21ST CENTURY TEACHING & LEARNING MODEL
The 21st Century teaching and learning model at Odyssey Heights facilitates students:
learning organizational, time management, & study skills
developing oral communication skills and using these skills in their learning
higher order thinking
learning educational technology that’s used in University
respect for others opinions - including how to be respectful while disagreeing
having increased interaction with their peers and teachers
APPLE TECHNOLOGY FOR LEARNING
1:1 iPad Pros with Apple Pencils & Keyboards
Facilitates organization, 21stC learning skills, multiple learning styles, communication with peers, and eliminates backpacks filled with heavy textbooks.
THE FLIPPED CLASSROOM
The Flipped Classroom
Facilitates more personal interaction between teachers and students, and classmates. At Odyssey Heights students watch their video lectures in teacher supervised open work periods instead of at home. Teachers are available to academic coach students in setting and keeping to their own study schedule. Classroom activities occur in regularly scheduled, subject specific work periods and seminars.
HARKNESS DISCUSSION METHOD
Facilitates more peer interaction, ownership of their own learning, and learning oral conversation skills - so critical in an age where teens communicate more though text and social media than face to face.
Odyssey Heights School for Girls uses the Harkness Discussion method, first developed at Exter Academy in the US. Especially when combined with a flipped classroom model, Harkness provides greater interaction between classmates, and between teachers and students. It's about collaboration and respect, where every voice carries equal weight, even when students don't agree. In an age where students increasingly communicate though technology, learning conversation skills and using those skills as a learning tool is of paramount importance.
While Harkness may seem unconventional and “alternative” (especially without a teacher standing at the front and lecturing), two other, more traditional girls schools in Toronto (Havergal and St. Clements) also the Harkness Discussion method.
Click below to watch two videos on the Harkness Discussion method: One from Exter Academy, and a TED Talk by a teacher who implemented Harkness in her high school classes.
Grades 6 & 7 Students at Another School Filmed a Demonstration of Their Harkness Discussions:
Note that watching all these videos will take 20 minutes. However, even watching a few minutes of the longer one provides a good picture of how Harkness Discussions can work with middle school students. Note that the teacher is behind the group of students and is actively listening and recording observations but not interrupting students.
21ST CENTURY TEAM TEACHING
Imagine that there are two teachers in a flipped classroom with a blended learning model.
One is responsible for creating all the courses materials, unit plans, creating assessments, and marking. They do the "What are student learning?" of learning.
This frees up the other teacher to focus on working with students in small groups or individually with academic coaching - the "How do students learn the what?" part of teaching.
At Odyssey Heights:
The "What" teacher is the online teacher for:
math and language in Middle School, and
For all Ontario Secondary School credit courses.
The “How” teacher (coach) is
in the classroom with the students focused on the how of learning
coaching and guiding them though learning in the ways that work best for them, and at the pace that works best for them.
21st Century Team Teaching & Academic Coaching
What is Academic coaching?
Academic Coaching Is:
~a working partnership that goes beyond the mechanistic transmitting of information — the focus of subject specific tutoring, and traditional classroom settings — to focus on the process of learning.
Students learn about their learning styles, work habits, their current barriers to success, and effective tools and strategies that work best for them.
How Do Online Courses Work at Odyssey Heights?
Having each course’s materials available online at all times for students lets students review anything they need to, and work ahead on course topics. It also facilitates students organizing everything in one place on their iPads (with classroom teachers’ academic coaching them). This eliminates the piles of crumpled notes and assignments in the bottom of students backpacks!
Watch the video below to see how a Blyth Academy Online course works. Odyssey Heights is in conversation with Blyth to partner with Blyth Academy Online starting in 2020-2021 for both Ontario Secondary School credit courses, and for their future middle school math and language courses.
The Head of School of BAO - Nathan Bishop has one of the best online course demonstrations on YouTube!
Canvas Learning Management System for Online Classes
A Learning Management System that Goes Far Beyond Just Google Classroom
An “LMS” is a digital Learning Management System.
The most basic publicly known one is Google Classroom - which lacks so many feature of an LMS that many argue that it’s a webpage/cloud storage and not an LMS.
Starting in 2019-2020 Odyssey Heights students will be using this world class/Ivy League LMS - without impacting their tuition fees.
Canvas Is A Learning Management System That:
guides students though an organized learning roadmap,
facilitates teachers creating carefully curated content,
provides rich assessment data for both students and teachers,
doesn’t make money off of tracking, storing, and selling students’ online history,
Integrates apps (YouTube, Quizlet, Khan Academy) so students don’t get distracted using multiple apps and windows.
allows team teaching
all at a price that doesn’t add to tuition fees.
Watch the Videos Below to Understand How Canvas LMS Will Work at Odyssey Heights Starting September 2019.
In 2019-2020, Odyssey Heights students will create our own YouTube videos about teaching and learning using Canvas LMS. For now, the videos below are a great way to understand why Odyssey Heights has chosen Canvas as our LMS and the flipped classroom as a core teaching and learning method.
Canvas is used by hundreds of universities and colleges including:
University of Toronto: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/technology/canvas
Ivy League: Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, Dartmouth, Pen, Brown, Yale,
Simon Fraser University, and
Sussex U in the UK,
as well as thousands of schools, individual classrooms, and school boards in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Three Canvas Apps for iOS and Android:
Teacher: Teachers can communicate with students and provide rich feedback on completed work
Student: a single place for all the coursework
Parent: parents can keep track of their daughter’s progress and set alerts for grades and assignments.