also pull up hits having to do with digital and literacy as separate terms.
Use minus (-) to filter out search terms. Example: Hershey -chocolate would filter out the search results having to do with Hershey's Chocolate if I wanted to search for info about Hershey, Pennsylvania. Notice there is no space between the minus sign and the term to be filtered out.
Use Filetype to filter your search items to a particular type. Example: filetype:pdf giraffes will only pull up PDF documents related to giraffes. Notice that you do not need to include a period before the filetype name (pdf not .pdf). Google Search recognizes many different filetypes. Here are the most common ones to education:
Click on the microphone at the right end of the Google Search field to speak instead of type your search criteria.
Have a random image without a clue of what it is or to whom it should be attributed? On the Google Image Search page, click on the camera icon at the right end of the Google Search field. You can upload your own image to be searched or paste in the URL of an image your found on the web.
New Additions to Google Search
At the 2013 Google I/O, new developments related to Search were announced. Here's a recap:
My apologies to those that found my humor a bit abrasive, but there is a kernel of truth in the above demonstration. Digital literacy is first and foremost about developing self-sufficiency and survival skills in what amounts to the information age's Wild Wild West. I've been thinking a lot about digital literacy in preparation for a freshman tech orientation and how I can effectively communicate its principles in kid speak. Here is what I have come up with:
You are DIGITALly LITERAte if you know...
I'll be writing subsequent blogs that break down each of these concepts and provide resources and tips. I've just returned from the 2013 ISTE conference and spent an afternoon watching the Google I/O conference on Youtube, so I have quite a few bits and pieces to add. Access the separate blogs by clicking on the initial question words in the above list.
Calling all innovative independent school teachers! Nominations for the 2013-2014 class of Teachers of the Future is now open!
(From the NAIS website)
Each year NAIS selects a group of teachers to be NAIS Teachers of the Future. These individuals exemplify creativity and innovation in the classroom. They inspire academic excellence in students and are respected leaders among their peers. They effectively weave environmental sustainability, globalism, equity and justice and/or use of technology into their classroom teaching.
Through the NAIS Teacher of the Future program, these teachers are given a chance to distinguish themselves as teacher-leaders and to share their work with the broader independent school community. Each Teacher of the Future will:
This program and the development of online education communities are part of NAIS’s goals to provide valuable networking opportunities and to enhance the excellent education provided at independent schools. The teachers can advance independent school education by spurring discussion and idea-sharing about innovation in teaching and learning.
From September through June of each year, the Teachers of the Future seed and moderating online discussions and upload his or her demonstration teaching unit video (three to 10 minutes in length).
We are currently accepting nominations for the Teachers of the Future program. Submit your nominations by May 20, 2013.
Teachers can nominate themselves and/or any other teachers from their schools or other schools. More than one teacher can be nominated from each school but this year, we will only select one teacher from a total of as many as 25 schools.
Nominees must work at NAIS member schools. They should exemplify excellence in independent school teaching; they should be individuals who inspire academic excellence in students in the classroom and who serve as opinion leaders among their colleagues and peers.
To align with NAIS’s vision for sustainable schools, we look in particular for nominees who have demonstrated excellence in environmentalism, globalism, equity and justice, and/or use of technology. These teachers of the future may show excellence in teaching students to be good stewards of the environment; and/or they may embrace a wide view of education that prepares students to succeed in a globally interconnected future; and/or they may have successfully created inclusive environments inside and outside of the classroom; and/or they may have modeled best practices in the use of technology.
I was a Teacher of the Future this year, and it was a great experience! I encourage all indy school teachers to nominate themselves or an inspirational colleague. Go to the NAIS website to apply!