1. Betsy Stefany
  2. http://www.sabensgrp.com
  3. Coordinator STEM Literacy Community of Practice
  4. STEM Literacy Community of Practice
  5. SABENS Group
  1. Jeffrey Beaudry
  2. Professor
  3. STEM Literacy Community of Practice
  4. University of Southern Maine
  1. Tina Bishop
  2. Education Evaluation and Research Specialist
  3. STEM Literacy Community of Practice
  4. College of Exploration
  1. Michael Sao Pedro
  2. http://www.inquits.com
  3. researcher, CTO
  4. STEM Literacy Community of Practice
  5. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 08:52 p.m.

    Welcome to the discussion of this year’s STEM Literacy Community of Practice’s video.  The topic of this year’s video builds from the two past years’ progress of the NH Math and Science Partnership project.  Please look at the supporting links.  The advantage of wrestling with the expectations of STEM through the MSP funding was the ability to be innovators from our start.  The idea that digital integration would lead smoothly into STEM Literacy through practice with existing online programs developed into working with digital tools and encouraging teachers into projects.  This approach led to new activities and tests of learning progressions beyond the classroom.  The project continues to benefit from the initial flexibility as a Community of Practice.  We gain from this annual union with existing practitioners venturing into the use of a variety of platforms that progress with international technology integration as learning systems.  We are eager to hear from others who are integrating platforms to engage, scaffold and personalize learning while ensuring safe and measurable progress during this era of change.

  • Icon for: Michael Sao Pedro

    Michael Sao Pedro

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 11:56 p.m.

    Hello everyone! I am one of the co-presenters and wanted to share more information about one of the technologies featured in the video -- Inq-ITS (www.inqits.com).

    Inq-ITS standards-aligned online labs for grades 5-10 revolutionizes how educators teach real science thinking skills, how they track their students’ growth, and how students learn. These labs are special - they accurately score themselves based on how well each student “shows what they know” while they experiment, not using multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions. Automatic scoring has several benefits:

    • Grading is virtually eliminated. Lab reports can take 15 minutes per student to grade and do not necessarily reflect what students know and can do. Inq-ITS virtually eliminates grading, giving teachers more time to do what they do best: teach!
    • Students get help when they need it. Rex the Dinosaur, the virtual coach, provides personalized support based on students’ specific difficulties. Rex is proven to help students master and retain science practices.
    • Teachers get actionable data and alerts. The Inq-Blotter real-time alerting dashboard tells teachers exactly how and when students struggle. Teachers can help more students more effectively than ever before.
    • Schools track growth. Inq-ITS automatic summary reports track entire class and individual student growth. Reports are downloadable making it easy to interoperate with other management systems.

    Teachers across the United States have benefitted from Inq-ITS virtual labs. It has a 5-star rating from Common Sense Education and was named one of their top 5 STEM tools for 2017. It was featured on CNN Headline News in Spring 2018, and will be featured on Front Page with James Earl Jones.

     

     
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    Courtney Tanenbaum
    Betsy Stefany
  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 08:16 a.m.

    Thanks, Mike for describing Inq-ITS,  the classroom platform innovation element of the video! Thrilling to think how working with Inq-ITS changes the impact of a lab experience.

    Filming the class involved was exciting as the teacher and her students took on very different roles than one observes in a lecture or lab set up period.  Both the teacher and students' individual engagement was exciting to watch.  You mention  thinking skills built into  the lab design.  Could you give an example of  how that thinking skill builds to demo learning growth?  How is Rex's role important to the encouragement and  tied to the teacher's goals?   

  • Icon for: Tina Bishop

    Tina Bishop

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 08:40 a.m.

    Hello to everyone,

    We look forward to your thoughts and ideas about the video this week!

     

  • Icon for: Michael Sao Pedro

    Michael Sao Pedro

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 01:40 p.m.

    Responding to Betsy above:

    Could you give an example of  how that thinking skill builds to demo learning growth? 

    All of the labs are designed for students to engage in NGSS practices while studying a particular phenomenon (i.e. what affects melting/boiling point of a substance, what affects kinetic/potential energy of an object being dropped). In particular, students form questions, plan and conduct investigations, analyze data, warrant claims, and communicate their findings through a claim-evidence-reasoning framework. They get to apply these practices across Life, Earth, and Physical Science. By seeing that the same practices can be applied across domains and contexts to study phenomena in a systematic way, they better understand the critical thinking processes behind scientific investigations.

     

    How is Rex's role important to the encouragement and  tied to the teacher's goals? 

    Rex, our virtual coach, helps students get better at the science practices and ensures they are following good investigative procedures at each step in their exploration. For example, if a student is having difficulty formulating a testable question, Rex will help them do so before they continue the rest of their study. This is because the rest of a scientific investigation could (and very likely would) be unproductive for students. 

    For the teacher, Rex provides hints, support, and reminders for students to potentially resolve issues on their own. It is like having another pair of eyes in the classroom able to help the student which is particularly important in larger classes where a teacher may struggle to give 1-to-1 feedback to each student conducting an investigation. Rex is NOT meant as a teacher replacement, but instead as an additional helping hand in the classroom. Teachers have access to their Inq-Blotter alerting dashboard and can make pedagogical decisions on-the-fly about whether to help a particular student themselves, let Rex assist the student, to stop the class and have whole class instruction if many students are struggling, or another approach.

    We have shown in rigorous studies that Rex does support students' competency growth. Our publications can be found here: http://www.inqits.com/science/

     
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    Betsy Stefany
  • Icon for: Barbara Berns

    Barbara Berns

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 02:25 p.m.

    Could you say a little more about the teachers who were involved, whether they stayed with the initiative, and the type of PD and incentives you provided for their participation? 

  • Icon for: Michael Sao Pedro

    Michael Sao Pedro

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 02:51 p.m.

    On the Inq-ITS project, these two teachers are "champion" and "research" teachers. They are champions in that they attend science teacher conferences and present with us to increase awareness about Inq-ITS. They are also research teachers who participate in various studies to determine the efficacy of the educational tools we develop. 

    They receive PD from us on how to best integrate Inq-ITS into their classroom, get 1-on-1 support from us, and have a strong voice on what kinds of new tools/enhancements we develop based on their feedback. Together, we shape the educational technology and push the envelope on how to teach and formatively assess NGSS practices.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 04:55 p.m.

    Barbara,

    Thanks for asking that question.  Following the development of the project technology integration is difficult.  Each participant had varied levels of experience and in 2009 the access was literally a different era.

    The project initially began from several other small program grants. Participants were eager to have free access to physical science content due to poor statewide state results. Tools, however would provide an element of PD specific to the T of STEM.. and hard to provide equal access in NH in 2010.

     Those in this MSP all were  tested with Harvard's MOSART testing (https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/smgphp/mosart/) to determine what areas of physical science were common misconceptions of the group.   Once that group need was established they could develop action projects with their students using digital tools to demonstrate their engagement with technology integration.

     The tools provided output which in turn produced seamless formative assessment of the teachers’ advancing abilities.  Noticing their students improvement and broadening interests, their own ideas expanded.  Those willing to assist others in their district traveled to present and/or further their own knowledge.  Teachers could borrow tools and when they were not in use others could use them.  This internal “push” also kept tools constantly in use and teachers forming solid ownership of their research, sharing their problems and successes during the MSP as “Tool Events.” 

    Since the MSP the project has increased participants due to the interest in contrasting data and building in a learning progression. The expertise of the initial teachers is import and we continue to learn by the distant comparisons from the data collections’ diversity of projects and locations.

  • Icon for: Barbara Berns

    Barbara Berns

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 10:34 p.m.

    Thanks for clarifying.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:46 a.m.

    The question on what keeps members participating has been a founding feature of the project.  The decision to be a Community of Practice broadens the requirement of schools or districts in need of improvement (sini/dini) to form internal learning communities.  We used the model of the long successful program at Gettysburg College, Advancing Science to share tools and allow teachers to decide their pace. 

  • Icon for: Courtney Tanenbaum

    Courtney Tanenbaum

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:56 a.m.

    In your project description, you mention the benefits to rural communities in particular. Could you talk more about this? I think there is a great interest (and need!) to ensure students in rural communities have access to high-quality and engaging STEM learning tools and content.

     
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    Betsy Stefany
  • Icon for: Courtney Tanenbaum

    Courtney Tanenbaum

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:59 a.m.

    Oh, one more question! You are clearly collecting a lot of very helpful in-time data on students' engagement and learning. Do you have any results you can share at this point about students' growth in learning STEM content? Or, any data on teachers' professional growth or practice since being involved in the project?

     
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    Betsy Stefany
  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:35 a.m.

    Courtney,

    These are excellent questions and the root of what we study, where we are challenged...and therefore how we  innovate with this project.

    Rural schools have a variety of access challenges that are not just about bandwidth, number of computers or types of digital tools.  They are literally distanced from the exposures to the STEM subtleties that unite multiple professions and industries that define urban and perhaps even stronger in suburban locations.   The design of collaboration and flexible individual levels of participation has been essential. Our logic model pointed to the lack of research engagement as a vulnerable area for future sustainability of the CoP.   

     Few numbers limit research engagement and without researched processes we cannot adopt new approaches.  Both of these factors lean on each other and also affect evaluation.  We planned to reinvent the system by STEM integration with the awareness that “best practices” in multiple levels did not hold try in rural locations. All involved had to have a goal to research at a level that fit our interests.  These are measurable through the digital tools and data from them.

     
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    Courtney Tanenbaum
  • Icon for: Courtney Tanenbaum

    Courtney Tanenbaum

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 08:04 a.m.

    Thank you for addressing my question about the rural context, and for sharing the unique challenges rural sites encounter with respect to advancing STEM teaching and learning. I hope you are able to share with the field some of your insights on how to effectively support STEM learning in rural areas as part of this project and your dissemination efforts down the road.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:53 p.m.

    Courtney,

      

    The parts of the rural NH areas have had a long history of using distance learning yet others do not and are reluctant to step without community support. Recent state laws have increased the focus on other traditional pathways to enable the content to be accessed through internships, shadowing and extended learning opportunities (ELO’s).  These options are also stressed by concerns on federal and state law changes on funding. Our interest is to ensure we continue on what our experience shows works and to engage participants in positive options that bridge these concerns.

    The STEM challenge is that kids and their administrators like all of us “don’t know what they don’t know” as far as STEM careers and technology as a learning system.  Often too they  are sold items that cannot work with where they  are in the process of improving in other STEM domains .

    What is needed is better scaffolding between what where people are and where they are interested in safely exploring. One approach is the physical as  we can view in the rural Maine video as a “Guide” but also with the technology support as they build their comfort zones with online, human “smart filters” that augment AI.   This first step of thinking about interests that include digital takes the most patience which is especially why the Inq-IT’s use of an online character eases that step so successfully when it comes to dealing with fears of wrong answers.

    Also matching the balancing of teacher trust is the concern of the term “data” with negative impacts on privacy.  The ending of our video shows one collaborative venture to tie the actual exterior experience with the digital to support their experience..but also to evaluate and engage students on the bottom line of school costs through energy.  Our further stage of this venture is to return to the narrative support.

    While you don’t see the ELA element in this video we also studied the Venn Diagram that overlays science, math and ELA during the project and continue to build with the interest in personal interest media reading and communications.  We will share more on  that soon.

     
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    Courtney Tanenbaum
  • Icon for: Tina Bishop

    Tina Bishop

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 01:02 p.m.

    Hello Courtney,

    We had looked at the benefits to teachers of their participation in the MSP and it was clear the the collaborative and collegial environment as well as flexibility to choose and adapt the digital tools helped teachers in their own learning and in their teaching. We have reports from the 2014 year, which highlight these benefits and will see if we can extract some of these findings to present here. 

     
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    Betsy Stefany
    Courtney Tanenbaum
  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 02:57 p.m.

    Courtney, 

     Tina Bishop and the College of Exploration was selected to evaluate the project due to their long history with online development and programs that we integrated into our professional development. 

    As she reports, we closely followed the project physically, modeling visual documentation as I  that is my expertise and was instructing.   We captured narratives, requiring that email and also using multiple Moodle platforms to expand topics and offer access to augment and extend the partner's offerings with technology.  We discovered the Certification that USGreen Building was offering and was able to offer the teachers the chance to try out online certification.   Many did and as Green Classroom teachers they noticed the value of the classroom as their model n light/heat transfer (heating) and accoustics.  These were categories that award LEED in building architechture and correspond to the digital tools that we continue to use and expand.     

    The projects have scores of data all aligned by districts, dates and topic areas.  We are using the phenonmenon of the national media event, last year's solar eclipse to ensure that we structure the data in the most useful ..and with respect to site privacy option.   

    The College of Exploration guided us to apply Developmental Evaluation and we continue to research the data ...and always could use more help in building the system that is most useful as the data to visual option is successful within schools (watched the sun fall on the solar panels and back to the Plainfield School's kiosk yesterday!)  Classes visit and learn at their own grade level while having the same full body/senses experience.   And yes, I took a dated/time stamp picture with school permission.  

    We are very careful, however to build the full system of digital integration for the best and most positive use. 

  • Icon for: Kelly Riedinger

    Kelly Riedinger

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 05:02 p.m.

    I enjoyed learning about this work through your video and particularly liked seeing the youth engaged in their student projects. The description and discussion indicate that you are grounding this work in a communities of practice approach. Can you say more about how you are collecting evidence or evaluating the community? What does a successful community of practice look like in this context?

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 10:37 a.m.

    Kelly,

    The kids are the key evaluation piece, so thank you for noting that part of the video as they are taking on roles of documenting the project.  As Tina describes, she had to rely on a variety of evaluation skills which she makes sound easy, however it was a huge task.    The “STEM Literacy” aspect of the project is also  grateful for the current work of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).  Their Standards for Educators stakes out the concepts the project build into our definition for STEM Literacy and also aids the process of formalizing the evaluation through digital tool integration. Their guide structures the role I have as a “Learning Catalyst” (13) as a Collaborator/Designer (Coordinator) and also giving the students critical elements of the Ground Truthing as we build teamwork as photographer, operator and map/records roles.

    ISTE aligned with the US Dept of Ed’s National Education Technology Plan (see p 23 of their Guide).  The Community of Practice is an extension to use a term familiar in the business world to enable the broader expanse of technology to be a shared interest of educators.   Our CoP stated and practice that structure by

    Asking the teachers to join by creating a personal concept map on their own interests then to evaluate digital tools  that also indicated considered the term “interest” from their district’s point of view. These maps were personal and could be revised as they progressed.   

    This type of flexibility builds a professional aspect while the design is especially critical to technology as it advances in amazing rates and designs.  As a member of a Community of Practice one can be both engaged with a broader learning community yet serve cohorts and districts at their own level of interest and on their own timing.  This structure bridges education to the techniques, certifications and expectations of  businesses without losing the focus on kids as the ultimate documentation of teacher growth.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 09:28 a.m.

    Kelly,

    The next steps for this project is expanding from the classroom to the full system of how we

    observe phenomenon and consider its relevance to different sites. Our first exploration with light and temperature naturally fits with the wind discovery of the students at the end of the video and also in the factors of ground cover. The next stage is watching the power of water in a full system. We expect to unite the physical sciences with the ELA narratives, adding in more communication exchanges.  Over the summer, the project will continue the capture of accessible phenomenon.  Although nothing will compare with the Total Eclipse project of last summer, we will continue to explore tidal power expanding from last year.  This project will also develop actual smaller site based   energy data with the help of emerging platforms, moving from websites to classroom smartboards and computers to the public kiosk.   This full system of digital tool integration to include types of renewable energy is relevant locally as the challenge to change public views on their value requires a trust in data use and application.

    Digital integration is constantly adapting in a STEM Literate society.

  • Icon for: Tina Bishop

    Tina Bishop

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 07:40 a.m.

    Kelly,

    The teachers’ involvement and interest in this project fit well the description of a community of practice. Our observations of their collective activities have demonstrated their shared common interest in using digital tools for teaching and learning. We have oberved and informally tracked their regular interactions with each other and with SABENS over the past few years.As a community of practice they have built relationships and participatd in joint discussions and activities with the anticipated outcome of learning from each other. They have used a related set of scientific measurement instruments to share their own passion with their students and integrate these tools into their curriculum.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 18, 2018 | 07:25 a.m.

    Kelly,

    Privacy issues are increasing involved with data in all levels of use. During the early years NH was in process of constructing their data system to meet federal requirements.  In part, the proposal to develop the MSP as a CoP foresaw the current period of data privacy concerts for all. 

     The one important objective of the project as a Community of Practice is to obtain student evidence without intrusion in the teachers’ schedule and to ensure student privacy.  During the MSP the progression to ESSA occurred.  Our current system is based on site data with a continuing process to use library type public privacy laws rather than personal tags.  The benefit of the effort of creating a learning progression based on digital  tool integration is the ability to ensure student privacy remains within the district’s system and success with the project of use not their project is what we measure.

    The ELA element of the STEM Literacy has lead that design and been innovative however was the base of the initial MSP, using Engineering is Elementary materials and at middle school level JASON Learning.  Both programs have supporting narratives and our long association with JASON (I was an online moderator) gave us a special appreciation of the importance of this element and access to their early design to protect participants while collecting accurate records on the use of their products.  Another partner in our efforts has been Annenberg Learner and early use of the observation and reporting of phenomenon with Journey North.  We continue to revise our processes as we learn and they adapt to district needs and internal technology. 

    The middle part of the video shows the data collection with Picture Post, a national project engaging the public with collecting of site visual data. The picture of the window in Key West is of the EcoDiscovery Center in Key West, collecting at a LEED site for over 15 years.  Over the last two years the process of developing public site interaction has transferred from building supporting contrast into data on site phenomenon.  The site was our northernmost partial collection site for last year’s national event, the Solar Eclipse. Data logging extended with multiple tools across the total path and north and south on the partial range.  

     We gain insights on data into media as STEM reports as well as in forming the progression with the ongoing discussions with and use of these national programs and also through the integration of the NASA/AREN AeroPod seen at the end of video.

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2018 | 11:53 a.m.

    The question always arises about which tools to integrate to serve the purpose of a project. This is somewhat backwards thinking and I caution others involved with integrating sensors to focus on grade level, district technology plans and other community activities to ensure they respond to multiple factors for sustainable futures.

    Spatial tools are critical for the user to find their level and individual tool that draws their digital data into meaning.  The evolution of children’s reading has increasingly leveraged from using the visual to support complex concepts.  The tools and form of the visuals are continually adjusting to take advantage of digital progress.  The process of spatial development, however is developmental and also varies with gender. 

    This video shows one piece of the process with one type of logger however we use a variety of products and continually test out new ones, keeping the basis of our integration of balance between student human development and also technology advancement. We base that on the research from these sources:

    • Learning to Think Spatially, National Research Council
    • Making Space, The Development of Spatial Representation and Reasoning, Newcome and Huttenlocher
    • Writing Science through Critical Thinking, Marilyn F. Moriarty
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    Phoebe Beierle

    May 21, 2018 | 04:32 p.m.

    One tool that was mentioned briefly in the video is Arc. Arc is a building sustainability benchmarking and tracking tool free to k-12 schools. If you and your students are collecting building data on energy, water, waste, air quality or transportation measures, Arc offers a platform to collect the data, benchmark against your own building and compare with others.

    Paired with high-quality lesson content from Learning Lab, there are amazing opportunities to bring alive and make science, math, project planning, and even civics relevant to students of all ages. 

  • Icon for: Betsy Stefany

    Betsy Stefany

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 06:56 p.m.

    Hi, Phoebe,

    Thanks for posting. USGBC was key to our MSP teachers  during the project.  Their engagement with the  early online certification assisted their view of  STEM as a broader than the classroom.      The current interest both with the public on data integration within education and as a visual icon on a dashboard for personal use is current.  Data support is a transition that we again value for leadership from  USGBC,  giving us the content with extended technology that has public ties beyond the classroom. We look forward to exploring the Arc and encourage readers to follow your links to consider how the tools connect their communities.    Congrats to all that you accomplish

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.