This month was a great start to our new focus group: meet two members of the Education Advisory Board, Ted and Robin. Although they are full time teachers, they managed to make time for ISSP on a Sunday afternoon to meet with Jonathan Berkey and the team for a brainstorming session. We had a set agenda to work on the pilot program between Pajaro Valley Unified School District in California and Tassah Academy in Cameroon, and to come up with the first steps for our teachers.
The results? We realized the following:
A: We already have many resources available. There are many programs available to bring technology into the classrooms in Pajaro Valley, and teachers are becoming more and more comfortable teaching with tablets. In Cameroon the students have been very successful at using technology as well, thanks to their computer lab at school. Our program reinforces this new trend, and encourages teachers to use tablets and computers for their science classes.
B: Every partnership will be special and unique to the teachers. We want to provide enough flexibility to allow the teachers to decide how the program is best used in their classroom. We do not want anyone to feel overwhelmed. Rather, we want to incorporate ISSP concepts into the new Core Curriculum, so that Californian teachers can use collaborative learning to cover required materials.
C: Teachers are very good at collaboration! We were able to meld many ideas together, and got input from everyone present. As we mapped out goals, it seems that both teachers agreed they want to use this partnership program to give their students a boost in learning STEM, as well as a window to the outside world.
As we move forward with our pilot program, we are all very excited, but some questions remain. We want to focus on partnering the teachers: How can we create those great connections between teachers to make this program successful?