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From Tradition to Innovation: One School's Personalized Approach to Online Instruction

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon10

Session Four: Sunday 10:30am–12:00pm
Room 307
Megan Howard, Maryellen Berry
Affiliation: Trinity School, Atlanta, GA
Conversational Focus/Audience:
All School Levels
Conversation Description:

In this session, participants will push past general conversations about schools needing to change and adapt to 21st century methods of instruction and instead engage in specific discussion about computer based learning as both a disruptive force and promising opportunity. We will explore the ways in which Trinity School's World Languages program is shifting notions of teaching and learning from a teacher-centric to a student-centric model and promoting authentic opportunities for metacognitive reflection.

Currently at Trinity School, an independent elementary school in Atlanta, 488 students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade are engaged in language immersion through Rosetta Stone's online classroom. This self-paced program forces children to take ownership of their learning. Teachers guide and support every student in a unique way as they navigate self-directed language instruction (a total of 18 languages are being studied at the School). What are the implications of this personalized approach to language instruction — for students, for teachers, and for the schools our students attend in the future? If schools are to move from traditional instructional approaches to innovative ones, what mindset shifts are necessary to ensure successful learning and student growth?

Conversational Practice:
Participants will engage in conversation in small groups and in a designated backchannel. While guiding questions will aid in facilitating discussion, face-to-face and virtual dialogue will direct the session after an initial presentation of ideas and overview of Trinity's approach to language instruction. Members of the Trinity School community (in Atlanta) will contribute to the conversation via Skype at designated times.


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