Providing Visionary Leadership

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter Drucker

Reflection:

The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and it removes THE barrier.  This tool is a large contributor to huge transformational change in this school.  Coupled with a sound philosophy, a focus on change, this has propelled this school to a different level of thinking about what the future of education looks like.  I must caution anyone reading this that moving to a one to one environment alone will not transform teaching and learning.  In tandem, you must have philosophy in place, a critical mass with a baseline of skills to take on the challenge, and the ability to know when to “turn up the heat”, “keep the heat simmer”, and “when to turn the heat off”.  Take a look at the video produced at SCHS that talks about the One to One project.

The  SCHS One to One video was created by Rick Gaudio and used with his permission.

The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  When you re-think high school, the first step is to use the power of technology.

http://www.arpdc.ab.ca/pd/index.html

Alberta Flexibility Project

Reflection:

What do schools look like in the 21st century when you make education accessible outside of school time? 

Through jurisdictional support, Springbank High became a partner and participant in the Alberta Flexibility Project  two years ago.  To be part of this project is to think bold and capitalize on the opportunity.  To date, we have done the following:

  • offered Flex Classes
  • Offered a blended learning environment
  • changed our timetable to reflect a more personalized philosophy
  • implemented an advisory program
  • offered more on-line programming
  • created the capacity for our teachers to be more adept at offering online, blended, flexibility in all disciplines
  • Exhibition of Learning
  • changed the nature of parent teacher communication
  • Supported innovative initiatives
  • offered flex time for students, ie flex days and tutoring time
  • beginning of the move toward changing final exam philosophy to a more humanistic approach
  • encouraging teachers to look beyond exams to offering a more authentic way of assessing.  This has led to many courses opting out of a final exam.

For next year:

  • expand on all of the above
  • break down the walls of the timetable
  • offer humanities at the grade 9 level
  • collapse English and Social Studies to be one department – allowing for the cross curricular discussion and collaboration
  • Support staff to thinking innovatively around assessment, team teaching, etc.

We asked ourselves the following questions:

How do you instill a culture of innovation?

How do you build in significant relationships with teachers?

How do you build hubs of innovation?

Some answers:

  • Flex classes running in the timetable
  • Flex classes running outside of the timetable (value added classes)
  • Advisory blocks to create opportunities for students to have a significant relationship with a teacher who will follow them for 4 years
  • Give students the opportunity to continue with a course they have not completed in the semestered time frame.
  • Encourage teachers to be “blended” and expand their skills on-line course offerings
  • Project-based focus at grade 9
  • Exhibition of Learning twice a year
  • Flex Days (4 days of choice for students)  Flex Days Instructions and  Flex Time Information to Parents

Enhancing Student Success through Relationship Building – Springbank Community High
Springbank High’s project involves the implementation of an Advisory Program, aimed at providing direct links to academic and mentor supports for students throughout the four years they are at the school. Serving as individual learning plans, e-portfolios are a major component of the Advisory Program.  They are helping both students and their advisors to plan, track, and celebrate academic successes, social/emotional needs, as well as career and life goals. Project objectives include relationship building, student e-portfolio development, and build skills and knowledge on career/post-secondary planning.

Personalized Learning – Proposal and Articles

At SCHS, we will be again taking the opportunity to move towards a more personalized learning environment.  Check out our latest Learning paper and implementation strategies for 2012-2013:  Personalized Learning Paper and SCHS and Personalized Learning BRIEF to Parents

Curation Tools and Articles Related to Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning- Curated Articles Scoop.it.  Click here

Personalized Learning – Curated Articles Pinterest.  Click here

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