@MCDPEL Innovations Lab

[LISTEN] Authentic Learning in the Digital Age - Engaging Students Through Inquiry w/ SLA Teacher Larissa Pahomov

Posted by Joe Mazza

1/20/15 4:36 PM

We sat down with teacher Larissa Pahomov (@Lpahomov) to discuss what educators and school leaders can learn from her new ASCD book, Authentic Learning in the Digital Age - Engaging Students Through Inquiry. Pahomov teaches students English and Journalism at The Science Leadership Academy (SLA), an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement. Larissa has been published in NCTE's English Journal and is a contributor to the National Writing Project's Digital Is website. 

How can school leaders support this authentic learning in the digital age? Larissa details how her school principal, Chris Lehmann, has supported staff in this area over time. The book also has detailed “making the shift” sections to help educators transition from current practices as much or as little as their environment allows.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership, technology integration, School District of Philadelphia

Strangers in a strange land: making the familiar strange and expanding edu-scapes through social media

Posted by Martha Richmond

7/1/14 1:46 PM

When I returned from Finland I was invited to lead a faculty workshop on insights I gained through our trip. Using technology such as social media offered an authentic voice to the ideas I wanted to share with colleagues and fellow administrators. Technology offered the group the chance to “hear” ideas and novel stances that in other formats would have been regarded with suspicion of hidden agendas. Instead, using social media and hearing the voices of Finnish teachers as well as some of my fellow travelers, my colleagues found themselves hearing, thinking and then examining ideas about our practice in a novel way. Topics of inclusion, action research and team teaching tainted in the past as politically loaded, were reframed and now on the table with new understandings, non-stereotypical thinking and new voices. As a result of the presentation, our faculty discussion seemed unbounded by previous institutional prejudices and commitments. The familiar had become strange.

Thus, I found myself pondering some essential questions:

  • How can looking at technology through the lens of the

    sociology of the “stranger” change percepti

    ons of the role of technology in the classroom?

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Topics: Innovation, technology integration, social media,

Lessons from Alaska: The SAMR Model

Posted by Jennifer Botzojorns

6/16/14 11:14 AM

Last year a University of Pennsylvania @MCDPEL group traveled to Helsinki to study education in Finland. Two weekend ago, three members of this group, Joe Mazza, Martha Richmond and I had the opportunity to attend the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) Spring 2014 Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

Our goal at this conference was to share understandings from last year, but also to learn from others from around the world -- Australia, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Guam, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, and many other countries.  Workshops spanned a variety of topics from Creating a Learning-Scape to Explore Digital, Social, and Mobile Media, designing MOOCs and Bridging the Digital Divide.

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Topics: Leadership, International Program Travel,, Youth Suicide,, technology integration, study trips