Archive for the ‘constructivist’ Category

I was truly inspired by Karl Fisch, Brian Hatak, Brad Meyer, Anne Smith, and Barbara Stahlhut from Arapahoe High School who did their presentation yesterday on Constructivist Teaching with Technology:Learning with Laptops. They started with a three yearstaff development plan, and a 4 person technology team in their high school. Karl applied for a grant, I don’t know from who, and assembled a 16 person cohort, including the 4 tech person tech team, to pilot the idea of laptops and constructivism. We listened today to how they started, asking for participation, settinga limit to the number who could participate managably in the first year, set out the guidelines through an email, people responded answering questions then they were chosen. I would like to read more on the Arapahoe web site about the project, the basic concept is teachers using blogs, wikis and podcasts to engage their students. They talked about the authentic learning aspect for the kids, how they (teachers) were not all “techie” teachers to begin with and some relied on their students to learn the technology and teach them as they went. They are finishing year two and now have approximately 45 teachers who have gone through either the first or second cohort. They meet every three weeks for three hours during the school day, had other teachers in their building help out covering portions of the time and substitutes which I assume were paid through the grant money for staff development. Anyway their approach was to change the pedagogy within the school starting with this first cohort. Nothing that they have done would be considered high tech, nothing requires a great deal of knowledge of computers, and the focus was not on the technology. laptops in each of two classrooms, buy in with the community through the production of student work that was posted. Next year they are adding two more classrooms with laptops carts.
I don’t know how to get a foothold in the high school where I am, but I would love to be involved in a project such as this. To hear teachers talk of the impact this project has had on their students in terms of modeling, the teachers modeling their own learning in these cohorts and the value that has had for their students to see. They all were so enthusiastic yesterday, it was great to be part of this conversation with them. This was worth the trip!

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