Learning Online at ISB- Unit Planners

 

  • What action(s) might you take in order to prepare for online and blended learning?As we prepare to begin online learning, I am first and foremost focused on creating a safe, comfortable, respectful, and supportive culture in the classroom and online. Making sure that students understand the expectations for our online learning environment (much the same as I would do in a live classroom) and helping them take ownership of this learning space by generating conversation around appropriate, respectful, and engaged online learning with the teacher and each other. Creating a culture of thinking, of dialogue, positive interaction, and shared community from the start will facilitate all the learning and work that is to follow.I will need to spend a lot of time becoming fluent with Dragon Exchange as a learning management system.As a new teacher who will be navigating the myriad new platforms, technologies and curriculum at ISB from abroad for the foreseeable future, I will try and focus on developing a better understanding of how to use these tools. I expect things to be a bit difficult and unsettled for a while. I will try and be as clear as possible in my expectations regrading participation, responsibilities, expectations, engagement, task completion etc… I will also try to be as clear as possible what they can expect from me. In order to have the class flow, I will need to be able to make use of DX. For posting, collecting work, feedback, creating opportunities for class collaboration, and making sure students know what is expected of them, and that they have what they need, when they need it.

     

  • Considering your previous experience with online learning, what are your instructional strengths & areas for growth?My online experience from semester two of last year was very mixed. I felt that initially things were flowing and that student engagement was exceptionally good. However this waned as the weeks wore on. I believe that having them together in the same room in real-time will help with this. I made myself available, and created clear and consistent times for class meetings and individual support, as well as appointments with students who felt they had urgent matters to discuss . I created modules that covered the 8 day cycle and were meant to be personalized in that students could work through them at their own pace, and I created video lessons to support each topic we were covering. This year will be different, and I hope to find ways to more consistently engage, from afar, the students in our learning, and to provide engaging learning opportunities and thorough and immediate feedback to them.

  • Using the 5Cs of online learning, what goals might you set for yourself in anticipation of future online instruction? I think each of teh 5 C’s is integral to a successful and healthy classroom, but I will focus on care and collaboration. Nothing we do for students can fully work until they feel safe, supported, and comfortable in their environment. We have to cultivate personal relationships with our students, let them know that they are important to us beyond their test scores, we are interested in them beyond the classroom, and that we are committed to helping them thrive. Our focus on SEL competencies this year at ISB is an important component of helping our students to grow and improve as students, academically and individually.

  • How might you achieve these goals? Who might you reach out to for support? I plan on collaborating heavily with teh experienced people in the math department. My goal is to create the classroom culture that I would like to see in my learning space. Fostering engagement, inclusivity, and a sense of community as we get started. I will work closely with my IP to get my classes off to a positive start. I will need to become fluent in ISB’s platforms as I navigate the new environment and will rely heavily on the support structure at ISB, and especially my colleagues in the math department.

The Big Picture at ISB

The online orientation has been amazing.  Very helpful to have been walked through the process in such detail: thanks so much for the obvious effort and care with which the course was put together! The mission of ISB is clearly defined and represents the commitment of the school and faculty to laying out a clear vision with identified goals and presents a coherent strategy for achieving these objectives.

 

I think that my biggest takeaway has been that I am (getting close to being) able to see the big picture at ISB.  The work we have done is allowing me to see the process at ISB; from ideation and concept, to planning, creation, integration of technology, curriculum delivery, student support, feedback and assessment, and reporting. And at each step there are support structures identified and in place.

 

The course highlighted ISB’s commitment to the emphasis on a personalized, learner-centered culture and a particular focus on the Social and Emotional learning components of education.  This is so important in any school that hopes to create a truly meaningful and valuable education for its students. Creating positive, collaborative learning environments that foster these SEL competencies are something I have focused on these last few years, and I am happy to be joining a school that places so much emphasis on these aspects of learning and growth.

 

To be sure, it will be a challenge, but another takeaway from this has been the tremendous support structure in place to help us newbies as we begin our journey at ISB, especially as a few of us navigate the process from abroad.

Social and Emotional Learning

Rather than being an add-on in the classroom, SEL competencies must be part of the fabric of the curriculum and culture of any healthy learning environment. It must be deliberate, considered, and intentional. The teacher must lead by example, modeling, encouraging and supporting these positive traits. In my classroom I first try to first set the tone with the language used between students. Building a safe space where students feel empowered to be who they are and to appreciate and enjoy who others are. By supporting and building relationships with my students and giving them a chance to build relationships with each other every day in class using cooperative work (I really like Kagan) that ensures positive interdependence and individual accountability, students are empowered to develop these traits and skills.

Welcome!

Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.

  • Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
    • Self-assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards  (Tripod 7Cs)
    • Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
    • Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
  • Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
  • Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
  • Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
  • You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.

If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!

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