When I came across the the call for proposals for the Global Education Conference, I wondered if my news-oriented Tri-BOBs could be congruent with the conference mission. As always, each new proposal allows me to consider a different angle on my projects , and I joyfully wondered how the What’s News, What’s Up and News n’ Schmooze could help students explore the Global Goals along with developing skill, autonomy and community over time, as all my BOBs do. I took the leap and began to write my proposal.
When I was working on the proposal and describing what I would present, I realized that I had a real offering. This was my description:
This session will explore a multi-year longitudinal approach to using student-driven projects to build skills while helping learners develop a sense of interconnection. Participants will explore What’s News, What’s Up and News n’ Schmooze and why these personalizing projects develop skill, autonomy, community and global awareness. This triad of Tri-BOBs, experienced three times over a year and at each of the three grade levels of Middle School, is a high yielding strategy that fosters global citizenship and deepens critical thinking over time. Tri-BOBs are three-part Building Outside the Blocks projects that build on each other and add dimension with each revisit. Students emerge from this triad with a bevy of authentic and transferable skills, knowing more about the issues that matter most to them. These projects help teachers and students connect globally and learn from each other. Outlines for each project will be shared.
I was excited to submit the proposal and see what happened.
I kept referring to the mission of the Global Education Conference to check in with myself and my description, only to discover deep alignment. Submitting the proposal made me feel accomplished, having been able to articulate what I had never realized about these BOB projects- they promote global awareness and build global citizenship. That was an end in and of itself. I was really surprised and excited when my proposal was accepted. I began to gather artifacts to build my presentation, and I had I lot of material to work with. This is due to to the influence of my mentor who always encouraged me to document my work and student products. Having all of this documentation of learning was something that I could not have even fathomed a few years back when I was first assigned to teach all three grade levels of this course.
When I was assigned to teach Individuals and Societies to all of the Middle school classes, the Middle Years Program (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) years 1, 2 and 3, I was on a huge learning curve. Although I was being sent for training, it wouldn’t be until the spring, so I spent the summer looking at the continuum of learning for each of the three years. That first year of teaching all three grades was a wonderful year of discovering new ways to build skill over time and playing around with the BOBs What’s News and What’s Up. Over the following summer, I built News n’ Schmooze to ensure that the learning skills that I was required to teach were built into the longitudinal focus of the projects along with a lot of curricular expectations for the Social Studies, Geography and History courses mandated by the Ontario Curriculum. I blogged about the experience, too, because I was amazed at the engagement and the learning scaffold that was created. While I had also developed a lot of Project Based Learning opportunities through this course, especially for Grade 8 (MYP 3), the beauty of using BOBs is that they take up so little class time but do so much for the learner and the class community.
I have now viewed the video recording through both the Blackboard Collaborate app and shared in the MP4 formats from the conference. I have uploaded it to YouTube and have imbedded the video below. It was a great platform for reflection as there are so many things that I can learn from and improve on as I look forward to presenting on this again soon. It was also an amazing way to present to a "studio" audience, knowing that many more people would have access to the presentation. Although you can't see me or the chat going on in the original recording, you can hear my responses to the very interesting questions and excellent feedback. Being able to share these projects with an international audience and have them so well received made me feel like I am making an important contribution beyond any classroom I teach in. BOBs are powerful tools that helps students engage in their learning while connecting to themselves. These Tri-BOBS add the global connectedness that is part of the IB philosophy and the essential contribution that all teachers must make to helping learners connect to and interact with the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Presenting More Than Current Events- A Globally Connected Triad of Tri-BOBs was an opportunity for which I am truly grateful.