School Reimagined

Nancy White

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Student to Learner

Jessie rose to the sound of her alarm going off at 5:30 am. This early rising gave her time for morning Yoga class via Google Meet with a group of her classmates. She loved that she was able to get her PE credit this way! The instructor, Karen, was in high school. She received her certification to teach Yoga through a previous project-based learning (PBL) unit that was completed by learners interested in health and fitness careers.

Once Yoga class ended, Jessie texted her classmate, Jack, to ask if they could meet over lunch to come up with an outline for their presentation later that week to the school board. They were both working on a project with several other students to present research on the impact of personalized learning to the board on behalf of the principal. This would be her 4th presentation for an authentic audience this school year.

Jessie quickly showered and dressed, then checked her messages in the learning management system (LMS) to start prioritizing her tasks for the day. She noted that an algebra test was coming up, and her group’s project design for the culminating activity in algebra was due by the end of the week. The task was to come up with a project to improve the Innovation Center grounds that required the use of the Algebra concepts they’d been learning about. Jessie sent a calendar invite to her project team for later that afternoon to meet at the Innovation Center and work on their project design.

Jessie began viewing the instructional videos and working some math problems in the LMS to prepare for the test. When she was feeling reasonably confident in her ability to complete the test successfully, she decided to jump into the Science Forums and see what her friends were chatting about.
Jessie began playing through the voice notes that corresponded with each of the pictures posted in the forum and realized that this was all giving her an idea to for her math project. What if they applied the Fibonacci pattern to their design –whatever that turned out to be? She was excited to be able to share this idea with her project team later that afternoon.
Just then, Jessie’s Mom came in her room and offered to drop her off at the Innovation Center on her way to work. Jessie accepted, then grabbed her laptop, phone and the lunch her mom offered her. When she arrived, she found her project partner, Jack and they got to work on their presentation for the school board. They finished their presentation outline in under an hour, finally looking up to see who else had shown up at the Center.

Jessie stepped outside to survey the grounds. She had an idea brewing from her earlier work on the curating project of Fibonacci in Nature, and wanted to see where her idea might best be implemented – maybe in the form of a flower garden? She wasn’t sure, but was excited to share her idea with the project team. She found them gathered in the usual spot. “Jess-we really want to build a basketball court on the south side of the building. You aren’t thinking of hijacking our idea, are you?” Bryan asked. Jessie responded “Lets see what our fellow students are interested in.” Together, they reviewed the survey responses they had collected, and learned that neither basketball court nor flower garden were what the community wanted. Many had expressed a desire to move towards more healthy meals being offered in the center. As they began to ideate around this concept, Jessie shared her idea for using a design that included the Fibonacci sequence, and the team easily was able to narrow down the project list to one: creating a vegetable garden that could provide fresh vegetables for school meals. Their lead teacher, Mrs. Monroe, stopped by as they were finishing, and they brought her up to date on their ideas. They scheduled their check-in conference with their teacher, and then decided to meet again the same time the next day to do the prototyping. With that, the group said their goodbyes, each on their way to complete other tasks in their personalized learning agendas for the day.

Jess glanced at her email and task list. After catching up on her reading for social studies class, she had just one more thing to accomplish for the day, and that was writing in her reflection blog about the day’s tasks. She opened the group notes for the class and did a quick scan. Karen was in her social studies group, and she had already dropped some notes and questions in the doc. Jess put on her headset and started reading, pausing to play the multimedia videos and quizzes. She navigated back to her notes doc and added some of her own thoughts, connections and questions.
Jess finished up the last quiz then pulled up her reflection blog. She was really happy to find some comments on her last post, about her experience in her last job shadowing experience at the science center. The comment was from her old science teacher, who had retired 2 years ago. Jess responded to her comments and a question, then settled in to write about her learning and accomplishments for the day.

Before she knew it, it was 4:00 and Jessie’s Mom was pulling up to the curb to take her to piano lessons. Jessie smiled, happy with her accomplishments for the day. Her Mom asked “How was your day?” Jessie replied, “Busy! Really good- you should read my blog post!” Just then Jessie’s phone buzzed alerting her to a new text. Her Mom smiled, seeing that her daughter would be focusing on her friends now. Simultaneously, Mom and daughter had the same thought. This school was the best thing that ever happened for Jessie.

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