The VSTE Board of Directors and Conference Committee are excited to have you join us at the 32nd Annual Technology in Education Conference. #VSTE17 promises to be the best ever.

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Sunday, December 3 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Engaging and Involving Students in Large Scale Collaborative Projects

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An effective method for fighting student disengagement in school is the incorporation of project-based learning (PBL) into the curricula (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006). A PBL instructional approach begins with a problem that needs to be solved, and encourages students to pursue solutions to the problem in authentic and real situations. One way to make PBL more impactful is to collaborate with the greater community (Krajcik, Czerniak, & Berger, 2002). One possible venue for this type of community collaboration and solvable real world problems can be found in school improvement initiatives within the building. Instructional leaders can collaborate and work alongside students to improve the instructional culture in their school while also providing opportunities for those students to engage in PBL, think critically, and be fully engaged in the learning process. Many of these possible initiatives center on the incorporation of instructional technology into daily instruction within the school, and in this area the input of students, as both digital natives and the recipients of daily instruction, can be invaluable. This session labels these type of large-scale projects as “Student Led Instructional Initiatives”.

Included in this session will be an overview of how teachers can successfully include students in designing, implementing, and reflecting upon large scale instructional initiatives in a school, especially ones that enhance how instructional technology is used in building-level instruction. Specific examples will be shared from Glen Allen High School, where over the past three years students have (1) produced and disseminated a digital citizenship training video to the student body and school stakeholders, (2) created the school’s first Augmented Reality Sandbox, and (3) converted a small auxiliary classroom into a whole-school high-tech makerspace and dynamic learning environment for teachers and students in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University. All three of these projects have been student-led and teacher facilitated. In each case, students were allowed to succeed or fail in their efforts and make important decisions that impacted and ultimately enhanced the entire school’s learning environment and instructional culture. In each case, part of the overall project goals were to increase the student body’s access to instructional tools and technology.

Using these examples and existent theory on student centered learning, project based learning, and reciprocal teaching, participants will leave with a concrete framework for how to encourage and support the inclusion of students in larger, multi-step, instructional initiatives. They will also be presented with several ideas for school-wide projects that can be pursued by students. While each of the three provided examples took place in a high school, K-12 suggestions and examples will be highlighted so that instructional leaders at any level can initiate student-led instructional initiatives.

avatar for Drew Baker

Drew Baker

Specialist- Professional Learning and Leadership, Henrico County Public Schools
Talk to me about anything related to professional learning, teacher-leadership, NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION,educational psychology, student engagement, self-regulated learning, late 80s to late 90s comic books, the Star Wars Extended Universe, college football, or Greek food.

Sunday December 3, 2017 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST
Brush Mountain