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Doing Work that Matters - Rochester MN

Page history last edited by Bill 5 years, 8 months ago

Doing Work that Matters - Rochester, MN

 

Direct Link to this Resource Page:  http://bit.ly/WTMRochMN2016 

Backchannel for Today's Sessions:  https://todaysmeet.com/WTMRochMN2016 

 

 

In his 2012 Kindle Single Why School, technology expert and educational change agent Will Richardson argues that classrooms as they are currently structured are failing our students.  "We focus on the easiest parts of the learning interaction -- information acquisition, basic skills, a bit of critical thinking, analysis -- accomplishments that can be easily identified and scored," he writes.  "Learning is relegated to the quantifiable" (Kindle location 227).  To create highly engaged learning spaces, Will believes, classrooms must instead be reimagined as places where students do work that matters with others -- a process introduced by sixth grade classroom teacher Bill Ferriter in this January 2016 presentation to the teachers of the Rochester Public Schools.  

 

The resources for each of Bill's presentations can be found on this page.

 


 

 

 

 

Keynote Slides

Keynote Slides

 

While session presenter Bill Ferriter doesn't spend a ton of time working through slides in his presentations, participants can download the slides for his keynote and breakout sessions by clicking on the links above.  

 

 

 

Keynote Presentation Materials

 

In February of 2010, Dan Brown dropped out of college, arguing that schooling was getting in the way of his education and that if educators aren't ready to change, society will move on without them.  Watch Dan's Open Letter to Educators and use this handout to reflect on his core argument that schools are failing to prepare kids for the world that they will inherit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microlending as an Example of Doing Work that Matters

 

The first example of giving students the opportunity to do work that matters that session presenter Bill Ferriter will share with participants is a Kiva Microlending project that he integrated into his language arts and social studies classroom a few years back.  To learn more about the project and the role that it played in Bill's classroom, explore the following resources:

 

 

One Tweet CAN Change the World - In this blog post, session presenter Bill Ferriter details the origins of his Kiva Microlending project and shares the rationale and resources for connecting microlending projects to the required curriculum.

 

Salem Middle School Kiva Video - This link connects to a video made by two eighth grade students in session presenter Bill Ferriter's middle school Kiva Club.  It was developed to be used in persuasive speeches given by Kiva Club members who were looking for monetary donations from local businesses.

 

Kiva Because We Care - This link connects to a second video made by students in session presenter Bill Ferriter's middle school Kiva Club.  It provides a convincing look inside the reasons that students care about opportunities to do work that matters. 

 

 

Resources Used in Bill's Microlending Project

 

 

Kiva Website - Kiva is an organization in San Francisco that makes microlending possible by pairing interested lenders in the developed world with entrepreneurs in need of loans in the developing world.  While there are other sites and services that make microlending possible, Kiva is the largest.

 

Animoto Website - Animoto is a tool for making engaging online videos out of PowerPoint presentations.  The reason that session presenter Bill Ferriter uses Animoto is because (1). it automates the transitions between images, resulting in a highly polished final product without needing a high level of technical skill and (2). it provides users with access to an extensive library of Creative Commons music.

 

Creative Commons Website - Projects that give students the opportunity to experiment with visual persuasion are perfect opportunities to introduce Creative Commons, a new form of copyright where creators grant permission to use their content in advance.  This link connects to the Creative Commons website, where participants can learn more about the different licenses used by content creators, where participants can find a tool that makes searching for Creative Commons content easier, and where participants can watch a video that explains just what the Creative Commons is. 

 

Student Microlending Handouts - Student Microlending Handouts - While session presenter Bill Ferriter has created dozens of handouts for use with his Kiva microlending work, participants generally find three to be the most useful.  The Setting Kiva Loan Priorities handout is designed to help student lenders clarify the characteristics of loans that matter, the Kiva Loan Reflection Organizer handout is designed to help students articulate the reasons that they chose to make individual loans, and the Microlending Self Assessment handout is a sample of a tool that can be used to track the progress that students are making towards mastering important curricular outcomes while microlending.    

 

The following handouts are also useful:  The Lending to a GroupLending to a Woman, and Giving a Kiva Gift Card handouts are all useful for helping students to think through the most common choices Kiva lenders make.  The Kiva Loan Reflection Organizer can be used to help students evaluate the loans that they have made and the Microlending Self Assessment handout can be used to help students rate their progress towards mastering core academic outcomes during microlending projects.  Finally, the Do Something Funny for Money Day handout introduces a quick fundraiser that groups interested in microlending can use to raise initial lending funds.

 

Creating Influential Visuals Handouts - While session presenter Bill Ferriter has created dozens of handouts for introducing students to the characteristics of influential visuals, participants generally find three to be the most useful.  The Characteristics of Memorable Images handout asks students to examine the strengths and weaknesses of two student-made PowerPoint slides, the Checklist for Creating an Influential Visual handout walks students through a series of questions designed to support the creation of influential visuals, and the Examining a Video handout asks students to watch the Salem Middle School Poverty's Real video and identify the key structural elements of a persuasive video. 

 

 

 

#SUGARKILLS as an Example of Doing Work that Matters

 

The second example of giving students the opportunity to do work that matters that session presenter Bill Ferriter will share with participants is a #SUGARKILLS project that he integrated into his science classroom last year.  To learn more about the project and the role that it played in Bill's classroom, explore the following resources:

 

 

My Kids, a Cause and Our Classroom Blog - In this post written for Smartblogs Education, session presenter outlines the reasoning behind his #SUGARKILLS project, an effort to raise awareness about the amount of sugar in the foods that we eat every day that started after his students studied the ban on soda that the Mayor of New York City tried to put in place in 2013. 

 

New York City Soda Ban Scoop.it Page - The first digital project that session presenter Bill Ferriter had his kids tackle when exploring the New York City soda ban was to use Scoop.it to curate a collection of resources about the soda ban.  Here is the handout that students used when creating their Scoop.it collections.

 

New York City Soda Ban VoiceThread - The second digital project that session presenter Bill Ferriter had his kids tackle when exploring the New York City soda ban was to use VoiceThread to engage in a conversation with one another about the different points of view and perspectives related to the debate. 

 

#SUGARKILLS Blog - The final digital project that session presenter Bill Ferriter had his kids tackle when exploring the New York City soda ban was to use a blog to raise awareness about the amount of sugar in the foods that teens and tweens eat on a daily basis. 

 

#SUGARKILLS Interview - One of the most powerful testimonials about the impact that doing work that matters can have on students is this interview of the sixth grade student leaders of session presenter Bill Ferriter's #SUGARKILLS project conducted by the MiddleWeb website. 

 

Resources Used in Bill's #SUGARKILLS Project

 

Scoop.it -  Scoop.it is a service that allows users to curate public collections of weblinks around individual topics. Public Scoop.it pages give students opportunities to practice managing multiple streams of information and evaluating the reliability of online sources -- two additional skills that define literate 21st Century citizens.  Curating public Scoop.it pages also gives students opportunities to raise their voice on issues that matter and to have their thinking affirmed and/or challenged by commenters.

 

VoiceThread - VoiceThread is a service that allows users to engage in ongoing asynchronous conversations about topics of interest to them.  What makes VoiceThread unique is that users can post text and/or video comments to presentations, making the conversations more personal and engaging to users.   

 

Wordpress - While there are dozens of blogging tools to choose from, session presenter Bill Ferriter uses Wordpress for his classroom blogs.  It is not an education-specific product, but it is probably the most widely-used blogging tool used beyond schools.  That means the skills that Bill's students pick up while blogging in his classroom will translate to their work long after they leave his room. 

 

Three Classroom Blogging Tips for Teachers - This link connects to a bit on session presenter Bill Ferriter's blog that details three important tips for teachers interested in tackling a classroom blogging project. 

 

Blogging Resources for Classroom Teachers - Are you having trouble imagining just what role blogging can play in the classroom?  Do you need a few examples of classroom blogging projects that might be worth pursuing?  Not sure of just what blogging platform is right for you or your school?  All of those questions are answered in this post from session presenter Bill Ferriter's blog. 

 

Scoop.it Student Handouts - When curating their public collections of content using Scoop.it, session presenter Bill Ferriter's students used this handout to consider the characteristics of quality web links and web collections and this handout to judge the quality of the individual web links that they were exploring.

 

Blogging Handouts - While session presenter Bill Ferriter has created dozens of handouts for structuring student blogging projects, participants generally find the following to be the most useful:  The Blogging Tasks to Tackle handout details several specific roles that students can fill in classroom blogging projects.  The Blogging Reflection handout can be used to encourage students to think carefully about the kinds of posts that are the most influential.  The Blogging Self Assessment handout is designed to give students the chance to track their own progress towards mastering academic outcomes during classroom blogging projects.  And the Tracking Student Progress handout can be used by teachers to track student mastery towards academic outcomes on classroom blogging projects.

 

These handouts are also useful:  The Teacher Tips for Classroom Blogging Projects handout includes a list of 10 different tips for structuring classroom blogging work, the Tips for Leaving Good Blog Comments handout is designed to teach students the kinds of steps that they need to take in order to effectively join conversations in blog comment sections and the Blog Entry Scoring Rubric handout can be used by teachers or students to evaluate the overall quality of student posts on classroom blogs. 

 

 

 

VoiceThread Handouts - While session presenter Bill Ferriter has created dozens of handouts for structuring student VoiceThread conversations, participants generally find three to be the most useful.  The Previewing an Asynchronous Conversation handout is designed to help students find an entry point into a digital conversation, the Commenting in an Asynchronous Conversation handout is designed to give students a structured template for crafting a contribution to a digital conversation, and the Reflecting on an Asynchronous Conversation handout is designed to give students a chance to think about what they've learned after a digital conversation ends.

 

 

 

Resources for Breakout Session with Instructional Coaches and Curriculum Staffers

Session Slides

 

It is often easy for classroom teachers to be inspired by examples of purpose-driven learning in action.  The simple truth is that the notion of giving students the chance to make a difference in the world resonates with almost every educator.  The keys to successfully integrating purpose-driven learning into the work of a district, however, are keeping that work focused and consistently aligning system and school level choices with the broader goal of creating classrooms where students do work that matters.  In this breakout session, participants will reflect on both of these core behaviors.

 

Developing Collections of Potential ProjectsOne of the keys to integrating purpose-driven learning into the work your teachers are doing is maintaining a list of potential projects and/or examples worth exploring.  Is that a role the curriculum team could fill?

 

Developing Collections of Potential ToolsOne of the keys to integrating purpose-driven learning into the work your teachers are doing is maintaining a list of potential

tools worth exploring.  Is this a role the curriculum team could fill for teachers?

 

Connecting New Work to Essential Skills and BehaviorsThe most effective change efforts always start with clear connections to the kind of work that teachers already believe in.  Surveying your faculties is an essential first step towards choosing the right starting point.  Is this a role the curriculum team could fill for teachers?

 

 

 

 

 

Resources for Breakout Session with Principals

Session Slides

 

One of the first steps that schools interested in the meaningful integration of technology must take is actively defining just what "meaningful integration" would look like in action.  During this breakout, we will work to answer that question.  Participants will look closely at a series of scenarios that describe the full range of technology integration efforts in schools.  Then, they will explore a simple set of documents that can help schools to develop guiding principles for school-based technology integration efforts.

 

Technology Integration Scenarios:  Your table group will be assigned to read the three technology scenarios listed below.  Please click on the link for the scenario that you are assigned to read.  After reading each scenario, please have one scribe respond to the first unanswered question on the second page of the Google Doc.  Together, we will build a nice collection of reflections about what meaningful technology integration is supposed to look like in action.  

 

Technology Scenario - Marsha Turnbull

 

Technology Scenario - Antonio Villareal

 

Technology Scenario - Thomas Vanderheusen

 

 

Technology Vision Setting Documents:  One of the most important steps that principals and building leadership teams can take to support digital change efforts is to articulate a vision for just what effective technology integration looks like in action.  Clear statements and scenarios that describe the kinds of behaviors that would be seen in classrooms where technology is being used to move learners forward in meaningful ways provide teachers and learning teams with a better sense for the learning spaces that you are trying to create.  The documents below can be used as a guide when developing these statements and scenarios.

 

Technology Planning Guide - A series of questions designed to elicit school-based instructional priorities. 

 

Technology Vision Statements - A document designed to walk leadership teams through the process of developing a set of technology vision statements.

 

 

 

Additional Resources and Examples of Purpose Driven Learning

 

Often the greatest challenge of pulling off purpose driven learning experiences is just imagining what's actually possible.  The resources below may help you to do just that.

 

Challenge 20/20 Projects : An initiative led by the National Association of Independent Schools, Challenge 20/20 projects pair interested classes from any K–12 public, charter, or private school together for a targeted study of borderless issues like habitat loss, global warming, intellectual property rights in the digital age, the spread of infectious diseases, or the topic of free education for everyone. Over the course of several months, two to three classes of kids from different countries study the problem together and then make recommendations on solutions that are worth pursuing. Combining opportunities to do work that matters with global partnerships, Challenge 20/20 projects can help any teacher integrate purpose-driven learning into the classroom.

 

KQED Do Now Prompts : Every Friday, San Francisco public television station KQED publishes a prompt designed to give students opportunities to form opinions and engage in public discourse about controversial issues. Each prompt is drawn from current events and paired with resources that can be used by readers to build background knowledge. Exploring KQED prompts can help you spot a cause your kids will care about. Or consider using KQED prompts as the starting point for regular conversations in your classroom about issues that matter beyond the schoolhouse walls. Doing work that matters starts with awareness, and KQED Do Now prompts are easy ways to build that awareness.

 

DoSomething : The DoSomething.org team has one simple goal—to help people between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five make social change. Visitors to the site can sign up to participate in projects ranging from collecting jeans for homeless youth to developing digital training sessions for senior citizens. Participants receive ideas and resources to support their efforts and can see examples of similar projects accomplished by students in other cities. While DoSomething.org specifically targets high school students, elementary and middle school teachers can use the site to discover interesting project ideas that can help their students make a difference in the local community.

 

 

Crellin Elementary School : For the teachers and students at Crellin Elementary, learning starts by identifying problems worth solving in the local community.  "I'm not going to ask them to memorize those multiplication tables because I have nothing else to do," writes principal Dana McCauley. "It's because later on, when we're calculating how big that composter needs to be, they'll need to know the area we're going to be using, and they'll to do it quickly. So it's about applying the knowledge."  Learn more about Crellin’s work in this bit on the Edutopia website.

 

 

Spread Positivity Projects For Chase Mielke, one of the primary purposes for public schooling is to give students chances to make an impact on the world around them.  “If an end goal of education is to create skilled, altruistic citizens,” he writes,” why wait until after a student's post-secondary training?”  To develop these skilled, altruistic citizens, Chase gives the kids in his classroom chances to create Spreading Positivity Projects.  Small groups work together to make the world a better place by driving change on the local, national or global level.  Learn more about the work Chase is doing in this bit on the Edutopia website. 

 

Design for Change :  Design for Change is an organization that promotes Design Thinking -- a process for solving meaningful problems that puts an emphasis on empathy, iteration and revision -- as a tool for changing classrooms.  Their goal is a simple one:  To empower young people to learn 21st Century skills, to build character and to do good.  After creating a free account, teachers can find guidance on how to implement design thinking projects and processes in their classrooms.  More importantly, teachers can find examples of classrooms who have used design thinking to give their students chances to change the world for the better.  

 

Milo Cress – Be Straw Free : As a nine year old, nothing shocked Milo Cress more than the sad fact that plastic trash is not biodegradable and is literally destroying our planet.  Motivated to take action, Milo decided to start a campaign encouraging people to “be straw free”– a simple action that could have a huge impact, given that each day, 500,000,000 straws are used by consumers in restaurants.  Not satisfied with simply raising awareness in his own community, Milo began lobbying other influencers – including the National Restaurant Association.  The result:  Offering straws – rather than simply bringing them with drinks – is now accepted as best practice by restaurants nationwide.  

 

Hailey Fort – Building for the Homeless : A chance encounter with a hungry homeless man changed Hailey Fort’s life forever.  After buying him a sandwich, Hailey decided to start a garden and to donate food to the local food bank in a project that she calls Hailey’s Harvest.  Her next step:  To begin building tiny homes for the homeless.  Hailey does all the work on her tiny homes – from designing blueprints to nailing the structures together – and plans to build a total of eleven homes for the homeless in her Western Washington community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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