Over the last several months, Mr. Lewin and Mrs. Fish have been hard at work collaborating with other master teachers from seven area districts on the NWOi3 grant- funded project. This project is an initiative to incorporate state-of-the-art technology into grades 6-12 classes through teacher developed online courses reflecting “best practices.”
The NWOi3 project is important for many reasons, but most importantly, it aims at providing teachers in the seven school districts with a “best practices” curriculum which incorporates online lessons and technology. The goal of each unit and lesson is to move teachers up through the SAMR technology model to reach the transformational level of teaching and learning using technology. Mr. Lewin added that education is reforming. He stated, “It is important to keep ahead of the game and make sure our teachers and students are prepared to handle 21st Century educational needs.”
Mr. Lewin and Mrs. Fish were both asked by Principal Kozina to participate in this consortium. Mrs. Fish explained that her responsibilities have been to collaborate with two seventh grade teachers from the Maumee and Otsego school districts to develop online curriculum units which align with Ohio Science Standards and are technologically complete, online, and transformative. Mr. Lewin has been working with a teacher from the Perrysburg school district to create an eighth grade American History curriculum that is completely technology based. Mr. Lewin added that at this point, one-third of the curriculum is finished and the rest of the curriculum will be completed over the course of the next two summers.
Mrs. Fish explained that there are many benefits of the NWOi3 project. For example, she now has a plethora of hands-on and tech-based units, lessons, and activities that keep students engaged. “By doing this project, my own teaching has become more transformative” added Mrs. Fish. The collaboration with seven other schools has allowed the teachers to bounce ideas off of each other and offer resources for best teaching practices. Mr. Lewin added that the project has helped him to advance the technology aspects of his curriculum. He added, “What would have taken me years of extra time outside the classroom is now only going to take me a few months to accomplish.” Mrs. Fish explained that writing the units is not an easy task. Teachers are expected to put in at least 150 hours of writing, and she has easily put in over 200 hours of work. Mrs. Fish said, “Making sure that lessons can be read and taught by other teachers is the biggest obstacle, but with collaboration, this can be accomplished!”
This past fall, several of our Ranger teachers were able to attend NWOi3 meetings, introducing them to the variety of resources now available to them. Teachers agreed that one of the most beneficial aspects of the meetings were having time spent specifically on their content standards. Additionally, having pre-made ideas, lessons, activities, and essay topics in one organized space, gives teachers an opportunity to add to their current resources and pick, choose, and modify ideas for their own classrooms!