Empathize: Gather information from users In action: Fourth-graders in Colorado solicited ideas from local residents to help their city redesign a local park.
Define: Frame the problem In action: Administrators in Glenbrook High Schools District 225 considered student experience when redesigning classrooms. They chose furniture that let learners move around.
Though not yet used widely in special education, virtual and augmented reality have the potential to be game-changers.
Dan Phillips, director of the Technology Resource Center at the Marin County Office of Education in California, has given VR headsets to children in wheelchairs, allowing them to walk and move virtually as they work on a 3D digital science curriculum.
Digital games excel at building a range of skills without students realizing they are “learning,” says Marissa Miller, a special education teacher at Warwick Neck Elementary, which is part of Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island.
Some of these games come with puzzle pieces, styluses and other physical components.
Peter DeWitt is a professional development coach and the creator of Collaborative Leadership, a PD service that combines transformational and instructional leadership, and that includes ways to engage the school community with a focus on learning.
Collaborative Leadership is a series of one to four workshops focusing on research-based influences that can foster a supportive and inclusive school climate, increase academic and social-emotional learning, and maximize the efficacy of every school stakeholder.
This spring, schools have experienced a profound increase in student suicides and attempts, as well as school shootings. Recognize that as bad as things have been this spring, things are likely to be worse next fall. Contention over race, origin, LGBTQ, and sexual assault/harassment will increase, along with contention over gun control in the context of a focus on school shootings. Schools must be prepared to go into the 2018-19 school year.
Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.
The 45 schools and systems recognized by this year’s District of Distinction program have created homegrown initiatives to support students’ social-emotional development, to provide powerful new opportunities for career-focused STEM learning and to improve the skills of educators.
A K8 school district in Southern California was focusing efforts on increasing the proficiency of its English language learners, a population that makes up 32 percent of its students. It also sought to reclassify as many ELLs as possible before middle school—a time when the defeatist mindset usually sets in.
The process to select a new elementary math program for Columbia Public Schools began four years ago. K12 Math Coordinator Dana Hibbard located the highest-performing schools in Missouri and selected their top two math programs for piloting in her district of 18,555 students.