Leading connected classrooms has become the rallying cry in many schools. There is a desire for all students to learn by interacting with people, place and planet, but this doesn't always play well with legacy systems and desires to focus on test scores in schools. For schools that can reshape their success metrics, there is a more preferable road forward. Here are five key elements for building connected classrooms:
- Student voice. The best schools are amplifying student voice through publishing, creating and including students in important decisions.
- Connected schools have partnerships in the community and beyond.
- Service learning. Connected classrooms are truly weaving together their head, hands, and heart with their community and beyond.
- Connected classrooms are finding a way to create, make, and design everyday around real, authentic problems.
- Students as assets. Connected classrooms and communities see their students as assets, not liabilities. This means that they accept that some of the best ideas will come from the young bright minds throughout the community.
Analyze where you are with these elements to truly see if your places of learning are approaching the threshold of quality connected classrooms.
Robert Dillon is the director of innovation for the Affton School District in Saint Louis, Mo. He has the opportunity to speaker around the country on a variety of topics that support learning. Dillon just released his new book, "Leading Connected Classroom: The Heart and Soul of Learning."
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