Practical Takeaways at Educating for Careers 2018!

Solved Problems of Practice in real time at Educating for Careers! Learned new ways to serve at risk students from Apple Valley High and also how CTE is MTSS! This is the teacher conference. Practical take aways! Looking forward to next year’s shenanigans. fullsizeoutput_2bc8

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Great Learning at Linked Learning Convention 2018!

I had a fantastic time at the Linked Learning Convention! So many educators from all over came together to learn about how to make the high school experience engaging for students while preparing them for college and careers through industry themed Pathways. I even got to meet an inspiring young chef who is a senior at an alternative school in Oakland who came to present at the conference about work based learning. IMG_0978

The Community Science Workshop Network was on hand to provide opportunities for participants to tinker, make, and explore their world through STEM and the Environment.

I was honored to present two sessions: Integrated Curriculum Design Studio and CCASN’s College and Career Pathways Leadership Guide.

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I hope to see folks at Educating for Careers Conference next week where I will be presenting CCASN’s College and Career Pathways Leadership Guide: New Tools to Solve Problems of Practice on Monday, March 5 at 1:15-2:30 in Room 308 of the Convention Center.

Integrated Curriculum Design as Professional Learning!

Integrated curriculum is an approach to curriculum development where multiple content areas are “integrated” into a coherent learning throughway creating an engaging, relevant program of study for students.

Learning-Tree-Colour-low-resIntegrated curriculum also fosters collaboration because interdisciplinary team’s can come together to design.

College and Career Pathways lend themselves to Integrated Curriculum design because the conditions for industry themed course work are part of a day’s work! Teachers need support to design in this way and Administrators have an opportunity to leverage Integrated Curriculum Design as Professional Learning for teachers. Teachers thrive when they learn while they build curriculum in collaborative teams!

I will be presenting an Integrated Design Studio at the Linked Learning Convention next week in Anaheim if you want to learn more.

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 Orange County Ballroom 4

 

#LLCON2018

 

 

Rethinking Seat Time: How Work Based Learning is a Game Changer for Students

On a beautiful Spring evening I walked up to a warehouse in a light industrial section of Richmond, CA. I heard music playing and community members socializing and celebrating. Bright eyed youth dressed in formal serving wear with aprons were expertly serving hot appetizers and engaging with party goers about each choices’ ingredients

fullsizeoutput_29feand flavors. These students were finishing their final project for a program called Plant to Plate organized by West County Digs, a local non-profit that works with school gardens in West Contra Costa Unified School District. 16 High school students learned how to grow food by reclaiming an abandoned garden plot and teaming up with local chefs to expertly prepare what they grew. The event culminated in a presentation of gratitude to the parents from their teens in the form of flower bouquets inIMG_9703vases that the students had also created and a graduation ceremony where the students received a professional chef apron and a personalized trowel to commemorate there experience.

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This Plant to Plate program exemplifies what our teens need most: motivating career themed experiences. Teens naturally are curious and driven. This teen energy is amazing to behold but can also not mix well with traditional sit and get modes of content delivery. For a lot of students, this antiquated mode is ineffective and becomes frustrating for both students and their teachers. The confines of a classroom with textbooks and a sage on the stage teacher has left so many students behind. Work Based Learning (WBL) opportunities, especially those that are thematically integrated into high school course work, offer a promising shift in how students value their education. If students value their education and know in their bones that what they are experiencing will help them find a real career, they will perform.

Students experiencing success, even if small, is key to motivation. Motivation is the key to learning!

What is your district or school doing to provide more Work Based Learning opportunities for students? I’d love to hear your comments.

Here is ConnectEd’s Work Based Learning Toolkit which has great resources to plan WBL.

If you would like to donate to West County Digs so more teens can benefit from programs like Plant to Plate, navigate here: Donate to West County Digs/Earth Island