Monday, February 17, 2014

UClass: Quality

A wonderful view from our teaching/learning hike in the
Marin Headlands, Sausalito, California. 
If I had to sum up the UClass retreat this weekend in one word, I would use the word "quality." The entire weekend has been devoted to deepening and enriching the UClass platform, lessons, and design.

I have truly enjoyed and profited from this focus in so many ways. First, I've had the chance to work with a dynamic team of invested educators from multiple states who have pushed my thinking and learning all weekend. Next, I was privileged to learn from, and interact with, a number of tech, teaching, and design experts who have brought me new insights with regard to learning design and teaching children well. Finally, the pace and scope of the weekend has been deep, fast, and comprehensive--exactly the way I like to learn.

The chance to learn and create like this is rarely available in the public school setting.  Time on task, multiple roles, outdated structures, and little reach to the bigger world prevent this, and that's why my work with this start-up has added a needed element when it comes to my desire to teach children well.

Enthusiastic, talented UClass chairs ready to board the
bus for a day of learning/teaching in Sausalito.
How can we move schools forward so that the cross-fertilization of ideas, outreach to experts in multiple fields, and ready, targeted share/effort is alive and well in the schools where we teach? My school system has made many efforts in this regard, and I will be thinking about how those efforts can grow with greater inclusion and voice in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, however, I will deepen my focus on quality when it comes to learning design--the kind of quality that embeds common core standards in deep learning experiences for children, experiences that engage, empower, and educate.

There's much to learn on this journey, and for now my "teachers" include UClass, The Deeper Learning MOOC, my school system collaboration and endeavor, and best of all, the bright, enthusiastic children who inspire me every school day.

Teachers for the local Creative Arts School in Marin County
shared the wonderful results of their teacher/student collaboration.