Empowering Teachers and Students to Solve Authentic Problems Using Design

Design thinking is the process of solving authentic problems using design concepts. Designers work together to find solutions to challenges using empathy, open ended brainstorming and ideation, rapid prototyping and implementing solutions. This process is not only used in the design world, but in many other fields, such as engineering, healthcare and education.

BHS Physics Students Kick Off Home Energy Efficiency Challenge!

The frigid temperatures blanketing the country right now are providing the perfect context for a project getting off the ground this week in BHS physics classes: the Home Energy Efficiency Challenge.  This month-long project is the result of a collaboration between the physics teachers, the City of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office Legacy Project, Efficiency Vermont, and Vermont Energy Education Project (VEEP). Read more.

Piloting Virtual Environments and the Flipped Classroom

The traditional foreign language classroom made up of repetitive textbook exercises and oral recitation has evolved in many schools across our country. Madame Drpich is one of the most innovative foreign language teachers using technology in Vermont. She is one of a handful of teachers from the United States involved in VIA: Virtual Intercultural Avenues, a collaborative portal for virtual communication between five schools in the United States, Belgium and France. This is a virtual portal developed by an educator at Essex High School where students and teachers within the participating schools can collaborate on lesson planning, curriculum development, classroom discussions and projects via videoconferencing, email, social media, film and other online communication.

Benefits and Challenges of the One to One World in Maine and Vermont

Drew Blanchard, Adam Provost and I (Beth Brodie) traveled to Sanford, Maine in Mid-December to see how the one-to-one statewide laptop/device movement in Maine has changed education. What we learned was that they too, are celebrating many of the same successes we have achieved with our increased technology, and struggling with many of the same issues that we encounter in a one to one world.

Visiting Pittsfield, NH

A group of 13 students, parents, teachers and parents for change organizers and I traveled to Pittsfield New Hampshire on November 13 to learn about personalized learning plans (PLP’s), portfolios, student-led conferences and high school advisory. What we discovered was an integrated system that has connected the students, parents and teachers in a synergistic model.

New Technology Integrationist and Partnership for Change Member

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!

Working Together, We Can Do Better

Students from Burlington High School helped plan and facilitate intergenerational conversations on race and equity in our community last week at ECHO Lake and Aquarium Center. This event was co-sponsored by the Partnership for Change, Mayor Miro Weinberger, State Representative Kesha Ram, The Young Writers Project and other community partners.

Intergenerational Community Based Learning

One need only google the term "intergenerational community based learning" and a slew of scholarly articles pop up. Many provide evidence that mixing generations during learning opportunities builds community relationships, offers relevance to the world outside of school walls and fosters rigor and persistence in students.