Friday, July 28, 2006

Bob Pearlman

Bob Pearlman is a good speaker. He described his work with the New Technology High School. Much of the approach sounds very much like the Quebec Education Program. You can read an article by Bob Pearlman at Edutopia. He echos the writing of Thomas Friedman in talking of how the world has changed and we need to prepare our students for that new reality. My question is - how do we get teachers to change? Bob talks about revamping schools, but I find schools to be firmly entrenched in keeping the status quo.

Notes on the session:
Getting and Assessing 21st Century Knowledge and Skills

Presentation posted at

Results that Matter -
Standards that are being tested are low level - need not only content knowledge -

SCANS US Dept of necessary skills 1992

These are the CCCs in the QEP (Quebec Education Program)
Assessment is the key (not for accountability purposes) assessment for learning
just in time assessment - to be in charge of their own learnng

At the core is a student centered, project and problem based teachig strategy that is tied to both content standards and school wide learning outcomes
Teachers start each unit by throwing students into a realistic or real-world project that both engages interest and generates a list of things that student need to know. Projects are designed to tackle complex problems, requiring critical thinking.

Project and
to learn collaboration, work in teams
to learn critical thinking, take on complex problems
to learn oral communication ,present
to learn written communication, write (all kinds - memos, business plans, reports)
to learn technology, use technology
to develop citizenship, take on civic and global issues
to lern about careers, do internships
to learn content, research and do all of the

project - 2-8 weeks long
Students form a team, develop a work contract - build a work plan
online briefcase - assessment criteria

teacher facilitates a dialogue - what do you need to know, how are you going to find that out,
students experiment, apply learning, get to work and collaborate
build presentation - rehearse, present, to authentic audience (who judge - act like a jury and hammer kids with questions)
- can't cheat in this context

When project over - write a reflection - what they learned, assess peers on collaboration skills

PBL example

President's dilemma
get a letter - you are my council of economic advisors. Oil prices are going up, popularity going down. I need a report in 15 days
(need to learn about oil,....)

Students are ocommisioned by TOYCO and NASA to create or modify games played on earth to work on Lunar colonies. Using Newton's laws design games that work on the moon

Together we stand
prepare a museum exhibit (images, stories, ....)

The Buck Institute for Education
The project-based learning handbook

Embedded in projects
management, temawork, oral communication, assessment and feedback for students

Have to design project to have multiple deadlines (sub-assignments - interrum benchmarks, process documents - scaffolding )
provide checkpoints
proposals, outlines, plans, blueprints, drafts, edit drafts, models, revised drafts, product critiques,.....)

Process - group work contracts, roles and duties of group members, student generated task or "to do" lists, project calendar, group progress reports, student time cards)
pressure coming from peers not teacher - develop project calendar,

Develop Assessment
Design rubrics for content AND broader learning outcomes
Rubrics should articulate the various performance levels.
Rubrics MUST be handed out in the early stages of the project when they can be used to set expectations.

Rubrics are for students not for teacher - what are key criteria? what constitutes basic work and more advanced?

New Technology High

1;1 computer ratio

integrating technology into every class
interdisciplinary and project-based
internship class consisting of classroom curriculum and unpaid work in technology , buisiness or education
Digital Portfolio
You can learn more about their computerized learning system (digital portfolio, etc.) here.

New Technology HS Learning Outcomes

Technology Literacy
Critical Thinking
Oral Communication
Written Communication
Career Preparation
Citizenship and Ethics
Curricular Literacy (Content Standards)

the Big Picture

How can we help students stay on task?
Course calendar (click on any day and gives detail)
- accessible from home or school and to parents with a secure password
How can we beter hold students accountable for their collaboration skills while working in a group?
- teamwork evaluation database - created a rubric - online tool - fill out on each of peers. Over time you can start to map your own scores. Data is available to put in your portfolio
How can we capture evidence of oral presentation - rubric - presentation evaluation database - accessible by students as evidence of performance

How can we give students and parents clear feedback on student performance that better reflects our authentic assessment practices?
Grades broken down - work ethic, social studeis content, collaboration , presentaiton skills, english literature content, writing mechanics, critical thinking, senior project (whatever is relevant to the project)

Grade Portal - the grade book they have created - it is a living report card - available any day of the week. Only finalized at end of term. Students can check at any point and see where work is needed.

Students make professional portfolios
use it to get a summer job, and for applying to college

Curriculum library
digital portfolio
NTHS Gradebook
Collaborative Evaluator

June Edutopia - New Skills for a New Century

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