Student-Centered & Blended Learning: The Evolution of a Model…and Teacher (Part II)
The most underrated film of 2013 was easily Pacific Rim. Many wrote if off as a campy robot vs. monster action flick, but it was so much more. In truth, it was the story of innovation, iteration, and how our ability to fuse technology with man-power could literally save the world. Sounds like blended learning, doesn’t it?
Much like the engineers worked to upgrade their robot-creations in order to prepare for the constant adaptations of the alien race, our model of SCL/BL was evolving to fit our teachers and students. We had to be a step ahead. Although there exists certain core truths of SCL, teachers had to be given the autonomy to personalize it for the students they served. Of course, with great autonomy comes great responsibility. Asking teachers to customize learning paths for each level of student in the classroom, allow the kids to work at their own pace, and let them choose how to learn said material proved daunting for most. I had to find a way to systemize the process, but I didn’t have to do it alone.
The Power of Two
The robots required a 2-man team to operate the controls and to “think” for the machine. The team had to be perfectly synced in ability and coordination. In order to streamline SCL, we began to experiment with tandem observations and coaching. Not only did this practice increase our inter-rater reliability, but we missed nothing. Observing and coaching together presented a united front and only strengthened the suggestions we brought to teachers. Having a true pulse on the entire building allowed us to tailor our professional development in a way that was meaningful to each member of the staff. Teachers started getting it. One monster down.
[Click here for Part I.]