WebLinks: Maui Educational Consortium Professional Development Institute
WebLinks is an online collaborative professional development project that is teacher led. This innovation resulted from the Hawai`i State Leadership Perkins Maui HI-PASS 2007-2009 Pilot Project, a replication of the Cal-PASS initiative that focuses on the collection, analysis and sharing of student data. The project is facilitated by the Maui Educational Consortium, housed at the University of Hawai`i Maui College. This exciting on-line WebLinks framework uses the webbing concept and technology to link teachers to share ideas and raise their practices for rigor, relevance and relationships while earning college credits.
We Need a New Mental Model Focusing on Student Centered Learning
Reflectingon the rationale behind raising the level of rigor and relevance in student learning, Lorelle Solanzo-Peros, UHMC Hospitality and Tourism Program Coordinatorwrote in the Rigor and Relevance learning forum:
“After viewing the video cast on Convergence and Vision of K-12 students today, there is no doubt in my mind that I need to shift and continuously create engaging experiences that challenge students to think outside the box.”
Then Christine Wada, Maui High School Social Studies teacher added:
“In terms of exploring the rationale, it's certainly resulted in an explosion of questions in my mind regarding my own practices and high school practices in the State of Hawaii in general. I think as we muddle through the process, we need to be aiming at optimal and most efficient practices. This would involve reaching a level of school-wide collaboration that will use limited resources most effectively. As was suggested in the Rigor/Relevance text, there needs to be a dialog between the core subjects and the career and technical lines. I will be teaching Economics for the Academy of Travel and Tourism as well as AP Economics for the first time this coming year as well as World History and I am excited about the possibilities as I collaborate with our Maui High team in AOHT (Academy of Hospitality and Tourism) and our sophomore house core teachers!
View the following video of the WebLinks session, led by Jim Warford, co-facilitator, highlight the need for a new mental model:
Why Students are Not Prepared for College and Career
Reflecting on the importance of building a culture to implement gold seal lessons in a classroom requires a teacher to allow students to take control of their learning, Wade Hondo, Baldwin High School Art teacher shared:
“The benefits of allowing the students to take control of their learning require a true shift in thinking in regards to the classroom. In a way, it’s about changing the feeling of control. A lot of the times if you let the “inmates run the asylum” it can be a little chaotic. Careful planning is necessary with the need to foresee potential pitfalls in lessons with a pessimistic eye. However, once you are in the middle of it the key is adaptability, being able to adapt the situation that presents itself at one time or another throughout the lesson.”
Joyce Yamada, UHMC Dental Assisting Program Coordinator wrote:
“The benefits of allowing students to take control of their learning are more creative development of the lesson and heightened rigor. When asked, students often expect more of themselves than their instructor. It can be challenging to facilitate their learning in the proper direction at times, but far more interesting for the student and instructor. I find that I am often surprised but their responses or mode of learning and I learn along with my students.”
Finally, Danielle De Jesus, Maui High School Social Studies, in the following Elluminate video clip, asked an important question that addresses the “elephant in the room.”