The Know New Ideas Community is proud to highlight new member Steven Pritchard, the Enrichment Teacher at South Buffalo Charter School in New York. The work that Steven is doing with his enrichment classes is truly inspiring – taking a student centered, project-based approach to learning that develops his students so that they are ready to learn and lead in a 21st century digital world.
The mission of SBCS’s Enrichment class is to provide students with real and authentic learning experiences that will build 21st century skills for students to take with them throughout their time school and well beyond. Students are actively engaged in the learning process to develop their creative problem-solving, metacognition (thinking about their thinking), research, study, and affective skills.
Using digital tools and resources (South Buffalo Charter School is a netTrekker subscriber) students research, design, and produce a variety of projects that challenge them to be self-motivated, creative, and willing to enhance the learning environment for all students. Students also build leadership skills by reaching out to the local community for service projects, developing fundraising activities, and tutoring other students.
According to Steven, using resources like netTrekker helps him to “facilitate cross-curricular creativity by challenging my students to produce projects and assignments in new and innovative ways.” Steven creates collections of resources and webquests for younger students to explore topics and ideas through the My Portfolio feature in netTrekker – making those resources available to students 24/7 and cutting down on their time to an end product by curating the information they will use for their projects first.
With older students, Steven is able to give them minimal direction and resources as they develop their ideas and projects because the netTrekker interface and results are easy to use and give students access to the kind of information they need to produce projects that show their mastery of topics, creativity and critical thinking skills.
Some of these projects include creating videos and tutorials for use in the daily digital news program Steven created called the “Jaguar Morning News”. He created the news program as a platform to promote visual learning and support themed segments that run each week. After viewing some of these episodes, like This Week in History – Emancipation Proclamation Rap and the weekly health segments from the Health Factor, there is little doubt that Steven’s students are engaged and using digital tools like netTrekker to drive exciting learning opportunities for themselves and all the other students at the school.
Check out the projects students created for Jaguar Morning News at South Buffalo Charter School (You may need a free Quicktime plugin to play the videos).