This July we will work with teachers from all over the country to redesign the way we engage and assess students. We are so excited to do this work over the course of July!
The Academies will be divided by Lower, Middle, and Upper School cohorts addressing student engagement, assessment, and feedback. Join with teachers from your grade level and discipline on Zoom and use our tools to improve content delivery, student content creation, and performance tasks with rubrics for feedback.
You will enter August ready to launch an amazing year for students whether that year is on campus, distanced, or a hybrid. You will have access to all of the tools your cohort creates in addition to what Baylor will provide.
Lower School VLA
July 8, 15, 22, 29
10:00 am CST
Middle School VLA
July 8, 15, 22, 29
11:30 am CST
Upper School VLA
July 8, 15, 22, 29
1:00 pm CST
A number of organizations and experts are supplying guidance for re-opening school campuses safely. Below are some resources that might be helpful. We will continue to add.
Education Next Blueprint for Back to School
Kennesaw State Open Letter to Independent Schools
Johns Hopkins Re-opening Guidance
CDC Flowchart on re-opening
Return to School Roadmap
Cult of Pedagogy Tips
I have been getting a lot of questions about learning management systems for 2020-2021. My only advice is that you need one. Two challenges: information on pricing is challenging to get without contacting sales reps. Personally, I have only used Blackboard, Canvas, and Schoology. I definitely prefer Canvas and Schoology in this comparison.
The most helpful comparison site I have found that does not just seem like advertising is here.
More thoughts welcome.
For our Baylor Virtual Learning Academy, we broke student engagement down into five categories and shared these tools. The first two categories are more teacher driven, the final three are more student driven. Before you go adding more tools are spreading yourself too thin, please remember that there is "NO" in InNOvate."
May 18 at 8:00 Eastern - Facebook Live to discuss findings from recent study funded by 100Kin10 through that National Network of State Teachers of the Year. Link here.
Link to Assessing Distance Learning: A Virtual 101
By Jon Eckert
This article is 398 words. How many distractions will you experience in the time it takes you to read those 398 words? Our students are growing up in an increasingly distracted world. However, true value is found in hard, thoughtful work.
Deep Work by Cal Newport describes rules for doing meaningful work in a distracted world. He makes a case for the value of thinking for hours at a time about challenging things without any distraction. Primarily, he is writing about adults and professional work, but I see an application for our children this summer.
What if we …
Set Aside Time
If we could protect an hour of time each day for thinking deeply about something we care about or want to get better at, how much could we improve? What if we set aside two hours? The key is to identify something hard that we want to learn or deepen our understanding of, and then clear our environment of distractions. Whether we want to tackle a long-term project, skill, or body of knowledge, we accelerate improvement through focused concentration.
Disengage to Engage
Disengagement might be harder for us than for our kids. In the time it has taken me to write the first half of this article, I have checked my email four times and my calendar once. If we want our kids to set aside time to think deeply, then we have to do the same thing. We have to separate ourselves from our phones – have someone pry it from our fingers and lose the phone for an hour a day. Maybe our deep work can’t be on a computer because we can be too easily distracted. To do deep work, we need to identify the necessary tools to do focused work – maybe those tools are books, paper, and a pencil.
Celebrate the Work
As our students do hard, intellectual work, we must celebrate what they create. My eleven-year-old daughter loves to write creative stories that are chapters long with outlandish dialogue. Hearing her read her work aloud is better than any reading by a famous author. We need to celebrate the deep work of childhood.
In Philippians 4:8b, Paul describes meaningful deep work: “Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.”