Icon for: Betsy Stefany

BETSY STEFANY

NH MSP STEM Literacy Community of Practice
University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, The SABENS Group
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 09:11 a.m.

    Welcome to the discussion of the “Using 3 I PD” Video. Thank you to NSF and TERC for holding this conference and giving us a chance to share the project.
    The video is designed as an introduction, creating a timeline of the experiences of NH teachers during 2010-2014 in a Math Science Partnership, structured by 3 I PD design. We invite you to stop the video at their milestones, use the captions as topics for discussion and unfold the full project experience. We look forward expanding the full project with you over the next week.

  • Icon for: Gerald Kulm

    Gerald Kulm

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 11:18 a.m.

    Hi. Thanks for sharing the overview of this complex project. How did you decide on the 3 "I"s? What is the specific link between digital tools and other aspects of the project? What barriers, if any, do you see in using digital tools as a platform for the work?

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 01:13 p.m.

    Thanks for asking those critical questions.
    The 3 I PD evolved as a process prior to the MSP due to the importance of drill down to “where teachers are” in their interest in STEM and also in technology integration. The digital tools were selected based on the results of Harvard’s MOSART tests of the teachers in the initial project. Using tests results the common topics of misconception were best addressed by engaging teachers in the use of digital tools that were focused on collecting data in areas, allowing teachers to structure their own learning and consider how the topics could be supported at their grade level. The areas of common needs were light/optics, heat transfer and graph analysis. The digital tools became a way to focus on those topics, build content while seamlessly demonstrating their own learning achievements in the process. The student testing in NH also indicated needs to increase practice in Earth/Space and Physical Sciences.
    The digital tools, then were varied in purpose and served in multiple ways during the project.
    In a state like NH, access and bandwidth remained a problem in 2010 yet using technology was a strong state interest. The 3 ID practice of advancing from individual to team and into cohorts allowed hybrid systems of content to reach all interested districts and demonstrate the value of communications technology.
    Using digital tools as a platform does highlight the gap in acceptance of technology yet by allowing a recognition of the personal variant levels this relieves the pressure. Enabling learners to select their application and develop concept maps to view their personal goals also eased that pressure.

  • Icon for: Mark Weiss

    Mark Weiss

    May 16, 2016 | 11:49 a.m.

    In our research we have often seen that technology add another layer of difficulty for students, making tasks harder. We ask ourselves, if the increased level of difficulty is worth it, and if so why? Why is the use of technology in this setting “worth it?”

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    Fran Leach

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 07:58 p.m.

    Mark, I have benefitted from this system and added technlogy into my classroom. It is not 1 on 1 but more like stations or a resource. I find the students more eager if they can look something up on the internet instantly. I hand them and ipad and they report back with an answer. Before having this, I would ask them to go home and look it up and answers never came back. My students animate science concepts which shows understanding and we use Lego robots that help themunderstand a question that they created…like How does a supermarket door know when to open? It is meaningful to them and real. Our students are digital natives who often show me how to do something, are you sure the teachers aren’t the ones having difficulty? I tell other teachers to just supply the technology with minimal instruction, let the students explore and teach you what they have learned. It is definitely “worth it”.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 03:38 p.m.

    Thanks, Fran, describing the progression of digital integration in your classroom. I wish the video had allowed time to show the process as your “students animate science concepts”. You have a process that underlies the team that aids them to work together. In another video in the conference they refer to “digital Maker Spaces”. Would you think of the students processes as similar?

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 01:14 p.m.

    Mark,
    Yes, using technology certainly does add several layers of difficulty to all of us however the concept of treating STEM Literacy as a union of languages of text, visual and data eased some “angst” as they stretched over that layer as it was at their own pace and in a learning progression structured by USGreen Building Councils LEED award categories.
    The project relied initially on existing programs such at JASON Learning, Journey North, Engineering is Elementary for content and allowed the technology to wrap around the content rather than force a digital tool.
    Addressing the issues of the complexity directly by allowing teachers time to investigate technology and explore its application to meet their needs and interests prior to student use is critical. This approach personalizing teacher PD was at first problematic as districts had just started to create technology plans and their discussion on budgets were based on student/classroom integration as a district over time. Teachers wanted full student evidence of gains as a class before they would buy into learning a tool beyond how it worked. �
    District plans often changed by the school level, school year and also with the new product releases during this 2010-2014 timeframe. This was also the start of the federal funding sequester which dramatically affected budget plans. No one system worked in all districts and no group of teachers had a similar level of application of technology in their personal lives or in the classroom. While this may seem challenging it was important to advance and explore with confidence, knowing that we would find some tools that would be valued and others that were not essential and learn to vet them out as a “community of practice”. Having teachers reach the point where they could know how to proceed on their own using the digital information support was definitely “worth it”.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 01:19 p.m.

    As you view the above responses and questions you may wonder about evaluation of a digital integration project that allows teachers the flexibility of 3 IPD. The project was extremely grateful to have an experienced team, The College of Exploration. They will join us in the discussion.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 04:14 p.m.

    Here’s further MSP Evaluation info:
    From the project evaluator’s website: http://www.coexploration.org/educational_resear...
    Developmental Evaluation
    “Throughout our time as evaluators, we have consistently and implicitly adhered to the principles of developmental evaluation, even when not explicitly articulating the approach. We have found that this approach, which was put forth by Michael Quinn Patton, offers a more holistic and creative view of evaluation. It has seemed appropriate for a number of our evaluation settings, in which goals are evolving and emerging as the project unfolds. Developmental evaluation realizes the complex and dynamic environment of educational programs and employs methods that engage the learning team in co-creating change”

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 04:34 p.m.

    Connecting to the Common Core-Picture of teacher with books

    During the MSP participants were focused on Common Core expectations. The concept of defining STEM Literacy was supported by recognizing this factor and building a common pool of reading as well as voices that bridged the pressure on teachers of inserting STEM.

    Follow this link to hear more from Amanda Cockrell, Director of Children’s Literature, Hollins University

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gc748ljaoafsah3/Video...

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 08:41 a.m.

    NH has a long history of mapping, from drawn concept maps to Arc/GIS, many of which were included in the process of developing engagement. The video purposefully uses them to illustrate 3 IPD and the first step of introducing teachers is to engage them in considering the term “interest”, mapping their districts’ interest and their own personal ones as they develop STEM projects.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Principal Investigator
    May 18, 2016 | 11:39 a.m.

    Hi, a very intriguing project! It seems to me to have a lot of the right elements to enable the teachers to continue their own professional development post-funding. I have two questions:
    1. What effects, if any, has teacher turnover had on the formation of the various cohorts of peer-support?
    2. What did the districts have to do to enable the teachers to participate in this community of practice? Do district administrators (science supers, principles, or tech supers) participate? Do you have confidence (or at least a reasonable hope) that these structural accommodations will continue post-funding?

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 02:43 p.m.

    Regarding the sustainable progress of the STEM Literacy CoP, a visit on Thursday to a NH district whose teachers are pictured but by 2014 their projects had not fully developed is rewarding. They have multiple grade level projects built and supported. Their administrators are now more knowledgable of the advantage of exploring STEM as a Community of Practice and appreciate the advantage of the 3 I PD approach with their small number of science teachers. We return on June 1 to plan for extension to the third year AFTER the conclusion of the MSP fund support.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 12:50 p.m.

    Brian, Thank you for stopping by! I am an avid reader of your MSP/Net posts and having direct questions on this project has made my day! The presence of a MSP/Net with all of its features made the project essentially possible to manage with policy and references to research at my fingertips! On to your questions…
    Teacher turnover was a factor in the design in the positive sense that change was not as applicable once allowing flexiblity from required physical PD sessions. Cohort and Teams “save their place” and adjust local projects. The 3 I PD participant could flex their progression. Participants changed grades, had life situations and graduated during the span of the project, however by anchoring them in the concept that this was a project for their professional development, all of us kept our focus. Adjustments happen in all careers.

    �The cohort connection is the least structured and the most transient in definition of the steps in the PD design. The difference between team and cohort in STEM integration is part chemical, part interest-driven and very much about timing of opportunities. Critical in the project was the cycle of state, national and special program options during each year as those physical opportunities built cohort characteristics and effective peer-support. Traveling out of the state to an annual conference and allowing teachers to return to individual science interests balanced with “tool events” based on their submitted case study refined the cohort general interest in digital integration challenges.
    A Community of Practice steps beyond the PD role of the single district. The initial district endorsed the MSP proposal as the STEM concept was innovative and a new approach necessary. Over time the design set an aura of individual learning in part due to the digital tools. This freedom enabled teachers to join throughout the timeframe of the project. This approach was critical as we had no single district that maintained their administration in tact … and with the same priorities as it began. . .The project continues as a Community of Practice, sustained by further grants by the participants for their classrooms, tools and continuing learning as they move from NCLB to ESSA expectations

  • Icon for: Michelle Perry

    Michelle Perry

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 07:30 p.m.

    Interesting project! Thanks for sharing. How many teachers participated in the project? Can you talk a little bit about how the Communities of Practice function post-project? Is it purely based on face to face interaction such as at conferences or is there an online space or component in which they can connect?

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 09:36 a.m.

    Glad to have your questions, Michelle, especially about the sustainability as a CoP. The MSP project goal was to include 50 teachers and develop the concept of sustained facilitation via online resources. A single platform would be the ideal, however we found that it is the energy of collaboration that engages users and that the technology responds to the design of a CoP not visa versa. What became more practical during the project was a hybrid of online and face to face “events” of varied in size, focus and location. This flexiblity is a hallmark of CoP (Wenger, Snyder 2000). The participants accessed multiple Moodles, joined webinars, short courses, explored Google, Skype and web-based programs etc. gaining confidence to deal with the continual changes in technology.
    The CoP continues to explore a variety of tech “platforms” including the NSTA Learning Center’s portal concept, with the mindset that the technology wraps around our learning as it proves useful, affordable and safe. Since a community of practice has flexible boundaries, by the end of 2014, 111 benefited by professional development programs, materials or use of digital tools during the MSP funded years of the project.
    The digital tools now continue to expand the CoP beyond state boundaries and the sharing builds practice and demo data that contrasts with NH. We are just creating media that follows the design of the resources that the NH teachers use- (http://stemteachingtools.org/).
    We’d be glad to consider “an online space”. Do you have one that you would suggest?

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 02:54 p.m.

    Michelle,
    More reflection on your question on online space. During the initial phase, the MSP funding for teacher PD, it was most important that participants explored a variety of sites and we were too small in numbers to carry on a sustained, online discussion. We experimented with developing a “roundtable” of presenters, white papers and narrative written pieces targeting interests and needs. As teachers continue these elements are available on a moodle or into a more active form of discussion design. This “attic” of digital supporting info is a resource that can be retro fitted into new designs easier than becoming used to a single website that was beyond our budget and might have expired at the end of the MSP funding.

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    Tina Bishop

    Guest
    May 22, 2016 | 04:20 p.m.

    I am wondering if others here have engaged in developmental evaluation as was used for this project. If so I would really like to learn about your experiences.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 22, 2016 | 04:42 p.m.

    Welcome to Tina Bishop, part of the COE evaluation team for this project. As mentioned earlier in the comments,
    evaluation continues to be challenging and important to discuss with other STEM projects. Thank you for joining us, Tina!

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 08:50 a.m.

    During the time of the MSP support our focus was on NH and teachers, however the bonding experience for teachers as a CoP has been in a wide variety of exploring STEM from small classroom sessions to the broad community involvement of the Solar Car Sprint in the video that is shown in the video. These starts were less visual in 2014, and the work of evaluation was unique as we captured their essential output from the 3 I PD approach.
    The use of “developmental evaluation” proved to be key to encouraging participants to take chances and time with their interests and have their efforts fairly measured.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Presenter
    May 23, 2016 | 06:32 p.m.

    Thank you to all who made the Video Showcase possible, developed the videos into comment sessions and also those who fund the STEM Literacy Community of Practice project. This comment session concludes but the energy and ideas that had time to share, question and expand from other projects will in some form continue. I invite readers to find us and keep the engagement building into new future form. We have enjoyed and learned from our experience.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.