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Collab Lab 35: Recap & Notes

We kicked off our 5th season of Collab Labs on Zoom last week with a discussion focused on what educators were running into in the early weeks of the school year. We started the conversation by asking about what folks are seeing themselves or hearing from other educators:

  • Stakeholder involvement pushes teachers and school leadership to learn fast
  • When we lose control, we latch on to what we can control, e.. following the rules
  • Star testing on Chromebooks without reliable internet/devices does not work
  • If students aren’t in synchronous session they miss out
  • How do you reach the students who don’t come back to engage? Students feel they are so far behind that they can’t catch up.
  • teachers are overwhelmed, too many subjects to go deep, how do you check for understanding?
  • One week before start of school, we were told we will be using PBL with our students.
  • Lack of student perseverance – checking out when it gets to be too difficult
  • how do you replicate observation in the classroom?
  • fear of making mistakes?
  • students go to community centers during the day– how do they help kids when kids have so much work to do. The partners need to understand what is useful to learning.
  • frustrated trying to get content across, frustrated with attendance. Cuts across city & suburban districts.
  • kids at same grade level show up at same daycare, all with different assignments.

That prompted some further discussion around getting above a tactical level…

  • we’re still trying to deliver curriculum rather than learning.
  • Rethink what is accountability?
  • how to use tech tools to level the playing field and create empathy among students?
  • how to use synchronous and a-synchronous teaching in a structured way.

…and what teachers/schools need to make this work:

  • creating ‘digital citizen culture’ for using technology to learn together
  • Why is presence needed for learning?
  • How do we use tools strategically
  • How does a person demonstrate learning?
  • How does a person demonstrate learning?
  • Lots of time up front how to use tools of virtual platform.

We wrapped up with the recognition that post Covid, schools will end up somewhere new:

  • Systems have been cobbled together overtime. Now we are starting fresh. Can we think about how we ought to fix this?
  • Can we create a new framework for learning experiences that gives students a choice of opportunities to pursue?
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