KDSL Global interviews Luke Meinen of Level 5 Bahrain

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview with Luke Meinen, Manager of Level 5 Bahrain. This is an initiative of International School Services, a nonprofit that leads schools, facilitates recruitment and provides best-in-breed learning solutions.

 

Tell us about LEVEL 5. 

First and foremost, LEVEL 5 is a nonprofit that hosts creative learning experiences for students, educators and the wider community on a myriad of topics that aim to spark innovation and creativity in education.

The first LEVEL 5 opened in Shenzhen, China four years ago and has proved to be a successful platform to help educators shift practice, design real-world, experiential learning, and ignite passion within students in the creative spaces. With the success of LEVEL 5 China, we saw the opportunity to expand this endeavor into the MENA region opening LEVEL 5 Bahrain at Riffa Views International School.

Our professional learning workshops focus on three categories; making, contemporary pedagogy, and innovative leadership. This wide range of events will help us provide a new type of professional learning for region. These workshops are available for educators, community members and students as we recognize the power of young and old working and learning together.

During the 2019-2020 school year, we will host 12 full weekend workshops, night events, and single day weekend learning experiences. These events will be facilitated by both local and international educators and artists from around the world.

For a full listing of events, workshops and learning experiences, check out www.thelevel5.org/bahrain. For any questions, please reach out to level5bh@iss.edu.

 

Tell us about the new space with the Riffa Views International School.

The creation of LEVEL 5 has been a process that has taken a full year to complete as we knew we wanted this space to reflect the school community it resided in. We were gracious enough to have been given a beautiful space with huge amounts of natural light as a blank canvas.

In order to leverage the ideas of the entire RVIS community, we invited staff, students and parents into the space to help us co-create this new space. We loosely followed a Design Sprint model to rapidly ideate, prototype and test ideas from all who participated. You can read about this process in detail here Co-creating Authentic Change. This helped us gather the best ideas from the entire community to begin the process of designing this new agile space.

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For LEVEL 5 to be successful, it requires a completely agile space that can be reconfigured to meet the needs of any type of workshop or learning experience. Utilizing prior successes of the LEVEL 5 China, research from the Stanford d School and a plethora of other resources we designed the space around this concept. Writable surfaces for ideation everywhere, agile furniture, smooth transitional flooring and caster wheels on EVERYTHING have helped us create this flexible space.

Actual construction of the space took three months to complete (time lapse of construction), and it was launched in late May of the 2018-2019 academic year. Along with this beautiful new physical space, we will also be out fitting it with a host of creative tools like 3D printers, laser engravers, microcontrollers, traditional fabrication tools, and much more. These will be for students, parents, educators and community members to use design, create and test new and innovative ideas.

During the day, LEVEL 5 will be open to the RVIS community and students to use. We are not using it as a traditional space to host scheduled classes, but more as an open space that can be booked by the teachers. The hope is to have these ideals and innovative practices flow into classrooms rather than being isolated in the space. Our aim is to help inspire the students in our school by providing them with the same type of learning experiences that happen during our professional learning workshops both inside LEVEL 5 and out.

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What strategies do you use to activate the Bahrain educational community?

Over the past year, another focus for LEVEL 5 Bahrain has been to activate the educational community across the island by building collaborative relationships between schools. In Bahrain, the relationships that have been built up between schools are often competitive in nature through sports, competitions, and other events. There were pockets of collaboration, but we wanted this to grow as we know that when educators share knowledge and practice, everyone wins, especially the students.

With this in mind, we began to systematically create opportunities for sharing, collaborating and learning that were open to all educators on the island regardless of what school they taught at. We created a What’s App group to share ideas and learning opportunities, promoted an existing Facebook group, started a shared hashtag (#bahrainedu) to deprivatize the great things that were happening in classrooms around the island, and started events called #TeachmeetBahrain to provide opportunities to physically meet up and share.

In just a year, some great things have happened, and I believe that this will continue to grow as more people engage in these opportunities to collaborate. For a detailed look into this, you can find the steps we took here; Activating Your Educational Community.

 

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Luke Meinen is the manager of LEVEL 5, Bahrain where he coordinates events and workshops and facilitates learning experiences. Over the past year, he has worked to co-create this new space with the Riffa Views International School community. He is also working to activate the education community in Bahrain through the organization of TeachMeets, collaborative groups and social gatherings for educators and leaders.

 

Prior to joining LEVEL 5, he worked as an elementary educator for nine years in East Asia, Africa and the Middle East designing authentic learning experiences for his classes and colleagues. He enjoys fabrication, playing basketball, surfing and spending time with his family in his free time.

 

 

 

KDSL Global interviews Barbara Zielonka

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Barbara Zielonka about innovation and her new book. Zielonka gives personal insight into her teaching strategies and approaches that have helped her bring innovation into her curriculum and meet the needs of the learners of today and tomorrow.

 

Tell us about Education Influence and the role that innovation plays in education. 

Education Influence is a network of teachers handpicked for their influential leadership in the community. They are chosen to act as beacons to educators around the world who may require guidance to allow their children to reach their full potential. Education Influence is also a hub for teachers all over the world to come together, safe in the knowledge that they can access a local influencer who is willing to help them move forward.

 

I believe education plays a very important role in developing the next generation of problem solvers, critical thinkers, entrepreneurs, innovators and go-getters. If we really want our students to become successful, we need to create innovative education systems. For many teachers, innovation is strictly linked with the latest technology they use in their classrooms which is true to a certain degree, but for me, innovation means engaging students in ways we never have before and stepping outside of the box. Once teachers develop an innovative mindset and get out of their comfort zone, their students will be able to do the same. We, educators, need to create authentic and innovative opportunities for our students instead of focusing on scores and tests.

 

Tell us about your new book, “Keys to Educational Success: The Teaching Methods of a Top 10 Finalist of the Global Teacher Prize.”

Writing a book has always been on my bucket list. In 2014, I coauthored an English course book and I still remember the feeling I felt when I held it in my hands. In 2018, I participated in the Global Education and Skills Forum and after my masterclass one of the teachers approached me and asked whether I thought about publishing a book where I could share all my teaching strategies and methods. This question made me think. So as you can see the idea to write this book was born then and I am glad I did it.

 

In Keys to Educational Success, I give a personal insight into my teaching strategies and approaches that have helped me bring innovation into my curriculum and meet the needs of the learners of today and tomorrow. Through many examples and practical tips, I show how giving students a voice and a choice, cultivating a lifelong learning mindset, allowing students to shape their learning and letting students follow their passions and interests has made me a successful and renowned educator.  The book is divided into 17 chapters that can be read in any order and can be purchased on Amazon.

 

https://www.amazon.com/KEYS-EDUCATIONAL-SUCCESS-TEACHING-FINALIST/dp/8230341958/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=barbara+anna+zielonka&qid=1558774357&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

What do you hope your readers gain from reading this book?

The purpose of this book is to show teachers, trainee teachers, leaders strategies, approaches and tools that will make their educational journey inspirational and successful. My hope is also that every reader recognizes the importance of a student-centered approach and lifelong learning mindset. These two elements have helped me shape the classroom of the future and spreading the word about them in my book may help other readers/educators accomplish their educational goals.

 

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Barbara Anna Zielonka is a full-time high school English teacher, global educator, educational technologist, teacher trainer, project manager, judge in international educational competitions, lifelong learner, catalyst for change and reader.

In 2007, she earned her master’s degree in English Philology from the University of Silesia, Poland. During the past eight years, she has frequently participated in many post-secondary learning programmes in Norway such as Professional Digital Competence for Educators, ICT in Education, Educational Technology, Mentoring and Communication, international conferences, seminars and workshops all over the world. In 2012, she was one of the teachers who represented Norway at the Teachers Summer Institute 2012 in Amherst (Massachusetts), sponsored by the United States Department of State under the Fulbright Program. In 2014, she co-authored an English textbook Skills for vocational students. She participated in the Pestalozzi workshops and Comenius/ Erasmus programmes, Transatlantic Educators Dialogue between 2012-2019. In May 2017, Barbara received the ‘Gullepleprisen 2017’ from the Norwegian Educational Data Society (NPeD). This prestigious prize is awarded yearly to an educator who has used ICT in teaching in an innovative way. In June 2017, Barbara became the only European winner of the Great Global Project Challenge Grant for her global project called ‘The Universe is Made of Tiny Stories’. In March 2018, Barbara was named one of the top 10 finalists of the one million dollar Global Teacher Prize. In May 2018, Barbara became the laureate of the ‘Outstanding Pole in Norway’ contest in the category of Science.

In her teaching of English, Barbara focuses on the power of international projects, the pedagogical use of ICT tools, learner empowerment, entrepreneurship, innovation and connections-based learning. Several of her global and collaborative projects have received international recognition and awards. She also serves as an ambassador in the following organisations: Varkey Foundation, eTwinning, Connections-Based Learning, HundrED, Teach SDGs and Education Influence. She conducts professional development sessions as well.

KDSL Global interviews Mirai

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Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Nyla Tariq, Co-Founder of Mirai. They are passionate educators, founders & strategists shaping innovative learning & leadership to prepare you for the future now.

What inspired you to start Mirai?

The belief that education and learning are critical drivers of preparing people of all ages and countries for the future workforce. It isn’t just about starting schools and neither is it about creating workforce training programs, it’s about creating ecologies of learning and innovation that have measurable impact, that encourage learning and that help people find opportunities.

 

What was the mission at the outset?

The mission is to bring together the best in learning design, learning technologies and innovation to ensure employability, opportunity and innovation for people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. We saw a huge gap in what was happening on the ground, in schools and in workplaces versus what needs to be happening for future workforce needs.

 

What is the most important thing that you are working on right now and how are you making it happen?

While technology is not the definition of innovation, it is definitely a driver. We are focusing our efforts right now in sourcing the best in learning technologies from different parts of the world, and bringing it to the Middle East and Asia to be able to scale the impact of great learning.

We are working with schools and corporates on creating ecologies of innovative learning through learning & leadership consulting, predictive analytic models and digital learning.

 

To learn more about Mirai visit https://www.miraipartners.co.

 

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Nyla Tariq is motivated to create global social change. Her work spans 4 continents & all ages of learners, innovating to build people’s talents and capabilities.

She co-launched Mirai, one of the Middle East’s first innovation consultancies, to help schools, businesses, & governments prepare for the future.

Prior to that, she led business development at NYU StartEd Accelerator, working with leading startups & investors in the U.S EdTech space. Nyla has led growth & training for one of the U.A.E’s top teacher development & training platforms and has worked to implement workforce strategies for thousands of GCC based blue-collar workers.

She also co-founded Kids World Group in the U.A.E, a network of boutique Montessori nurseries delivering affordable & high-quality early years education. At Kids World, she led operations, taught toddlers fine-motor skills, & trained teachers.

Nyla is a passionate advocate of gender & minority rights. To that end, she has personally educated men on gender-based violence in the favelas of Brazil and taught English to increase the employability of women in refugee camps in Greece.

 

 

Finnish Education Expo- Middle East

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KDSL is serving as a partner for the first ever Finnish Education Expo- Middle East to be held on the eve of GESS Dubai 2019.

The focus will be on sharing real life learnings and discussing how Finnish solutions can work in a local UAE context.

Some of the topics to be covered:

  • Gamification of learning – real life experiences from UAE (examples of Arabic language and math learning)
  • Moral Education and Finnish Curriculum Transversal Competencies – can we use the same learning methods?
  • Early childhood education

Join us for an afternoon of discovery and innovation on the 25th of February 2019 at the beautiful Raddisson Blu Waterfront, Dubai!

The event is targeted at school leaders and senior management. It is invitation only.

 

For more information please visit  http://finnisheducationexpo.com/.

KDSL Global is a partner with the Middle East Maths Teacher Conference 2019

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Middle East Maths Teachers Conference 

About: The third Middle East Maths Teachers Conference will bring together, School Leaders, Maths Advisors, Education Consultants and Mathematics Educators, from all over the Middle East and beyond, for a jam-packed day of learning and networking, with the main aim of advancing the Teaching and learning of Mathematics in middle east classrooms. Years one and two were fantastic and this year is promising to be even bigger and better.

Conference activities and presentations will provide an opportunity to reflect on where we are, how far we have come and where we are going. As schools look for ways to improve, while providing students with high quality, teaching and learning in mathematics, this year’s conference will serve as an opportunity for scholarly exchange and discussion, hands-on workshops with leading experts as well as sharing good practice among schools, with the ultimate goal of improving student engagement and learning in mathematics across the region.

Who Will Attend: Heads of Mathematics Departments, Teachers of Mathematics, Teaching Assistants, School Administrators and Education Consultants.

Focus Areas:

  • Student Engagement & High Impact Mathematics Teaching Practices
  • Engaging Students: Technology Inside and Outside the Mathematics Classroom
  • Creating Quality Learning Environments
  • Diverse Students & Learning Strategies
  • Forging links between mathematics departments across schools
  • Formation of professional networks for the continued sharing of good practice and much more.

 

For more information please visit https://www.middleeastmaths.com.

KDSL Global interviews Literacy Leader Jacob Sule

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KDSL Global recently had an opportunity to connect with literacy leader Jacob Sule. Jacob is the founder of iRead To Live Initiative, a non-profit organization that focuses on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education in Nigeria. He was recently named one of 30 literacy leaders named to the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) 2019 30 Under 30 list.

 

 

Tell us about the iRead To Live Initiative, why it’s important, and some of the accomplishments of the non-profit. 

We are a team dedicated to serving the course of humanity by giving back to the society by promoting and enlightening the community on the importance of education, supplementing government efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Quality Education in Nigeria, and inspiring students to imbibe a reading culture.

As a Non Governmental Organization, we are focusing on advocating for quality education and improved learning conditions in both government and private owned schools. This is in accordance of the Vision 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a team, we also share the same philosophy that education is a tool with which one can change the world for the best.

WHAT WE DO

We are currently working in Ifetedo community, Ife South Local Government, Osun State Nigeria with the management and teachers of public cchools, by volunteering to teach different topics and subjects in various schools, providing students with textbooks, exercise books, writing materials and other educational materials to aid the learning process.

In promoting and enlightening the community on the importance of Education, we adopted the Parent Teacher Association meeting strategies, where parents, teachers and notable stakeholders hold meetings often times to discuss and sensitize parents and guardians on the need to enroll their children and wards in school(s) rather than using them as laborers on their farmlands knowing fully that farming is predominant in the community.

OUR MISSION

Promoting and advocating for quality and equitable education for all, connecting rural areas by organising academic and extracurricular events.

OUR VISION

To supplement government efforts in achieving the sustainable development goals of quality education in Nigeria.

OUR FOCUS

We have a desire to reach out to the Nigerian and African child that deserves quality education and self-empowerment; as well as mental alacrity but with less or no capacity to attain the feat.

As young people who are tired of continued neglect of children in rural communities, we decided to ensure that every child, regardless of their backgrounds, in Nigeria must continue to have unhindered access to quality and equitable education. As a non-profit organization, we have consistently engaged government to ensure that it does not neglect its responsibility of providing quality education to all Nigerians.

Though as a relatively young organization, we have been able to accomplish the following:

  1. Launch of iRead To Live Maiden Quiz Competition for Schools
  2. Establishment of Reading Clubs in some schools
  3. Purchase and donation of writing materials, textbooks and other educational materials
  4. Donation of a wheelchair to a physically challenged Undergraduate Student
  5. We hosted the Maiden Edcamp in Nigeria, 2018
  6. Successfully hosted several oratory and literacy competitions in 2016-2018.

 

 

The International Literacy Association (ILA) named you one of the 30 under 30 for 2019. What does it mean to be a champion of literacy?

The ILA celebrates rising innovators, disruptors and visionaries in the literacy field. As a literacy champion you must have shown commitment and continued passion and be involved in innovative ideas and adventures towards strengthening of literacy in your immediate community. For me, having been named alongside 29 other leaders globally, I have been involved in grassroots literacy campaigns by engaging students in rural communities in Nigeria, creating reading clubs, hosted oratory and literacy competitions.

 

Last year you were the founder of Edcamp Nigeria as a way to empower and ignite teachers in the country. What are your major goals for 2019?

My overall goal for 2019 is to scale up advocacy for literacy, ensure improved access to quality education, and professional development for teachers in Nigeria by embracing 21st century teaching approaches.

Also, I will be working with some other educators globally and within Nigeria for possible collaboration and getting students, teachers, and communities to take more actions in the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by offering solutions to societal challenges.

This is in furtherance to the proposed launch of a makerspace in Nigeria. The makerspace will be incorporated alongside anAdopt a School Program and built around the SDGs indicators and targets, so that teachers and students can be fully exposed to the SDGs targets.

The Adopt a School Program – I intend to adopt four schools through iRead To Live Initiative. We will deploy educational resources, train teachers, donate writing materials and take more actions on sanitation and hygiene.

 

 

To learn more about Jacob’s work visit:

https://ireadtolive.org
https://twitter.com/sulejacobs
https://twitter.com/iReadInitiative
https://ireadtolive.org/international-literary-association/

 

 

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About Jacob Sule

Jacob is the founder of iRead To Live Initiative, a non-profit organization that focuses on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education in Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and is nearing completion of his study of Law.

As a leader of Inspire Citizens in Africa, Jacob has consistently advocated for the delivery of SDG 4: Quality Education for every child, launching schools literacy clubs and campaigns, while supporting teacher training and professional learning opportunities in rural areas of Nigeria.

His goal remains empowering all students, teachers, and community members to become educated, impactful, and sustainable thinkers. Jacob is also a featured guest in the Inspire Citizens Activist in ResidenceProgram.

He joined the TEACHSDGs in 2018 as an Ambassador in Teaching the SDGs targets in Schools particularly in rural communities. His continued passion for education in Nigeria made him to host the Maiden Edcamp in Nigeria on December 15th, 2018, a participant-driven session for educators in Osun state, Nigeria for professional development and empowerment.

Jacob’s several literacy advocacies, projects, and campaigns in 2018 earned him the Global recognition as a Literacy Champion alongside 29 other leaders globally.

 

 

NuVu

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NuVu is a collaborative project-focused school for middle and high school students, where they ‘learn by doing.’ They do not have regular daily hour blocks of courses, subjects, classrooms or grades. Some students come for a semester [even during the summer], others for four years full-time. They focus on one project for two weeks at a time, and on working as a team — and being adaptable. Some students have created robotic arms, others sustainable clothing.

The 2018 AAIE Dr. Keith Miller International Innovative Leadership Award was earned by NuVu in February at the annual conference held in New York. Candidates for this award are judged based on leadership, creativity, culture, delivery, and impact. AAIE is a non-profit, membership based international organization that partners with educational institutions and associations worldwide to exchange international ideas, resources and research that help develop and improve international education and diversify and expand school leadership capacity.

 

Here are some questions our KDSL Global Intern Kate O’Neil recently asked Karen Sutton, Director of Operations at NuVu, about the organization.

 

NuVu is highly effective at transforming the lives of high performing students. Does NuVu have any programs specifically for students who do not come from the best schools, and are at a disadvantage?

The curriculum model provides an opportunity for all learners, from all backgrounds and education. What makes NuVu different is there are no courses, no subjects, no classrooms, no one-hour schedule, and no grades.

 

Is there a focus on including minorities and women, given the broad school focus on engineering?

Yes, we have several ways in which we focus gender and ethnic diversity. With our small enrollment, we take each admitted student on a case-by-case basis, meaning that if parents request financial assistance, we try to contribute what we can to make enrollment possible. We do this with siblings, too. And with our partnership with Beaver Country Day School, our diversity (both gender and ethnic) varies from term to term. We make a concerted effort make our school known and have had many conversations with BPS, in particular Dearborn Academy and Boston Day and Evening Academy.

 

If students have an idea that requires the assistance of an adult, doctor or engineer, is it possible for them to work with one? Or are all projects self-contained to each small group enrolled?

Yes, coaches are adults, Ph.D.’s, engineers, and experts of their fields, working as mentors/guides. Projects are student-driven; students work in pairs so that there is a consistency of collaboration and feedback.

 

To learn more about:

NuVu visit https://cambridge.nuvustudio.com/

AAIE https://www.aaie.org/

 

Encouraging students to consider a career in teaching STEM*

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Profile on Julio Mendez: Science teacher, lifelong learner, and founder of the STEM Education Introductory Program

As well as being a busy Physics and Chemistry teacher in Chicago, Julio Mendez has founded the innovative STEM Education Introductory Program – it gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credit through a series of lectures and hands on teaching practice at a local middle school. We ask him all about the project, and how it came about.


You are a science teacher – where do you teach, and what led you down the path of both STEM and teaching?
 

I teach Physics, Chemistry and the Education 101 class at Perspectives Charter School – Joslin Campus, in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood. I also teach Engineering courses (Project Lead The Way curriculum on Saturdays) through Project SYNCERE. This is a non-profit in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood.

Teaching is a second career which found me more due to circumstance than through any active effort. I had returned to school for a Physics degree and was looking for a part time job when my wife suggested I look into Project SYNCERE. I decide to go interview and try it, and the rest is history, as they say. I fell in love with the kids’ ability to look past all the crap they are dealt and still seek knowledge. Having been raised on Chicago’s south side and dealing with a lot of the social issues they are living with made me relatable and my natural sarcastic demeanor and ability to look past slights allowed me to create good relationships with the students. I saw at once that this is where I needed to be and then I just found ways to keep pushing myself to learn, grow and sharpen my craft.

The STEM part is easier to explain: I’m a nerd. I love science and all that it tells us about the universe, I always have. I also understand the need for our communities to be better represented within these fields. We have been neglected for a long time and those who looked away are now realizing that they will need us in order for the world to continue its progress.

 

What inspired you to set up this program encouraging high school students to consider a career as science teachers?

When I was considering become even just a part time teacher, I started looking into the profession and the history of teaching and learning. I came to the realization that education is one of the oldest forms of community building that there is. Until recent human history, we have learned everything from the previous generations in our communities. From hunting and gathering, to planting and growing and so on, we learned it all from our elders, who did it before us and learned it from their elders.

When the opportunity with the Shell Oil Company and the Smithsonian Science Education Center and their call for applications came to my attention I knew the solution had to come from within the community, to create a new lineage of education. There is also a long tradition of finding “fixes” for our communities from outside, as if we hadn’t the talent or abilities to be the solutions ourselves. I have seen our children do some incredible things and come up with some huge ideas that would amaze the greatest thinkers, but because they don’t show high scores or even high rates of high school graduation, their ideas and grand thinking and potentials aren’t acknowledged.  Given all this I knew that the solution to a lack of science teachers of color had to come from our own ranks, the students of color. It was just a matter of convincing the kids they could be the solution and that being a teacher is a viable career (harder than it seems) and convince all the powers that be, this is a viable solution (harder than it should be).

 

Could you describe your aim in setting up the Education 101 program? Who is it designed for and what will they learn?

The biggest aim for the program is to give students of color the opportunity to see themselves as STEM subject teachers. Let them see a side of teaching that they don’t get to see; mostly because they have a very different experience with the teaching profession. They do not have the opportunity to see a lot of themselves in these roles, so they can’t identify with the profession. They just need to see they can and some might.

The students in the class are exposed to the history of education in the country, including the injustices our communities have gone through, the  definition of what a STEM teacher needs to be, exposure to informal science education, observing teachers, the complexity of the classroom, the preparation for lessons, reading and writing college level papers. This will be set around Socratic discussions and group projects that will be catered to the students’ abilities and raising expectations at every turn.

Was the creation of your program partly in response to the lack of diversity found in the teaching profession?

The creation of the program most definitely has to do with the lack of diversity in teaching. It is very difficult to be a teacher of color within a system which serves mostly students of color and yet we are an overwhelming numerical minority, especially in the STEM subjects.

 

A Student’s Perspective: Here’s what one of the course participants, Jada Woodard, has to say about the Program

Why did you apply?

I applied to the Education 101 course because I am thinking about being an educator. I thought it would give me the upper hand when I do attend college to study education. In addition, I wanted to find out if it was really something that I wanted to do.

What’s the best thing about the course?
The best thing about the course is that I am able to learn about the previous educational system, the current educational system, and the future of the educational system. I love that I am able to give my perspective as a student while learning the perspective of a teacher. We are able to talk about topics within the educational system that others aren’t willing to talk about, students of colors and teachers.

What’s the hardest part of the course?
The hardest thing about the course is actually putting yourself in the shoes of an educator. My student mindset slightly limits my ability to think like an educator. It is something that we as a class are working on to do.

What are you learning right now?
At the moment, we are learning how to effectively make lesson plans. In a month or sooner, we will able to teach this lesson plan/activity to a middle school class using the five aspects of an effective classroom that we have learned.
I think the reason there are not many STEM teachers of color is because of the lack of knowledge and resources. I think that in some schools STEM is a luxury. Although we do get taught science and math, it’s not taught or introduced in a way that makes it relevant to engineering and technology.

 

To learn more about the STEM Education Introductory Program contact Julio Mendez at jmendez@pcsedu.org.

 

*STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

WhooSaid

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In the educational world, it is imperative to adopt the skill of group collaboration; not only is it a means of learning but also a skill that is essential for the real world. Derien Stephens, the founder of WhooSaid, developed an interactive learning platform that revolves around group collaborations. Derien’s concern was the “problem of workload distribution between group mates, when traveling away from college. I found myself able to complete my required segment of projects while group mates of mine often struggled to do the same thing resulting in a lower grade for the group as a whole.”

 WhooSaid focuses on creating transparency between each group member and their teacher to know who is responsible for which area of the task. It offers a “distinct solution to collaborative learning by encouraging group mates to select project-based tasks based on their personal strengths and weaknesses within the group.” This further encourages students to communicate with one another, which results in improving their interpersonal skills.

As technology is advancing day by day, WhooSaid ensures that hard working team members are credited for their work—this is apparent by their submissions and interactions via the platform. “This not only creates autonomy for students to collaborate from any computer or smart device but also prevents any confusion about the shared workload.”

 

For more information about WhooSaid visit: http://www.whoosaid.com