IDE Corp
Professional Development for Innovative Schools

Dr. Nancy Sulla Presents Webinar on STEM

Please join us on Thursday, June 8th, at 2pm EST for a discussion with Dr. Nancy Sulla on creating a culture of STEM. If the purpose of STEM is to inspire students toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, schools need to start cultivating in their students the mindsets of the scientist, technologist, engineer, and mathematician. It’s not just about students engaging in projects and activities, it’s about how they see the world. Dr. Nancy Sulla, creator of the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom will share insights on how schools can create a STEM culture in her latest webinar “STEM: Creating a Culture, Not a Course”. We will reserve the last section of the webinar for Q&A. We look forward to your participation in the conversation. 

An Empathy-Driven Design Process

The engineering design process (see video) is about creating that which does not yet exist. You formulate a problem, explore content related to it, ideate to brainstorm possible solutions, sift through those to select the most effective and feasible, simulate the solution through a prototype you can test, and then, advocate for that solution.

 

Voila! You’ve solved a problem. Or have you?

If you haven’t addressed the needs of those affected by the problem, you haven’t solved it. In order to address those needs, you must be able to comprehensively understand how others are affected by the problem. The Cambridge Dictionary defines empathy as “the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person’s situation.”

In IDE Corp’s design process, the first step is to “formulate” the problem. What is the ideal situation? What is the reality? What are the consequences of not solving the problem? Answering the latter two questions requires you to understand deeply how others are affected by the problem, that is, to demonstrate empathy.

Empathy is complex. Consider the nuances of three kinds of empathy, described in a blog post by Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence. All are important to develop.

  • Cognitive empathy is the ability to take a perspective and understand what another person is feeling or thinking. This is an important skill but, absent of other types of empathy, it can have a dark side: those who possess it can use it to manipulate and torture others.

 

  • Emotional empathy is the ability to feel along with the person, often experiencing the same physical effects. Scientists are linking this ability to the existence of mirror neurons in the brain. This, too, is important, however, it could leave the empathizer emotionally drained if unable to manage these emotions.

 

  • Compassionate empathy involves both understanding and a compelling need to help. While this kind of empathy is that which leads to success in the design process, cognitive and emotional empathy are critical companions in truly understanding how a problem affects others.

 

Empathy is also comprehensive, depicted in the graphic below as having four elements:

 

As you engage students in the design process, teach them How to Develop an Empathic Approach in Design Thinking.

Dr. Nancy Sulla Selected to 30 Most Inspirational Leaders in Business

IDE Corp. is pleased to announce that Dr. Nancy Sulla has been selected to “30 Most Inspirational Leaders in Business” in the April 2017 issue of Insights Success magazine.

Nancy believes that the most important characteristic that every leader should possess is empathy: the ability to put yourself into another’s situation and understand how they are affected by a situation. She says, “It’s about serving others and helping them be all that they can be.”

The article recounts how Nancy, to help her struggling middle school math students, had to rethink what a learning environment should look like. She designed the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom and realized that if she were going to make an impact on the world, she would need to share this model widely through her own company.

One of the most important decisions Nancy has to make, according to the article, is how far to push people out of their comfort zones to realize new realities; this applies to clients, prospective clients, and employees. Nancy keeps a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in mind – “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Read the entire article here: http://www.insightssuccess.com/dr-nancy-sulla-accessible-personality-with-an-innovative-mind/

Learn more about the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom.

Founded by Dr. Nancy Sulla, IDE Corp. offers a comprehensive instructional model that is the synthesis of the best research available on student achievement. IDE consultants work with school districts around the country to help them shift paradigms and design new approaches to instruction.  IDE Corp. has been providing instructional and organizational consulting to schools since 1987.

 

A Classroom is Like a Swimming Pool

How do you create a culture of creativity and problem-solving while addressing all of the curriculum standards? As you may know about IDE Corp., we love using metaphors and similes to rethink “school” (e.g., “teacher as ferry; teacher as bridge”). So let’s consider the infinity pool: a swimming pool that gives the impression of endlessness and offers exploration while providing supportive boundaries.

The Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom is all about Students Taking Charge, that is, having choice and voice within safe boundaries. Let’s break down some of the structures and strategies:

 

  • Teachers consider the curricular standards and design a problem-based task students could accomplish if they mastered those standards. They design a rubric to provide students with clearly articulated expectations. Teachers present the task and rubric to students at the start of the unit, driving the learning! The task and rubric provide a certain set of boundaries, like a pool, to keep students safe within the realm of the curriculum (because, that is what’s expected in schools these days, unless you’re going rogue!).

 

  • An activity list offers a variety of differentiated learning and practice activities to support students in mastering the curricular goals; however, students decide which to use, when to work on them, and with whom they will work. Students have a lot of choice and voice as they “swim” around the learning environment.

 

  • Teachers facilitate learning, helping students make decisions about their learning paths, providing direct instruction, and probing thinking to move students to higher levels of understanding.

 

  • Every Authentic Learning Unit (ALU) that begins with a task and rubric results in students’ demonstration of knowledge through the creation of some sort of product or performance. If the product or performance itself is not a part of the curricular goals, teachers should allow students to present in a variety of ways. For example, if you’re teaching poetry writing, students may be limited to writing a poem; but if you’re asking students to present a solution to designing a zoo habitat for an animal, you can allow them to present that through a written proposal, video, multimedia presentation, scale model, or any other means, because your curriculum is about habitats, not presentations.

 

The structures of the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom are what enable the freedom. Within those structures, students are empowered to explore, make decisions, be creative, and invent. Make your classroom a swimming pool, metaphorically speaking, that is. Change the world!

Physical Education Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classrooms in Chester Taylor Elementary School

A Tampa Bay Times article on May 3rd describes how the physical education classes at Chester Taylor Elementary school in Pasco County, FL are using the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom to make physical education classes “more academic”. The article noted that “more than just play a game, the children studied its history, calculated their statistics, designed uniforms, set team budgets and conducted trading based on salary caps, among other activities.”

“We’ve shown them there are other opportunities within that sport you can be involved with and still learn the game,” P.E. teacher Michael Johnson explained. “When you get into each sport, your standards are around learning that sport. We want to take it a step further.”

“Chester Taylor Elementary adopted the “Learner Active, Technology-Infused Classroom” system three years ago, when it faced the threat of a state-mandated turnaround plan for consistently low student performance on state tests”, describes the article. “The school quickly saw improvements in student test scores with its initial foray — its fourth-graders soon outperformed the state average — and has been expanding it since”.

Read the full Tampa Bay News article here: http://www.tbo.com/news/education/k12/pasco-elementary-school-brings-academics-to-physical-education-class/2322280

Learn more about the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom.

Founded by Dr. Nancy Sulla, IDE Corp. offers a comprehensive instructional model that is the synthesis of the best research available on student achievement. IDE consultants work with school districts around the country to help them shift paradigms and design new approaches to instruction.  IDE Corp. has been providing instructional and organizational consulting to schools since 1987.

Spotlight Leader of Pee-Dee Math, Science and Technology Academy Credits Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom

Keith Bailey, PDMSTA

Keith Bailey, Executive Director of the Pee-Dee Math, Science, and Technology Academy in Bishopville, SC was recently the subject of a February 2017 Leader Spotlight by the South Carolina Public Charter School District. In the spotlight Bailey shares some highlights of their initiatives and describes the problem-based learning aspect of the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom™.

Bailey says “PDMSTA ascribes to a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) model and Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classrooms (LATIC). Problem-based learning is a subset of project-based learning.  There are differences in the project based and problem-based learning model. Problem-based learning starts with a problem and focuses largely on the process of finding a solution. Students learn through grappling with a problem through open-ended problem-solving”.

Read the full Leader Spotlight article here: http://www.sccharter.org/2017/02/15/leader/

Learn more about the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom.

Founded by Dr. Nancy Sulla, IDE Corp. offers a comprehensive instructional model that is the synthesis of the best research available on student achievement. IDE consultants work with school districts around the country to help them shift paradigms and design new approaches to instruction.  IDE Corp. has been providing instructional and organizational consulting to schools since 1987.

 

Echoes~Sentinel News Article Shares LATI Classroom Success in Wachtung Schools

An April 5, 2017 article in the Echoes~Sentinel newspaper describes how with the “Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom program in Watchung Schools, more and more teachers are preparing their instruction in modern and more personalized ways”.

Watchung, New Jersey Valley View School Principal Mary Nunn said “this comprehensive instructional model applies systems theory to classroom instruction to address the new standards, assessments, and teacher evaluation rubrics. The classroom melds best practices into one cohesive, problem-based, learning environment.”

The article continues with Nunn explaining how “teachers have found an increased level of student engagement, more peer-to-peer teaching, a stronger sense of individual needs and skills, and less dependence on teachers”.

Read the full article here: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/echoes-sentinel/news/students-take-charge-in-watchung-schools/article_99e1019c-4df7-5e72-b3c5-17d76235b2e0.html

Learn more about the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom.

Founded by Dr. Nancy Sulla, IDE Corp. offers a comprehensive instructional model that is the synthesis of the best research available on student achievement. IDE consultants work with school districts around the country to help them shift paradigms and design new approaches to instruction.  IDE Corp. has been providing instructional and organizational consulting to schools since 1987.

 

IDE Corp. to Present at NJASA 2017 Spring Leadership Conference in Atlantic City

IDE Corp is pleased to announce that it will be presenting at the NJASA 2017 Spring Leadership Conference taking place on May 17 – 19, 2017 at Caesars in Atlantic City, NJ.

“Creating the Conditions for a School-wide Student-Driven Culture” will be presented by Dr. Lee Nittel, Superintendent of Canfield Avenue School in Mine Hill Township and Dan Gross, Director of Client Relations of IDE Corp. on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 1:15pm.

“Engagement, Empowerment, and Efficacy: Student-Driven Instruction in Action” will be presented by Ms. Jennifer Fano, Superintendent of Randolph Township Schools, Ms. Danielle Soldivieri, Director of Elementary Education of Randolph Township Schools, and Dr. Nancy Sulla, President of IDE Corp. on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 1:15pm.

Please stop by booth 6 to say hello and learn more about the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom™.

Dr. Nancy Sulla is the Founder and President of IDE Corp. — Innovative Designs for Education — an educational consulting firm focusing on instructional innovation. She is the creator of the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom, taking a systems approach to creating student-centered, problem-based classrooms. Dr. Sulla is also the author of two books: It’s Not What You Teach But How: Making the CCSS Work for You and Students Taking Charge: Inside the Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom.

IDE Corp. offers a comprehensive instructional model that is the synthesis of the best research available on student achievement. IDE consultants work with school districts around the country to help them shift paradigms and design new approaches to instruction.  IDE Corp. has been providing instructional and organizational consulting to schools since 1987.

Dr. Nancy Sulla Presents Webinar on Executive Function

Is it possible that executive function is the missing link to student achievement? Dr. Nancy Sulla thinks so and shares her view in a YouTube video and in her upcoming book, Building Executive Function: The Missing Link to Student Achievement. Dr. Sulla addresses executive function in terms of the skills needed for conscious control, engagement, empowerment, collaboration, efficacy, and leadership. She believes that schools can use activities, structures, and teacher facilitation to build executive function skills, resulting in achievement gains. Join her for a webinar on Tuesday May 2, 2017 at 2:00 PM EDT to hear more on the subject. We will reserve the last section of the webinar for Q&A and we look forward to your participation in the conversation. 

Register Now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/322737830614496513

#LATICinsights: Using Data As Your Driver

What drives a classroom in which students take responsibility for their own learning, are engaged in grappling with content, and are pursuing high academic standards towards higher achievement? Data!

The Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classroom is a data-driven learning environment. It’s a highly structured learning environment that allows students significant voice and choice in their learning. While students have the freedom to set their schedules, work on what, with whom, and when they want, the success comes from the fact that most decisions are data driven. Here are some of the data structures that should be in place:

  • Teachers review state and district standardized test data to determine individual student weaknesses. Given the student-driven nature of classroom activities, teachers can more easily guide individual students toward appropriate activities, offering the maximum level of differentiation.
  • Students use rubrics to continually self assess where they are and set goals. The teacher meets with individual students to confirm progress and goals.
  • Students use their rubrics, assessment data, and activity lists to select the activities they need to accomplish. Even kindergarten students can manage their day!
  • Teachers carry facilitation grids to capture formative assessment data; they also use the grids to capture data from quizzes and tests. They then use this progress-monitoring data to plan scaffolded learning activities and teacher-directed, small-group lessons.
  • Based on a topical assessment, students can opt into an advanced small-group, mini-lesson to push themselves beyond the expected.
  • Students use Learning Dashboards of standards and curricular objectives to track their progress across the year, using the data to select learning activities.

When students are in charge of their own learning, it’s easier for the teacher to differentiate instruction. With data as the driver, teachers can plan benchmark lessons; small-group, mini-lessons; and activity lists to ensure that all students’ needs are being met.

Put students in charge of their own learning; have teachers act as powerful facilitators; and let data drive the action!

IDE Corp. offers differentiated, online courses facilitated by our consultants for maximum success of all our our participants, including one on formative assessment.