Dobbs Foundation Fellowship: 21st Century Classroom
Saturday, August 29th, 2009
9:00-4:00 p.m.
The Westminster Schools
Facilitators: Brandi Sabb and Laura Deisley

Meeting Notes

I. Getting Started

A. Setups (9:00-10:00 a.m.)
  • Computer and Internet Setup
    • Bob assisted in establishing the connection online
    • Laura opened the day encouraging the fellows to be selfish in the learning. She highlighted the use of personal and cohort contracts. Recommends FireFox to use as a browser.
    • Double-check set up of gmail, wiki, and blogs have been set up.
    • Fellows requested assistance in formatting their blog.
  • Overview and Set up of Blogging Tool
    • Laura spent a great deal of time modeling the usage and tools of blogging.
    • She demonstrated how to post and aesthetically prepare the fellow’s blog.
    • Laura covered
      • o Hyper-linking text
      • o Posting a picture
      • o Adding a post
      • o Adding a comment
      • o Using attachments that are not copyright infringements.
      • o The importance of flexibility in 21st Century learning
      • o Changing the password
      • o Changing the theme
      • o Adding Meta to a theme
      • o RSS Feeds*

  • Troubleshooting

B. Icebreaker: Can You Match the Facts?

Brandi introduced the activity and noted that she and I are taking turns writing minutes of our meeting, so if we seem unengaged when the other is talking “we’re not.” Activity was to write three things down one a notecard: a professional piece of information, a personal piece of information, and an unusual fact about ourselves. Then, cards went into a bowl and we each selected one. Job was to have conversation with others in an attempt to find the "match." Fellows seemed to really enjoy this activity and we learned so many interesting facts about everyone!

C. Review Syllabus (10:00-10:30 a.m.)
Brandi talked about fact that we’re not going to be teachers, we’re going to be participants/facilitators. She reviewed the syllabus generally. She also noted that we’ll be able to take our contracts and post them up against the KWL chart at the end of the year and see what we’ve learned.
  • Schedule and Meeting Location
    • Changed schedule to support needs of cohort. The revised schedule is:
    • September 23, October 12, November 18, January 20,February 24, March 17, April 14, May 19
    • We may need to change March and April based on Ted’s track schedule and the May date in general. Need to ask Inquiry group and Bob and the last meeting and if joint and sharing of learning.
• Expectations
Brandi reviewed the syllabus, group norms and expectations.
• Group Norms
Quick review.

BREAK (10:30-10:40 a.m.)

II. Constructing Our Learning Contracts (10:40-11:15 a.m.)
  • Overview of a Learning Contract
    • Laura surveyed what the group knew about learning contracts. Encouraged them to think about the vision (shift, changed), pedagogy, and tools.
    • Fellows were given one week to provide deep reflection of expectations of learning.
  • Template
  • Group Contract
    • Fellows read the article “Some Guidelines for the Learning Contracts.” Fellows reflected for 15 minutes on articulating their contribution to the group’s contract.
    • Pedagogy - To transfer the knowledge gained to various department – How can what we learn be replicable and applied.
    • Preparing a plan of action for those that are threatened by the ideals and application of a 21st Century class.

    • Vision -
    • Tools - Assess and properly apply multiple 21st Century tools to enhance learning. (Suggestion is to assign each fellow a tool to try and report back on. Per session, 2 fellows will present a selected “beta practice”. Fellows will have the opportunity for feedback. There will be a page on the wiki categories by subject and discipline for fellows to artifact their presentation.)
    • Laura will also link the K12 Online Conference on the wiki. The K12 Online Conference is a conference led by educators for educators.
    • Questions - Can 21st Century learning really be applicable in my classroom?
    • How 21st Century learning impact skill-based disciples.
    • Is their room for creation when there is test accountability?
    • How will having a 21st Century classroom affect the CRCT, SAT, and AP test?
    • How to overcome the fear of change and lost of control?
    • How to overcome “learned helplessness” in our students and teachers?
    • How do we communicate to all stakeholders what we are doing, why, and that it works (assessment)?
    • Create an environment that moves from isolation to collaboration.
    • Create ways to inspire change and growth in our schools
    • Create ways to incorporate our learning into the threads of our schools and department.
    • Create a student-driven curriculum.

  • Design a rich 21st Century Classroom that acknowledges the barriers while communicating the knowledge to my community in a meaningful way.

  • Personal Contract
    • Laura surveyed what the group knew about learning contracts. Encouraged them to think about the vision (shift, changed), pedagogy, and tools.
    • Fellows were given one week to provide deep reflection of expectations of learning.
• Submission and Posting
Fellows will work on this for homework and submit on Wednesday. Emphasized that this is a living document...

III. What is a PLC? (11:15-12:00 noon) DID NOT DO THIS!!!! (They will take home for homework.)
• Establish partners (facilitators and fellows)
• Read What is A Professional Learning Community (DuFour) and One Step At a Time
• Discuss articles using Save the Last Word protocol

LUNCH (12:00-12:30 p.m.)

IV. What is 21st Century Learning? WE DID NOT DO THIS FORMALLY. (Came up in discussion of cohort contract.) (They will take home for homework.)**
• Discuss the videos and articles considered for homework.
• Chart and discuss (1) what we confirm and (2) what we question, want to explore further

V. Activity: Design a 21st Century Classroom
• Small groups will design and depict the elements of a 21st Century Classroom
• Divided into two groups equally distributed by grade level, discipline, and public/private.
• Groups engaged in “walk tour” of classes.

VI. Our Early Thoughts about our Own 21st Century Classroom
• Personal Narrative (brief)
• Voicethread Recording
o Fellows wrote a one minute reflection on the initial expectations and obstacle of a 21st Century classroom.

VII. Closing
• Evaluation
• Homework, Next Steps
o Referencing the meeting notes from August 29th, select an area of concern from the group cohort section. Research a series of resources (articles, videos, commentary) that provide a constructed argument that expounds on your question/topic of choice. Select an article and video that resonates most with you. Post to your blog the link to the article and video, as well as a reflection that address how your findings apply to a 21st Century classroom.
o Read the PLC articles “What is A Professional Learning Community” (DuFour) and “One Step at a Time” (Graham and Ferriter).Be prepared to discuss your reflection at the next meeting. We encourage you to highlight areas of interest as you read.
o Complete and email your personal contracts to Laura and Brandi by Wednesday, September 2nd.
o Using the 21st Century Classroom cohort contract wiki page, review the posted group notes from our August 29th meeting. Develop clear and measurable objectives to contribute to the cohort contract. Post your objectives to the page.
o Read one another’s synthesis of the selected homework articles. Based upon their reflection. Select another article. Note your name next to your new article and post a synthesis. Use points expressed in your peer’s synthesis as points of reflection and comparison. Express your findings in your synthesis.
o Complete the online evaluation by Wednesday, September 2nd. We will send out a link via email by Monday, August 31st.
o Remember to check the homework page for updates and additions.

Matthew suggested we use Google reader to RSS our blogs and improve community discussion.