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Delaware Ed Tech ConferenceApril 10, XXXXTom Welchtom@twelchconsulting.com
CCSSO and NASA:TheNational Virtual Learning MagnetForSpace Science and Mathematics About the image
The Essential Question . . . What Year Is It?
Other questions to ask . . . Why? What if . . .
Why? • Why do we continue to act like it’s 1988 • (or 1958)? • Why do we say “real” learning only happens • from 8:30 – 3:30? • Why limit learning from September to June? • Why pretend that every student • learns everything at the same pace?
Why? • Why do we continue to believe that geography MUST determine the limits of a student’s opportunity to learn? • Why should students be denied opportunities to achieve because of their parents’ zipcode?
Why? • Why do we continue to insist that students conform to a system that is out of sync with • the way they learn, • the way they communicate, • the way they organize?
By they way if you don’t think your “unmotivated” students can • learn quickly, • communicate efficiently • and organize effectively . . . • Then you haven’t seen them play an online collaborative game! • Maybe it’s time to redefine the term • “slow learners”
Given all that, What if . . . ?
The Virtual Learning Magnet For Space Science and Mathematics VLM4SSM
This is NOT a new school run by CCSSO Works WITH the local school Works WITH the virtual school in the district or state
This is NOT a “virtual magnet school” This is about a “virtual learning magnet”
Goals • Provide for the best learning opportunities to any student in any school in any state • Use highly relevant, authentic content • Provide a vehicle for transition to new structures for learning
Goals • Develop a system where • No teacher • No department head • No principal • No superintendent • Can stand between a student and opportunities to learn at the highest levels
Elements of the Compact • Performance-based credentialing • Fully transcripted experiences • Common suite of national assessments • Understanding of “chaordic” approach
Unique Curricular Elements • Nontraditional course design • Harvesting of existing content into a standards-based shell • Expanding module repository via social authoring • Students as “prosumers”
More unique elements • Deconstructed content, competencies and skills • Embedded opportunities for student control and choice whenever appropriate • Dynamic Learning Management System to track student progress and module effectiveness. • Independent Student Experience based on successive NASA missionsas a vehicle for documenting 21st Century skills
Still more unique elements • Links to post-secondary opportunities • Links to business and professional sector partners
Redefined roles for the business community (cont) • With students • 1. Short term homework tutors • (SL anyone?) • 2. Course-long experts • 3. Experience-long mentors • With the STEM disciplines • Future workforce • With the content
Redefined roles for the business community (continued) • C. With their community of influence • 1. WSJ, March 6, 2008 • a. Workforce attraction • b. Efficacy of investment • National footprint and presence • With their opportunities for collaborating • (think of the changed role for PBS)
Initial Implications Time and Credentialing Course “compacting” Standards and Assessments – common (inter)national expectations Teacher issues – who can cause learning? Finances – pay for learning and causing learning Textbooks Other
Changing the landscape • Redefined roles for Students • Students as “prosumers” • Students with choice, “voice” and new opportunities • Redefined roles for Teachers • Teachers as true “facilitators” • Teachers matched to students
Keep in Mind . . . If you know what you want students to learn And you can determine the quality of the learning And you have all the knowledge of the world available to help . . .
THEN why do you care . . . how, when, where, from whom they learned it, or how long it took them?
Timeline • Feb. 29 – Funding for NASA unsolicited proposal support awarded • Phase I – March – May 2008 • Course design, content harvesting, feedback • Phase II – Fall Semester 2008 • BETA implementation with students: • (approximately 500 students)
Some Fine Print • Students in the BETA must be receiving an elective credit, not a required graduation credit • Student eligibility elements • Broadband home or school access • Lexile level (1000) • Mathematics level (Alg.II) • Demonstrated interest in SSM as confirmed by previous NASA involvement in most cases • Demographic representation
N.B: • This is not about high school “reform” or improving schools. • This is about causing learning to occur with high levels of rigor, high levels of relevance in an environment rich with new relationships.
How this differs from “Reform” • Time to face the facts • We’ve been focused on “Reform” for 20 years . . . • How’s that working for you in your school, district, or state? • What makes you believe it is going to work? • Who really believes that EVERY school can be a great school? • Who wants to decide which students can go to the great ones? • The Reform model depends on resources we don’t have (Cactus and the Aspen Grove)
Please remember . . . • I love and use my local US Post Office • I have the highest respect for the workers • It was designed to handle communication between people, and deliver goods and packages • When it was created communication and packages were all tangible and real • (Other countries that developed systems later included the telephone system . . .logical, wasn’t it?)
I do not expect the USPS to handle my email • It does a great job of doing what it was set up to do • It would be unrealistic of me to expect it to handle email
We recognize and respect this when it comes to that system • When will we recognize and respect schools for doing a superb job of what they were designed to do?
By the way . . . • I’d be impatient if “the post office consistently delivered the wrong mail to my door • And I’d also be frustrated if they delivered my hard work to an address it was not intended for.
VLMs allow for transition • No demands for “jumping elephants” • Not dependent on traditional power brokers
What’s Ahead? VLM4SSM Development of the assessments Decisions about the other courses in the magnet “suite” Development of those courses to keep up with the students
This is about improving LEARNING NOT Improving SCHOOLING
What’s Ahead? VLM4IR Development of Mandarin Learning opportunities
What’s Ahead? Remember the physics “shell” that was stripped of content?
What if? Physics via Wildlife Studies Auto Tech Sports Culinary Arts Music
“The Future’s Ours . . . If We Can Free It!” (A Tale of Two Cities – the musical)