Transformation & Technology:
A New Way of Learning – Classroom Scenarios

Professional Development
Presentation & Activity

Transformation & Technology: A New Way of Learning – Classroom Scenarios
Teacher Presentation & Activity

This presentation outline & activity has been created as a possible way to engage teachers in a discussion around the scenarios brought forth in this book. It can be adapted to meet the needs of the individual situation.


1. Introduce the Vermont Transformation and the Opportunity to Learn: Defining Vermont Education for a New Generation of Learners. These documents are available at http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/dept/transformation.html


2. Explain that in the past technology integration was guided by the Vermont Technology Grade Expectations (http://www.mtsd-vt.org/Main_Tech_GE_Page.htm) which were based on the first version of the National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S). In 2007, these standards were “refreshed.” (http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForStudents/2007Standards/NETS_for_Students_2007_Standards.pdf) These refreshed standards closely align with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills documents. (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=254&Itemid=120)


3. In 2010 a new document has been created to support the Vermont Transformation. It is a follow up to the Technology Grade Expectations and is based on the refreshed National Education Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) and is titled
Transformation & Technology: A New Way of Learning – Classroom Scenarios (http://vtcite.org/node/3098). This document provides sixty scenarios, or verbal pictures, of effective technology integration combined with successful 21st century teaching practices and strategies.


Activity

A. Ask each teacher to take about 15 minutes to write down a brief summary (scenario) a unit of lesson they have taught that they feel has effective technology integration and sound teaching methods and practices. Be sure to note that this is for their eyes only. It will not be turned in and only if they wish will they verbally share their story. (This part can be modified in several ways: Teachers who teach the same unit might join together, if time is an issue, teachers can just take 5 minutes and jot down some comments. The idea is to have them reflect on a lesson/unit that they feel is pretty good based on both teaching practices and technology integration)


B. Have teachers read the Introduction to Transformation & Technology: A New Way of Learning – Classroom Scenarios.


C. Teachers should now form small groups based on grade levels (clusters) K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. (This could be modified to form cross-cluster groups if appropriate)


D. Since there are 15 scenarios in each grade cluster there is probably too much for any individual teacher to read. Ask them to divide up the scenarios in their grade cluster so that each teacher reads 3 to 5 of the scenarios. Try to avoid duplication as much as possible. (The amount of reading can be adjusted based on time available)


E. After reading the scenarios, the teachers should rejoin their grade cluster team. Time to process:

a. Open discussion
b. Guided questions: Ask one person to summarize the responses.
i. What did you notice most about these scenarios? What struck you?
ii. How did these align with the unit/lesson you described?
iii. Could you carry out these lessons in your classroom today? What would you need to support you? If not, what is in your way?
iv. Would you need to modify your teaching style to successfully carry out this lesson?


F. Return to larger group. Each grade cluster report out. (This step can be omitted if time is a concern)
a. General Discussion


G. Revisions: Ask people to form small groups of two or three. Have one person in the group volunteer the lesson/unit they wrote up in the first part of the activity. The group will discuss and take some notes on how that unit might be “refreshed” based on what they learned from the scenarios.

H. Follow up Topics

a. Does our present Curriculum and Instructional Models allow for implementation of learning based on NETS-S and 21st Century Skills? What could be “refreshed”?
b. What does Student-Centered Learning in a 21st Century context look like? How does it differ from past practices?
c. How much of our present curriculum is Project or Inquiry based? How much should be?
d. The Vermont Transformation states that all students should have “Individual Learning Plans.” How well do you differentiate instruction for all students?
e. How effectively are you using technology to meet the needs of 21st century learners? Do you need to “refresh”?