February 23, 2017

#EdTech Perspectives: Using Spark 101 in Your Classroom

Digital Learning in MY Classroom, A Teacher’s Perspective

By Catherine Sobieszczyk, Advanced Placement Biology and Biomedical Sciences Teacher, Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools

How are you leveraging digital learning to prepare your students for the end of the year cumulative tests, create a collaborative learning environment, and inspire them to be #FutureReady?

For the past two years, I’ve been using Spark101 to engage my students in their STEM curriculum, facilitate collaborative problem-solving discussions, and connect learning to career pathways. As we prepare to enter the final quarter, it is the time of the year we want our students to:

  • Be engaged by case studies where they think critically;
  • Make connections between ideas they’ve heard and seen since September; and
  • Feel inspired to extend their learning and see themselves in a future line of study or career.

How about showing them how what they are learning in class applies to potential career pathways?

Industry professionals and educators have partnered to create Spark 101’s case study video content.  Each three-part case study video; 1- sets up a problem for students to solve; 2- shares a solution from industry; 3- explores the careers and interests of the industry professionals.

Through Spark 101’s 10-minute case study videos, my students have had the opportunity to:

Ready to try Spark101?  Here’s how I started in my classroom:

  1.  Scan the Spark101 videos for what may interest YOU.  Any of the videos can offer something worthwhile!
  2. Watch the video once through and the following will become evident:
    1. My students will be engaged to think critically and the 3- segment formatted videos are built to pause and allow for student discourse.
    2. Students will consider questions that connect to best practices and the curriculum content.
    3.  Industry professionals provide a solution.
  3. Select one or more free and customizable tools to facilitate the lesson.  Some possibilities include:
    1.  Engaging students with a “group resume”
    2. Connecting students to possible solutions using the “Fishbone”
    3. Inspiring students with “Give one, Get one, Move on”.
  4. What more of a jump start?  Use one of the available lessons already designed by educators like you.

Take a look at a video of me using one of the Spark 101 videos here or sign-up for one of the free 45-minute webinars, where I will share more.

There are so many wonderful resources and lesson plans available for to support teachers in leveraging digital learning—Spark 101 is an example of a great one readily available for STEM teachers!

#EdTech Topics
Read other blogs in this series: