|Role of Staff
Facilitating the Future
Five Foundations to Successful
Integration of Transparent Technologies.
Collaborative Learning answers the question:
How can I integrate transparent technology
with just a few computers per
1. A Collaborative
All classrooms can not have,
will not have, and more than likely should not have a computer for every student.
Strategies that promote effective use of technology and reflective, deep,
communication and negotiation skills in students are essential. Successful practices
require students to demonstrate interaction with others through visioning, planning,
conspiring, creating, and defending a final artifact (project). Placing students
directly in front of a computer monitor without regard to human interaction and
collaboration may hamper vital forms of communication and literacy skills.
A collaborative classroom
promotes these vital assets:
- Time Management
- Resource Management
- System Evaluation
- Product Enhancement
- Community Duty
- Communication Skills --
Listening, Reflecting, Negotiating, Deliberating, Defending, Documenting, etc.
- Compassion, Point-of-view,
A collaborative classroom
promotes integration of all types of tools -- manipulatives, enrichments,
supplemental, and technology by defining the purpose of the tool in respect to each
student's individual role. When the student assumes the role of
"scribe" the computer's assists in documenting student productivity and thought
processes. As a "resource manager", the student can access vital on-line
resources. As a "time manager", the student can log project schedules,
time-lines, and deadlines. As a "reporter or producer", the student can
create meaningful presentations focused on a particular audience and key issues.
Integration of transparent
technologies can easily become a reality in a collaborative learning environment.
Character-building answers the question:
How do I manage a collaborative classroom?
Allowing students to work
independently and with more internal initiative is challenging even to experienced
facilitators. Teaching, modeling, and holding students accountable for basic
character traits allows students to exhibit integrity as mature self-directed learners.
The SCANS competencies and Character Counts! curriculum are vital tools to assure
student progress in a learner-centered classroom. Rarely taught explicitly, the lack
of these traits are more often the cause of dissatisfactory behavior.
SCANS Competencies include:
- time management
- resource management
- peer tutoring
Character Counts! 6 Pillars of Good Character are:
Project-based answers the question:
What do children want to be able to do?
One day an elementary student
returned home from school after having learned about the characteristics and habitat of
the tiny Texas blue bird. They had learned that the blue bird's habitat was
endangered. The child had learned that by building a bird house and placing it on a
stand about four feet off the ground, blue birds might actual nest there. Turning to
his father, the child said excitedly, "Let's build a bird house!"
The father agreed and took
the child to the garage where he patiently guided the child through safety and measuring
techniques, sawing with a hand tool, hammering nails, and using an electric screw driver.
The bird house was built with excitement and anticipation. It had a real
world purpose and there was passion in the building of it.
How different that scene
might have been had the father come home one day and said, "Now son, today I am going
to teach you safety techniques with power and hand tools. Tomorrow we will
learn how to measure and cut wood. Then, after many hours of practicing hammering
nails, I will let you use the electric screw driver to set some wood screws."
kill-and-drill, worksheets or software can work in the same manner of this latter example,
while project-based learning provides:
- Real-world application of
newly acquired knowledge and skills
- Integrated skills rather than
- Longer processing time for
enriching learning experiences
- Students hands-on experience
- Learner-centered and
- Opportunities to develop
teamwork, expertise and professional values & traits
- Student guidance through
re-thinking, re-evaluating, and redesign -- producing better quality artifacts
- Intrinsic motivation and
- Criteria for mastery through
exhibition or demonstration
Authentic Assessment using Objective-based
criteria, Interviews, and portfolios --answers the question: How do I assess project-based
Do you remember the days
You were given 25 math
problems for homework. You did your best to work them and place the correct answer
on a blank provided. The next day swapped papers with another student who graded
your paper as the teacher called out the correct answers. A red giant "X" was
placed over any incorrect answer and your average was taken by some magical process then a
letter grade placed on your paper?
In those days:
What was the difference
(besides a few percentage points) between a student who made a 68% on that type of paper
and a student who made a 70%? or 74%? What was the difference in understanding
or ability? For that application
which student was more adept at
using mathematics in a real-world setting? Does an 80% or an
88% tell anyone what the child is ready or capable of
Authentic Assessment allows
students and facilitators to better assess student mastery, student progress and student
need. Students may become better managers of their own time and energy when they
better understand the specific criteria they are striving to achieve. Breaking
processes down into achievable goals properly guides
students and gives them
success. Specifically stating what is to be demonstrated, within what limits, during
what period of time, and at what
level of mastery is necessary to build meaningful rubrics
for measuring authentic success.
Interviewing students in
formative evaluations allows both the facilitator and the student to address important
issues and redefine growth plans. This type of
one-on-one follow-up refines previously set goals by allowing students to reflect, edit,
perfect, and redesign current products. This type of reflection assists in building
better quality artifacts. Students should be challenged during an interview process
to engage in exploring, questioning, explaining,
deliberating, and defending their
Portfolios allow students to
appraise their own growth using concrete examples of work done over a period of time.
For evaluation purposes, it is best to have guidelines for what the artifacts in a
portfolio should demonstrate (rubric). Portfolios
most often demonstrate one or
all of these three things:
Effort -- in knowledge, organization, management and communication skills -- including drafts to show the stages of
Progress -- convincing
evidence that growth has taken place
Achievement -- samples of
curriculum should follow the practice of collecting multiple assessments during each
phase of productivity --- research, planning, design, implementation, formative
evaluation, re-design (editing), and summative evaluation.
produced during project-based learning should be nurtured on a continuous basis by
multiple formative assessments from facilitator, peers, and the student. These
assessments are accompanied by an individual student growth plan -- what a student is
to achieve before the next interview or evaluation.
single grade at the end of a project is an opinion....not an evaluation.
It is your opinion that the student created the project
and/or actually learned anything.
3 Rules for
(1) NEVER accept a student's
first attempt! It will always be the worst attempt. Plan for and
manage the process of growth and professional productivity.
(2) ALWAYS allow a student
to edit, revise or perfect -- this is the process where the most
learning takes place.
you remember the first time you took a test from a college professor
that you had never taken before? You were very "up-tight"
about what kind of test he/she would give and really didn't know
what to expect. Once the test was returned, you said to
yourself, "Oh, I KNEW that...I just didn't know what he/she wanted
on that question." You actually learned more about the
professor, the class, and the expectations AFTER the assessment was
Well, that is exactly the same consideration we should give our
students. Let them get through the assessment -- then the
"light bulbs" turn on and somebody is "home", learning takes place
and skills are acquired. We need to drop the "GOTCHA!"
mentality that teachers have often have had in the past. We
need to nurture learning and stop believing that our assessments are
(3) NEVER accept anything
that a student isn't proud of or isn't as perfect as possible!
I knew a Senior English teacher
once who had students turn in their major research papers at the
end of the school year for a major final exam grade. I
cleaned out that teacher's room later the next year and found all
those research papers....never graded. Of course, that was a
sin against all the students in the class, but even worse,
the opportunity to get the paper back, edit it, refine it, word mill
it, tweak it, learn from mistakes, and create a product they were
proud to produce was totally lost.
Levels of Mastery answer the
What is it that we would like
the student to be able to do?
5. 5 Levels of
Honestly dealing with success
at a mastery level appropriate for the learner involves taking into consideration the
learners past experiences, achievements, and skills. The 5 Levels of Mastery allow
students and facilitators to create objectives at the appropriate level of mastery for
accurate and authentic assessment of student progress while at the same time identifying
the next level of mastery.
Assessment must address knowledge and skill
growth in relation to the individual student.
TA Scope & Sequence
STaR Chart Self-Diagnostic