What a busy fall the EdLab has had! Between exploring mission-based learning with educators in Workshop 2.0, to implementing the ideas in schools with Classroom 2.0, to developing new media educational practices with Education Innovators we get no rest! Not complaining though :)
Last Saturday we decided to try something new. We held the first "Get Schooled" Implementation workshop. We invited teachers who had either attended our summer or fall workshops to come to the Postal Museum with a specific idea for a project they wanted to do in their classroom. These teachers are well versed in the EdLab philosophy, so after revisiting the elements* of a good mission-based learning plan, they were off solving their own mission as one of their students!
By working through each step of their mission, they could anticipate any problems that could arise and where their students would need guidance. Changing to mission-based learning isn't just hard for the teacher planning it, but also for the student!
Getting feedback from one another to make their own missions better.
From planning to research, production to presentation, feedback was the keep word! The teachers were constantly bouncing ideas off each other, thinking "well, how would my student do this..", and then documenting their findings on google docs. In the end, our 15 educators left the room with solid mission plans for their students. Sound like something you could use? Stay tuned for spring Get Schooled workshops!
*Elements of a good mission:
- Presents an authentic challenge or problem to be solved
- Encourages collaboration (i.e. students work in groups or take on different roles in order to solve the challenge)
- Encourages problem solving
- Encourages creativity
- Allows students to develop their own expertise and interests
- Takes advantage of real world experts
- Has an element of fun and encourages curiosity
- Encourages students to try new things and learn from mistakes
- Provides a space for students to give and receive feedback, then apply it
- Engages students in exploring their own identities, their larger communities, and the real world
- Encourages students to do something, such as mobilizing others toward a cause
- Can be completed using a variety of processes and new media tools
- The new media tools used provide greater abilities than the use of analog tools
- Tools are appropriate to the task