Showing posts with label Google Apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Apps. Show all posts

Monday, 9 June 2014

Thinking Differently to Meet Students' Needs

Two years ago, I posted “Reinventing the High School Experience,” which reflected upon one educator’s claim about the need for high schools to “revolutionize” themselves. As the postings on this blog over the past two years demonstrate, Greenwood has made great strides in this direction.

Here are some of the highlights:
  • 15 high school courses, ranging from Grade 9 to 12, are now delivered using a blended learning model. Using this approach has allowed students to learn at their own pace and freed up class time for more individualized and small group learning. 
  • Non-blended courses continue to leverage new types of learning technology, such as Oxford Next and The Academic Zone, which enable students to customize their learning. 
  • 6 Grade 7-10 subjects are now scheduled in a block format, which enables flexible grouping based on readiness or interest within a grade cohort. 
  • Our Grade 7-8 Arts program has introduced a major/minor approach where students can specialize in one or two of our four arts electives. 
  • 75% of our teachers now use Hapara on a regular basis. Use of this Google tool allows teachers an overall snapshot of individual student learning. 
  • We have re-modeled two classrooms to create one flexible learning space, equipped with state-of-the art technology and furniture.

Ann Marie Kee, the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Independent Schools, recently observed that independent schools are often reluctant innovators. I am proud to be leading a team of educators that have the expertise and courage to think differently about high school and how it can be improved to better meet the needs of our students.

Allan Hardy
Principal

Monday, 28 October 2013

Using Hapara to Help Guide Student Learning

Research shows that constructive, immediate feedback, and anecdotal comments given in a timely manner, result in greater student learning (Chappuis, 2007.Hapara is a tool that supports personalized learning in this key, strategic way. Leveraging Google Apps, Hapara allows teachers to get a snapshot view of each student’s most recent work in Docs, Sites, Blogger and Picasa.

Hapara creates shared folders between students and their teachers where student work is kept. From here, teachers can see the initiation and process of student learning, and even the final product of individual student work. They can support learning during the process by provide timely feedback and by designing strategic in-class learning experiences. Watch the video below for a demo of how Hapara can help teachers support the learning process.

I have used Hapara to assess students' homework prior to class and then to organize their next class based on readiness. I no longer need to wait until they are in class to take in their homework, nor do I have to assess it, and then design the learning for the following class. Through Hapara, I use their understandings immediately and design learning experiences appropriately.

I can guide some students to engage in learning activities that reinforce the learning, while students who have demonstrated a solid understanding of the previous lesson can extend their learning. This allows me to work more directly with the students in each group to help them achieve their learning goals at a pace that is appropriate for them. This immediate feedback gives students a strong sense of their own understanding, and ensures that they know the lesson before moving on to the next concept and/or skill.

Garth Nichols
Teacher, Student Adviser Program Coordinator