How Great Teachers Reinvent Their Classroom

August 28, 2013
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm PST
By Educator Innovator

What does it look like when educators use mobile technologies to reinvent their classroom practices?

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (04:22) When we talk about “reinventing” the classroom…what does “reinvention” mean, whether you’re working in your own classroom or partnering with other teachers?
  • (05:27) I’m trying to find ways to empower my kids and become more of a facilitator in the classroom, turning the ownership over to them…
  • (07:59) When we’re solving problems that don’t even exist in our minds yet, and creating opportunities for our kids that we never even dreamed of, that’s “redefinition” for us.
  • (10:29) To help teachers get to that space of redefinition and thinking outside the box, you have to start ‘in the box’ with them. And you have to find their holes in the box, you have to find the areas they’re already focused on.
  • (14:41) It has to be a learning community, just like we want our kids to have a learning community…having other colleagues to rely on (whether they’re ‘techie’ or not)…teachers who are willing to take risks, reflect, and get better.
  • (18:30) How do we keep ourselves and our colleagues from getting ‘stuck’ at the Substitution stage of the SAMR model?
  • (21:25) I think being a reflective educator is a huge piece of technology innovation and thinking, “OK, how is it going? What am I learning about students? What do I need for myself to be energized and excited?”
  • (24:30) What’s special about what’s happening in Singapore…In America, we think individual teachers entirely own what happens in their classroom…whereas in Singapore…the [school] community owns that classroom.
  • (25:35) For big initiatives, such as a 1:1 or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), what is the optimal amount of lead time to plan and pilot that program?
  • (29:17) How do we go to scale and do it successfully? Investing in human capacity, investing in our teachers, investing in professional development…because that is a sustainable model.
  • (32:38) We have to be smart about how we roll it out, but in the end, all of our children deserve access to those tools because that’s the world we’re sending them into.
  • (35:23) How do you help prepare parents for the fact that the learning environments you’re creating in your classrooms and schools might be really different from the learning environments that they experienced?
  • (38:02) ‘It’s risk-taking for me, it’s risk-taking for your student…but I can only take your student higher as opposed to the detriment.’
  • (41:47) What’s the biggest risk that you all are going to take this year that you’re a little excited and a little nervous [about]?
  • (44:38) Something else that we’re exploring this year…is the idea of learning spaces. We are exploring how the classroom has to change…Autumn is going to be piloting a “learning dream lab” in her classroom, using furniture that’s all mobile–so, the students have ownership over the learning space. Look for #DreamLabEdu as we embark on this journey.
  • (48:37) What we’re trying to do with our PLN is not only grow as educators, but to model for our students. So, last year, I got into the idea of developing an SLN (student learning network)…so they understood that they had a world full of experts that they could connect with, and also start envisioning themselves as experts.
  • (50:04) There are tons of teachers around the country whose administrators have forced them into some kind of PLC (Professional Learning Communities)…How have you all been successful in having this group be really fun and joyful?

From this Series:

View the Conversation
During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.

Guests for this webinar included:

  • Justin Reich is co-founder of EdTechTeacher and the the Richard L. Menschel HarvardX Research Fellow, based in the Office of the President and Provost at Harvard University, exploring the possibilities and limits of online learning through the HarvardX platform. He is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a visiting lecturer in MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education program.
  • Jennie Magiera is the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a network of 29 Chicago Public Schools. An Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher and CPS’ 2012 Tech Innovator of the Year, Jennie works to redefine education through digital learning. She explores how to leverage 1:1 devices such as Chromebooks and iPads to increase student metacognition, collaboration and creativity.
  • Kristin Ziemke is a first grade teacher at Burley School in Chicago. She is also a Golden Apple Award winner, a recipient of the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award, and an Earthwatch Educator Fellow.
  • Anita Orozco-Huffman is the Director of Student Learning at National Teachers Academy. She works with teachers to help them innovate their use of digital devices. She is passionate about using technology to differentiate and transform teaching and learning. When Anita is not in the classroom, she is a member of the school leadership team, working on curriculum projects, and providing professional development to colleagues.
  • Autumn Laidler has been teaching in high-needs Chicago Public Schools for six years at the elementary school level. She is in her second year of 1:1 iPad implementation in intermediate science at National Teachers Academy. She is passionate about project-based learning and inquiry in the classroom with a focus on digital creation by students, as well as creating connections with the global learning community.

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