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New Learning Institute (NLI)

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The (The Pearson Foundation) has a new program that aligns well with this conversation topic which I am one of the co-leads along with Tiffany McGettigan. The "Model Classroom" program, as it's called, strives to create learning models of authentic, real-world opportunities for youth to develop essential 21st century skills. The Model Classroom program works directly with the CCSSO State Teacher of the Year alumni to implement projects with youth. The program begins with professional development workshops at the Smithsonian Institute in DC. These workshops focus on 21st century learning practices, taking ahands-on approach which forces teachers outside their classroom walls and into authentic, real-world learning experiences. Structured as a game, participating teachers collaborate to solve missions and challenges while utilizing community resources, new media tools, and each other. Throughout this active engagement, teachers develop solutions, then reflect on how their work process connects to 21st century learning opportunities for their own students. At the conclusion of the summer workshop, participating teachers design projects and practices that are challenge-based, collaborative, and make the most of real world learning. Select projects are chosen for implementation and support from the New Learning institute staff. The NLI staff provides support in developing curriculum, integrating the use of new media tools, and most importantly - ensuring that these projects challenge students to respond to real issues and have a voice within their schools and communities. Support is provided through the use of social networking communication and strategically planned school site visits. During this 2011-2012 program year, it's second year, NLI is supporting 14 projects across the U.S. Most importantly, Model Classroom teachers are advocates of new approaches to learning, and by developing successful strategies they help other educators adapt their work to their own schools and communities.

- Brian Burnett
Where Innovation & Technology meet Teaching & Learning
twitter: @BrianHBurnett

Founder and Chief of Innovation, Envision Education, Oakland CA


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I think we need specific examples with of high quality integrated projects that come with all the materials a teacher needs to get started AND frameworks. We have teachers in a continuum of expertise in their practice.

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