One of the common questions that arises when CA BOCES component schools inquire about the Model Schools Cooperative Service (CoSer) is, “How can you work with our school [through Model Schools]?” In short, our work through Model Schools focuses on effective educational technology integration. There are examples of what this might look like on CA BOCES Professional Development’s webpage as well as our regional professional development offerings catalog.
In practice, the on-demand professional development through Model Schools has always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work, and my most recent trip to Genesee-Valley Central School not only reaffirmed that but also served to summarize well what that on-demand work can look like:
In the second and third photographs, students in Mrs. Halley Kasperski’s class worked through a “low-tech” task facilitated by Mrs. Lindsay Simpson to best catch the mischievous (or perhaps misunderstood) leprechaun. While I have seen and utilized it many times before, the slide Lindsay used to help students work through the Engineering Design Process struck me a bit differently as I was reflecting on our work. Whether a Model Schools coordinator works with educators in your district to help facilitate lessons on coding, lessons using physical kits through the Learning Resources program CoSers, or lessons emphasizing computational thinking, nearly all of these lessons work through a similar process to the Engineering Design Process.
For example, when Lindsay’s lesson was finished, I worked with separate groups of students to explore the littleBits kits that GV has available for students in the Innovation Center. When students arrived, we opened our inquiry with a Notice/Wonder dialogue to ask questions and imagine specific outcomes using the resources available; then students planned and created using those kits to see if their imagined outcomes were plausible; and lastly, we concluded by suggesting possibilities for extending the learning and revisiting what had taken place.
So what does Model Schools work look like? It can look like a mess. It can look like excitement. It can look an awful lot like an inquiry process or the Engineering Design Process. Ultimately, it looks like it’s worth it.
By: Mark Beckwith, CA BOCES Professional Development
Follow us on