COETAIL 5 is finally here and I still have not figured out which letters in cOeTAiL are supposed to be capitalized. No time for that now, there is work to be done. The objective of the course is to use technology in a transformative way in the classroom. This is exciting because the entire faculty, not just the COETAILers, at AES is discussing what this means. We even have Alan November visiting to help us explore this idea. Many of my colleagues are reading November’s book, Who Owns the Learning, and I will even have the opportunity to lead some of the discussions around it. Exciting times at AES.
As you can see, AES is all about technology. The entire school will be one-to-one next year for the first time, while the middle school took that leap this year. When we place all this tech into the hands of our students, we have a responsibility to educate them on how to use it. That is where my project comes in. I am working with a group of other COETAILers to (re)develop the digital citizenship piece of our middle school curriculum.
When I was first approached with this idea, I was somewhat nervous for several reasons. First, how do I demonstrate transformative learning through technology when I am teaching the technology itself? Second, it will be difficult to measure the success of the lessons since this will mostly be incorporated next year. Finally, most of these lessons will take place in short 20 minute advisory classes instead of longer blocks.
Despite these reservations, I am fully on board now. I believe that I will be able to develop lessons that will be transformative; in fact, I am extremely excited about developing some of these lessons that will be much more about the students than the teachers talking to students – something that seems to happen much more often in the typical advisory lesson. I also hope to trial some of plans this year to get some feedback.
The next step in this process is to meet as a team to make sure we have a vertical integration plan in place. We will be using Common Sense Media as a main resource to guide us. Although I will be the primary designer, I will have to work with the 8th grade team to ensure buy in and common understanding. It is a big task, but I am excited to get started on a project that will benefit the entire Middle School. The wheels in my head are moving, ideas are flowing, I am ready to go.