In an effort to recognize the work that many members of the Derryfield faculty are putting into developing curriculum for the 21st Century, Derryfield has introduced an X Learning Microgrant program. Led by Director of STEAM and Innovation Marco Masoni, these grants will be earned as part of a three-part process: learn, do, and share. X Learning promotes an innovator’s mindset, comprised of skills and attitudes that help students engage in creative problem solving, or solving for “X.” This type of thinking prepares students for a world in which many of their careers do not exist today. While the “Learn” phase of the grant program is officially January-August 2017, many teachers are learning by using these new technologies immediately in their classrooms. Others will be implementing new curriculum in the 2017-2018 school year. Regardless, all teachers will be sharing their experiences with their peers through digital project pages and/or exhibits at a Spring Xpo in 2018. Below is a teaser of what the current round of X-Learning Microgrant recipients are planning for the future:
I will research the relationship between excellent writing, effective communication and digital production. While students in AP Language and Composition already use digital modes of communication, I want to to take this to the next level, offering choice so that students can select the mode they are most excited about and which best reaches their audience. Digital storytelling, podcasts, blogs, an original short film, and websites are possibilities. As I develop this project, I would like to gain a clear idea for the way that effective writing would improve the product and that the product might improve engagement in the process of writing.
How do you combine existing classroom and smartphone technologies to create an artistic augmented or virtual reality experience? Individually or in teams of two, students use problem solving and experimentation, sharing collected research and techniques, to develop a range of artistic AR/VR experiences. This exploration is in line with 21st Century Learning and Design Thinking strategies.
Research, observe, interview, and consider both digital humanities centers and centers for digital storytelling to see if and how I could design and launch a center for digital storytelling at The Derryfield School, a multi-media production space that would allow students to answer the following questions by creating digital stories: who am I, who do I want to become, and how do the socio-cultural forces I live in shape my identity?
Investigate ways to teach technology through the lens of other disciplines in order to design a course that allows students to use traditional art methods along with robotics and sensor technology to create interactive artistic experiences.
Chris McNeil and Gillian Roberts
Students will be learning how to design and build a new and improved version of the infamous Roman chariots that were all the rave in the ancient world. Students will solve for X by comparing and contrasting building materials, techniques, and other variables across the disciplines of Math, Science and History to produce the 'best' chariot possible.
I am learning about, improving, and refining my teaching of large X Learning Projects - where students are confronted with a design challenge - and through creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication - design and articulate a solution. This work started in the fall with my Global Studies: Sustainable Development class participating in the UNH Social Innovation Challenge and has continued this spring with the Biomimicry Institute’s Design Challenge on Climate Change. This summer I will attend a three day workshop in Santa Barbara, CA to learn more about social entrepreneurship and a specific protocol to help students become better designers and problem solvers, and more ready to tackle our world’s most pressing problems.
Rebecca Karp and Ellen Desmond
We have been looking into ways to bridge students’ understandings of the common ways artists and poets use pictures and words to share their messages with an audience. In an effort to give students more real-world experience, push students’ creativity, and encourage them to see the similarities between analyzing visual art and poetry, we are collaborating on a sixth grade art/poetry project that we’ve now done twice. We plan to revise current lessons to accommodate a field trip to the Currier Museum of Art for on-site art analysis and poetry drafting; bring in a guest speaker from the NH Writers’ Project to discuss ways to workshop and publish poetry; and allow for longer blocks of time for students to create.