First Presenter's Institution

Drexel University

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom D

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Students at risk need motivating and inspiring instructional approaches to keep them engaged in learning. SOLE Time directly relates to the "Head" strand of academic achievement and leadership for the conference theme. Sharing this instructional strategy with conference participants will allow more educators to see the benefits of using this type of progressive approach with youth at risk to possibly change perspective and keep students excited about learning.

Brief Program Description

Welcome to SOLE Time! Imagine how your student’s perception of school would change if they were able to end each day choosing topics and creating amazing learning experiences with peers. SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) Time can improve student motivation and achievement levels in your classroom/school. The presenter will show how she took her elementary school through the implementation process of SOLE Time. Participants will leave with an overview of SOLE Time, implementation timelines, possible school schedules, and an online unit where they can begin their own SOLE journey and collaborate with colleagues.

Summary

Students at risk need motivating and inspiring instructional approaches to keep them interested in learning. SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) Time could be the answer for keeping students at risk engaged and learning on a daily basis. The traditional education system has roots in the colonial and industrial ages but the purpose of education in today’s dynamic and global economy has vastly changed. Schools need to produce creative thinkers and problem solvers. One-way to start to move in that direction is to break down the barriers of age=grade traditional schooling and change instructional practices to meet the needs of our students in the digital age. Collaborating with all ages and types of people is a needed skill in the 21st century. Creating a time of day for students where they have ownership of their learning will help to give students the skills they need to be successful in the world today and in the future.

The presenter will show how she took her elementary school through the implementation process of SOLE Time. First hand accounts from teachers, students, and parents will be shown to help frame the understanding of the concept to the audience. Research from Sugata Mitra’s work on SOLE environments will be shared and how to access current materials will be communicated. Participants will leave with an overview of SOLE Time, implementation timelines, possible school schedules, and an online unit where they can begin their own SOLE journey and collaborate with colleagues. Future aspirations will also be shared about how this is the first step towards a new model of schooling that will transform the traditional education system into one that meets the needs of students at risk in the digital age.

Evidence

Sugata Mitra (2014) believes that we need to change the traditional models of schooling that tend to mass produce identical people into new models that produce creative thinkers and problem solvers. His creation of Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) promote that children become the owners of what and how they learn. In one model of a SOLE a teacher would pose a question like “Who built the pyramids and why?” “What are fractals?” or “Who is Gandhi and what did he do?” then students would research on their own or in groups to come up with a type of report and present to the class. In another model, the students might listen to a lecture from a website and then take something from the lecture and research it further. A SOLE can also be completely open-ended for the students where they are given a certain amount of time to research and report on something of their choosing (p. 552).

Mitra, S. (2014, October 29). The future of schooling: children and learning at

the edge of chaos. Prospects, 44, 547-558.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Hope Fuss has been an educator for 18 years. She taught middle school science for eight years before going into administration. She has served students as an elementary assistant principal, elementary principal, district office supervisor of elementary literacy instruction, and an adjunct professor and supervisor of student teachers for Frostburg State University. She is currently an elementary school principal of a Title I school in Hagerstown, MD. She is a doctoral candidate at Drexel University focusing on Educational Leadership and Management with a concentration in Educational Administration.

Keyword Descriptors

Academic achievement, leadership, motivation, instruction, engagement

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-6-2017 1:15 PM

End Date

3-6-2017 2:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 1:15 PM Mar 6th, 2:30 PM

SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) Time!

Ballroom D

Welcome to SOLE Time! Imagine how your student’s perception of school would change if they were able to end each day choosing topics and creating amazing learning experiences with peers. SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) Time can improve student motivation and achievement levels in your classroom/school. The presenter will show how she took her elementary school through the implementation process of SOLE Time. Participants will leave with an overview of SOLE Time, implementation timelines, possible school schedules, and an online unit where they can begin their own SOLE journey and collaborate with colleagues.