The NeXt School – Visible / Shared Learning

As part of my summer writing, I am working with Kevin Kerr to come up with a resource and protocol for a new type of certification for schools to strive for in the TCDSB, called The NeXT School. Essentially this will allow school communities to show off and work on ways to more clearly embody the competencies and characteristics of the 21st Century Learner. There are a number of categories and things to consider but I will start my blogging series now on the one I see as most needed, (and least present currently); Visible/Shared Learning.
Visible Learning for Teachers, for Students by MichaelRoush on GoAnimate

The idea behind this category is to leverage some of the simple technology that is available to anyone to help to create an environment where learning is not only happening but is shared and visible. Let’s attack this one element at a time.

Visible learning is so important because it keeps everyone informed about what is going on in all places of the school. I love the idea of blogging about all the PD I will get as a principal. Today’s principal is called out of the school so often and this can lead to questions if not resentment from staff wondering what their leader is doing. As leader who shares their learning with some form of social networking or blogging allows the community to know what is going on. This is key also for teachers and students as well. Here is the challenging part: will teachers allow or encourage their students to see their visible learning? Will teachers be open to taking ideas and comments from their students when they post something about the in-service they attended or the idea they had while at a planning session. This will be an interesting experiment and I truly wonder what will come of it.

The second element here is shared learning. This is really something that is so 21C in that previously it was just too difficult to set up an environment where learning was easily shared and reflected upon. There simply was not the time to do this so many teachers became isolated islands that attended a few workshops a year, maybe implementing one element from all of them, but rarely sharing it with colleagues across the hall, much less across an ocean. Now with social media and online environments, it is incredibly easy to set up and maintain a Professional Learning Community with incredibly rich and diverse ideas. This is where real transformation can occur as one person’s learning can snowball into so much more. School boards and districts need to consider this model as a way to make real inroads into transformational learning. If there was someone who could coordinate the sharing of learning, then so much less could be spent on PD sessions  while some real change may actually occur.

The NeXt School would have Visible and Shared Learning as a given element and would look for new and exciting ways to get ALL members of the community to share and learn from others.

More to come but would love some feedback that we will use in our project. Can you please provide some examples or ideas for how a community could support Shared and Visible Learning. I mean from admin, teachers, students and parents!!!

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One Response to The NeXt School – Visible / Shared Learning

  1. After reading the Third Teacher, I decided to ask my students (with no real preparation) what they thought about the physical make-up of the classroom. I was pleased with their efforts and I think with a reasonable level of discussion, they will be able to give more creative and insightful suggestions. See the link for a small snippet of their suggestions/comments. (https://twitter.com/lukemteacher/status/348916676642885632) If we are able to follow that approach with regard to other aspects of our classrooms (new assignments, resources, technologies, application of new professional learning), we might increase our students’ feelings of ownership over their education and promote teacher and student meta-cognition.

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