Home > Flat Classroom Projects > Flat Classroom Mod 5 – Challenge 10 and 11

Flat Classroom Mod 5 – Challenge 10 and 11

Last year as a teacher, I had my first Independent Study Student. I had a student who was  a “computer geek”. He would call that a compliment. This student was already spending hours outside of school working on programming.  He spent more time on programming than on school. As I was talking to the “computer geek”, I realized that he should be getting high school credit for all his efforts. The “computer geek” signed up for an Independent Study Class for Programming.

This Independent Study (IS) Class was the first turn from teaching to facilitating. I was a Philosophy major in college.  I know, that I know nothing. I believe that we can all be learn all the time.  One of my favorite quotes is “the only constant is change”. It seems so true especially now that I am teaching technology. Technology constantly changes. I can’t know everything about technology.  I could drive myself crazy.  So why not allow students to find their own path to learning? Sugata Mitra talks about this on TED explaining Self Organizing Learning Environments (SOLE).

When I got more IS students I realized I needed a better system for how these students were documenting and reflecting on their own learning.  Project Reflections surfaced as a great way for both of these goals. After using those for a semester, Lisette Casey, the Middle School Technology Teacher started formulating what else we needed these IS students to track. We drafted and edited our Independent Study Goals and Expectations. These Goals and Expectations have helped us both focus our students on how we need to organize our students and how the students needed to control the learning.

The Project Reflections asks students to tie what they were learning to one of our Essential Learnings (ELs, which in Manitou Springs School District are our standards).  Both Lisette and I use the ISTE Standards as our ELs.  We even use their new catch phrases for learning: Use It, Find It, Make It, Solve It, Protect It, and Share it. Their learning should be directly linked to which EL they think the project best represents. This process alone allows the students to really student what those ELs are and what do they look like.

This experience inspired us to apply for the ISTE SIGOL On-Line Learning Award. Lisette Casey and I received 2nd place.

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