Today’s challenge: Write about one way that you “meaningfully” involve the community in the learning in your classroom. If you don’t yet do it, discuss one way you could get started.
I have this discussion often. Recently, we were asked if our district should be responsible for supplying access to online resources while at home. And, my dilemma is that, at the end of the day, tax payers fund our students’ learning and resources. And, we are required to represent those interests. With that in mind, how do we “meaningfully” involve the community in our learning while respecting their interests (as vested taxpayers and as critical voices) and protecting our students’ and teachers’ interests?
For me, I love to showcase what our students are doing while giving the community an opportunity to come and share. Last year, fellow ITSs, +Krista Tyler and +Shannon Sieber and I hosted an I ❤ Tech Fest for students, teachers, and community members. We set it up in a makerspace kind of environment. Beforehand, we asked students, teachers, and community members to submit ideas to share. Then, we opened it up for community members, parents, teachers, and students to attend. Though our turn-out was small, the learning that occurred was amazing. We had one community member come in and set up a table about Gamestar Mechanic while a teacher shared out Google Calendar has saved her marriage. Several students shared Scratch and projects they have done with it.
It was a great way to bring in the voice of the community, pool their knowledge, and share back. I think those three items are crucial when bringing in the community: their communal wealth of knowledge is unimaginable, but it is also important to share back the learning that occurs as they are vested parties.
What about you – how do you “meaningfully” involve the community? Here is the link to the I ❤ Tech Fest that we did last year in case you want to replicate it.