CIRCL perspectives offer a window into the different worlds of various stakeholders in the cyberlearning community — what drives their work, what they need to be successful, and what they think the community should be doing. Share your perspective.
Julia Leeson is a 5th grade teacher at San Jose Unified School District, and a summer IISME Fellow working with CIRCL.
What are you struggling with right now?
Right now I am struggling with the integration of technology in a seamless and meaningful way. So, embedding technology, as a better, richer way to gain access, not to just information but rather, to deepen learning. I would like to see cyberlearning playing out in a real and relevant way that supports cognition, facilitating the individual and community learning. I am struggling with how to share our learning process with other educators, administrators, site support staff, board members, parents, and holistic learning community members.
If I walked into a learning environment that was using your innovation, what would be different?
Visitors notice that students are involved in the learning process with technology. Students are using technology to create, assess and draw conclusions from data gathered through wirelessly administered surveys. We are creating projects and using technology in a way that both expresses students’ personal interests and reflects actual use in the professional community that engages the technology. We are using video to record presentations for individual and group feedback as well as to create school service announcements based on survey data analysis and conclusions. We use technology to flow through self-guided lessons with checkbacks, to research topics, and to plan, implement and share in feedback loops for redesign. Students use technology as a tool in developing the thinking process both individually and as a learning community around discovery, goals, problem-solving and thinking itself.
What would you like policy makers (e.g. Congress) to know?
I would like policy makers to know that most teachers are overwhelmed by the non-concrete information available, have huge differentials in levels of technology available from site to site, and find themselves at a loss for how to implement and integrate technology in meaningful ways for learning.
In what way has your perspective fundamentally or tangentially changed as an outcome of your time at SRI?
At SRI I have experienced a true collaborative model. We have analyzed, synthesized, envisioned, co-created, planned, implemented, reflected, redesigned, re-assessed, and developed thoughts around our thinking in a way that involves the individual and the group. I have a living example to bring back to my site for our team, not just a theory of how productive and rewarding collaboration could be.