Digital classrooms, project-based learning and learning platforms are all instructional initiatives being implemented in classrooms across GCISD as part of the district's strategic plan, LEAD 2021
. As a result, lessons and classwork can look a little different than they have traditionally and principals across the district are giving parents a first-hand look at the engaging ways GCISD students are now learning.
Principal Coffee sessions, PTA meetings and school newsletters are just a few ways that school leaders are sharing information with parents. Recently, Cross Timbers Middle School Principal Lisa Dunn and Dove Elementary Principal Becky Lamb also hosted parent meetings designed to give parents a deeper understanding of the tools and techniques their students are using in their learning.
“During a previous Principal's Coffee, several parents had various questions regarding digital classrooms,” Dunn said. “Based on those conversations, I suggested that our next topic be digital classrooms.”
Simulating a classroom environment, Dunn incorporated the strategies used in digital classrooms to engage parents. Parents used iPads to answer questions, snapped QR codes to read articles and watch videos about 21st Century learning, and created a Popplet or a PicCollage to show their learning.
“I think the digital experience and the information about 21st Century learning helped clarify our goals with LEAD 2021 and illustrated the importance of student choice, use of technology, and authenticity in not only digital classrooms, but all GCISD classrooms,” Dunn said.
Parents also felt the experience was a success. Click here to watch some of the coffee talk and hear what one parent had to say about the program:
At Dove Elementary, Lamb worked with staff members to educate parents about the development of LEAD 2021 – from the origin of the Community Planning Committee and Action Teams to the continued work of staff, students, parents and community members. While all of the goals of LEAD 2021 were presented, the focus of the evening was on the specific goal of transitioning classrooms toward a learning platform.
“It was important for us to tell our parents that we have not abandoned effective teaching strategies but will enhance instruction through a keen focus on engagement, student choice, group work and technology integration,” Lamb said.This type of learning is an example of how GCISD is making education look less like a teaching platform, where teachers stand at the front of the room and relay information, and more like a learning platform where students are challenged and motivated to learn under the guidance of a skilled instructor. To view the Dove presentation in its entirety, click here.