Thursday, February 07, 2013

Fueling the Fire

Photo from Krissy. Venosdale on Flickr
 One of my favorite things that I loved to incorporate into my classroom were authentic learning experiences that would allow students to connect and become actively engaged with their content.   Students were leading the way and taking ownership of their learning!   This passion was so contagious that it ignited new opportunities throughout our curriculum. One example from my classroom last year would be how often we would use Skype to help us learn our social studies curriculum.  Rather than read a story about New Jersey or Massachusetts, my students would learn about these states from students in the actual states!  My class would then teach others about Michigan.  This was such a powerful learning experience that will leave a mark on their learning path.  Students extended these connections and collaborations in their writing through blogging, as well as other collaborative projects that provided engagement, and success!

Witnessing this passion and engagement for student learning was very contagious.  This inspired me to keep building new experiences where students would want to come to school each day, and to keep learning when they went home at night!

While my role has changed, my passion and enthusiasm for learning continues to grow as I have the opportunity to help other educators in our county to bring these experiences to their own classroom.   It is so wonderful to be in a position to provide the resources and tools to help teachers make the jump and kickstart a new way of learning into their classroom, as well as prepare students for the future.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to team up with Bev Berns, another educational technology consultant from Iowa, and together we began planning monthly challenges teachers in our 30 coordinating districts that would provide the monthly project topics along with resources, tools, and common core connections to help them get started!   We have provided three projects for K-12 classrooms that included Skype, Blogging, and Video Story Problems.   It is so wonderful to see these projects go into full effect in Jackson County! We plan to continue to bring challenges for the teachers to get them to think outside of the box with support along the way!

 If you are ready to fuel the fire of learning in your classroom, take a look at our February Challenge! 

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