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Learning IRL

John Clemente, Chris De La Cruz, Nataly Monsalve, Faatima Johnson — South Bronx Community

When will I ever need this in real life? Teachers have heard this question, but often times the answer involves some time in the future. With few authentic experiences and limited technology, school is increasingly detached from the real world (technology is everywhere - except schools and airplanes). This disconnect leads to disengagement and inability to create high quality products. While this may seem like an individual student issue, it is, in fact, a problem that can erode the culture of an entire building.

At SBC, our Deeper Learning challenges position students to deliver for authentic audiences. We learned that when we turned final products into public displays of learning, work production and quality increased. We will share how to make this shift and help you explore ways to incorporate these practices in your school community.

We use a collaborative brainstorming process to build out our challenges. Our process draws on Design Thinking methodology, Understanding by Design, and Monica Martinez' 7 elements of Deeper Learning to construct projects that are connected to the world we are preparing our students to inhabit.

Collaborative design enables bold ideas in creating projects, interdisciplinary connections and lessens teacher isolation. Participants will explore examples of authentic challenges and the resulting student work at SBC. Participants will also engage in the collaborative design process to practice building out their own challenges.

Conversational Practice

Session facilitators will include staff and leadership from SBC. The facilitators will present deeper learning challenges and student products. The facilitators will model the process the staff used to design the learning experience. Then participants will engage in the same collaborative brainstorming process and design their own challenges to experience first hand how we do it. The facilitators will then sit on a panel and take questions from the session attendees. All attendees will receive access to the teacher designed curriculum as well as the student products.

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Presenter Profiles

John Clemente
John Clemente
South Bronx Community Charter High School

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