This week saw our first week back with students. And already we are starting planning for next year. School is such an institutionalized institution that to embed real change ideas need to be sown 12 months before they can come to bloom. Teaching structures, timetable adjustments, leadership appointments, teachers onside, student involvement; these all need to be built carefully. Change needs to be evolutionary; revolutions are for those whose primary focus is power and control over learning and inclusiveness.
So after nearly 12 months ThinkLab is open for business. While the physical set-up still requires some work the intent and school support is there.
Connected structure is so important. With a focus on supporting subject and learning discipline the parts hopefully constitute a greater whole:
  • Teacher and Student lunchtime sandboxes for problem solving, ideas, shared learning and catch-up
  • A Digital Curriculum lesson across Grades 6 through 9 to develop student support expertise for curriculum projects. Includes a skills toolkit aimed at supporting student independence and diversity
  • A Student Fanar (Support Group) that provides support and leadership within and beyond the classroom
  • 1:1 laptop program built on student laptop diversity, an open and use network, and software freedom through focus on learning requirements over this or that dictated technology
  • Student eportfolios to develop digital learning in support of subject and International Baccalaureate objectives.
  • Using Moodle and other Oas a 24/7 Virtual Learning Environment
  • Formal teacher learning program through the State University of New York Certificate of Educational Technologies and Information Literacies, connected to Wednesday afternoon teacher digital learning program.
These are built upon the elements of (1) student digital expertise (2) teachers as connected learners (3) Physical and Virtual teaching and learning spaces (4) Digital Learning curriculum (5) Ongoing feedback and connections large and small. In the weeks to come we will expand on each of these.
ThinkLab this week was for training and preparation prior to the Teacher and Student Sandbox opening next week.



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