Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) – A frame of mind

Ah, ITL and the 21CLD Learning Activity Rubrics from the Microsoft Partners in Learning.   I still remember the first year of MAS in our district when I was trained on the application of these rubrics and we argued about the scoring for a variety of lessons.   Apparently nothing has changed; in my Edtech class we also did not agree on the scoring, and yes, the document still shamelessly directs you to use Microsoft products.

BUT —  I still find value in the document today, just like I did several years ago because I believe reviewing the rubrics puts you in a certain frame of mind; a questioning frame of mind in which you are constantly asking yourself questions from the rubrics such as “Do the students make substantive decisions together?” (That one from the collaboration rubric)

By constantly having these ITL questions swimming around in your brain while you develop lessons, you end up creating and implementing better lessons; ones that include more authentic collaboration, more meaningful knowledge construction, and so on.

I have already been using these questions as a way to improve my lesson designs and teaching, and I look forward to applying them with more rigor and intent this year.   Once upcoming example is the creating of the Wiki site my class will be making related to the subject of Pioneers and Native Americans.   I am thinking a lot about how this whole-class collaborative Wiki can incorporate 21CLDs successfully enough that if my unit/project WAS put before a class to grade with the 21 CLD rubrics, it would actually merit an argument about the scoring it should receive, as opposed to just being a clear “1”.

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