My name is Adam Provost and for over 20 years I’ve worked to help students, adults, and schools learn to explore the creative capacity of technology and new approaches to “school” and “learning.” I signed on in late August at Burlington High School as a Technology Integrationist (helping teachers innovate), and also as a member of the Partnership for Change Initiative… and I’ve been busy!
I spent the last eight years as a classroom teacher at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, VT. In the 15 years prior, I worked in Chittenden County at CVU and South Burlington. In many ways, working in this area again is like coming home.
The reason I signed on here in Burlington? Initiatives that I’ve been working on over many years are actively being developed here in Burlington School District and in the Partnership for Change initiative.
I’ve worn many hats along the way over these last 20 years. I’ve been a computer Lab Aide, IT Technician, Network Administrator, Technology Coordinator, full-time classroom teacher, and led workshops and graduate classes on constructivist and project-based classrooms. I’ve helped schools and IT departments streamline infrastructure and processes for user support, and conjured up many innovative student led professional development programs. I established a ‘Student Help Desk’ program (20 years ago) where students participate in tech support and professional development work for peers and adults. In the years since I’ve helped many schools develop those programs in other schools. I’ve been a conference speaker and organizer, and a baseball coach for 22 years. As I said, many hats!
In all these adventures I’ve promoted project-based education, student inquiry into the educational process, and rethinking opportunities and structures in ‘school’ to open up great learning opportunities.
For the last eight years I taught at Burr and Burton in the rLab and coached Varsity baseball. Students did some great work exploring and developing their interests and making incredible community connections. Class discussions on three major themes (how technology has impacted the News, Healthcare, and Education) spurred on projects where students made proposals to change procedure and policy at the school to open up learning opportunities.
From January-August 2013 I was on (a Rowland Foundation) sabbatical traveling to seven countries around the globe to look at innovative schools, and the systems therein that foster or inhibit growth. I’ll tell you… it was a blast! I’ve been writing for Edutopia about some of those experiences along the way, and there are many more articles in queue. This work aligns perfectly with the opportunities and momentum here in Burlington and in the Partnership for Change.
Since signing on I’ve helped with the iPad rollout at BHS, worked with many teachers in the classroom, and helped refit some district technology websites to make our learning efforts more transparent. I’ve also started working on creating learning partnerships and internships for high school students with Champlain, UVM, St Michael’s, Burlington College and with many businesses around area. I’ve started working with teachers on developing new courses and creating global learning opportunities in many existing titles.
There’s tons of potential here in this work. It’s an exciting time to think deeply about changes in education and more importantly to set those ideas in motion.