#DTLUtah News January 2022
Happy New Year!
The Utah DTL Keeps Growing!
Are you innovative, motivated, passionate about education, and looking for an opportunity to support Utah districts, schools, leaders, teachers, and students to embrace digital teaching and learning to support student learning?
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Digital Teaching and Learning Team is seeking an Educational Specialist to manage the Early Interactive Software Program (EISP) by working with literacy directors throughout Utah to understand LEA needs and communicate those needs to software providers. Click Here and Apply before December 27, 2022
Digital Citizenship Resources FREE to Utah Schools
Digital Respons-Ability offers multiple modules of digital citizenship topics such as media literacy, digital wellness and online safety. We believe in educating the whole child. Our modules are taught by a trainer in each classroom and are all free. Simply contact us to select the modules that work best for your school and then schedule trainers to come to you! Additionally, you can schedule a free in-person or virtual Digital Parenting event so parents and caretakers can be empowered by the same information their students are learning. Contact us to schedule a free training or event today: email@example.com
What does student learning look like in your classroom?
I believe Utah’s Portrait of a Graduate and Personalized Competency-Based Learning (PCBL) initiative is the new innovation, and needs to be focused on and implemented in K-12 schools. Utah’s Portrait of a Graduate describes ideal attributes of a Utah graduate. These characteristics such as mastery, autonomy, and purpose start at home and are refined in educational settings. The Utah Portrait of a Graduate requires a shift in both outcomes and how we approach education for K-12 students.
Though Utah’s Portrait of Graduate provided insight prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, I embraced the ideology in order to help my student’s learning once the schoolhouse expanded to their personal homes in March 2020. Before COVID, I attended a PCBL conference and learned the importance of student autonomy and student choice. I was mesmerized and overwhelmed by this new model, but I could see the value in beginning the road to transition to PCBL for my students. I started small and implemented these concepts in my own classroom. I created interactive resources like hyperdocs, personalized playlists, and choice boards. These resources provided opportunities for my students to develop their understanding in different ways and transfer the ownership of the learning from me to each student.
During the height of COVID my classroom became a true blended learning model that was focused on PCBL and Utah’s Portrait of Graduate. My students followed the station rotation model of individual rotation. I implemented the individual rotation model by providing students specific stations they could complete to achieve the learning targets. This blended model focused on students showing competency for any given standard. I was allowing them choice, time, and pace, goals aligned to the Portrait of Graduate. My students were getting autonomy in how they learned the content. For example, I created a choice board that focused on reading, listening, and writing. Students had Monday-Friday to complete at least two activities in each focus area. Within this choice board they could choose to read their own book, they could read curated online resources such as Newsela, Wonderopolis, Sora, Epic, etc., or they could read on our online reading website, Raz-Kids. For the first time, they were able to demonstrate mastery on a standard or objective where they got choice. I learned early on with technology, I needed to become the enhancer of the learning that was being driven by my students.
This model also allowed for students to have a purpose. Utah’s PCBL Framework identifies “student agency” as a core element for success, and explains that we need to empower students to take ownership of their learning with adaptable supports to amplify student growth and competence. Therefore, I had my students choose and keep track of their learning with our weekly goal trackers. The goals varied to reflect the needs of each student. For example, some students made it their goal to turn in all their assignments for the week. Others made it their goal to use a positive mindset when confronted by challenges. Every day students would reflect on their learning and their goals and identify challenges and ways to improve. In this new approach, my students were the MASTERS of their learning and demonstrated improvement in growth and confidence. I truly believe that all teachers, schools, and districts need to embrace the PCBL model and give it a whirl. The “personalized” in the PCBL framework supports teachers in making the model your own, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Adapt it, remix it, and play around with it. I can see future classrooms where students take the driver's seat in their learning experiences. Students are motivated to make their own decisions in their learning experiences. They get to choose how they will design and apply knowledge, and how they will demonstrate their learning. As all teachers adopt a PCBL learning model we will create empowered lifelong learners who take ownership of their learning.
- Kayla Towner
January 24-26, 2022 Utah TCC Winter Tech Retreat - https://utcc.us/March 15-26, 2022 UCET 2022 - https://ucet.org/conference/
June 26-69, 2022 ISTE Live - https://conference.iste.org/2022/
2022 Monthly Allotment Deadline - Utah Grants Reimbursement Requests
DTL Grant Program reimbursement requests need to be received through UTAH GRANTS for expenses aligned to each LEA's approved plan and goals for student outcomes.
Monthly allotment deadlines for the remainder of this school year:
January 11, 2022 - Tuesday
February 7, 2022 - Monday
March 11, 2022 - Friday
April 11, 2022 - Monday
May 10, 2022 - Tuesday
June 10, 2022 - Friday
July 8, 2022 - Friday
JC (Juan Carlos) Mejia
Program Specialist, MIDAS