Merkel High School located just under 20 miles west of Abilene, TX is undergoing a Culture Shift... Community members, parents, students, teachers and administrators are consciously taking steps to bring more non-traditional approaches to learning into the classrooms...
In a more "flattened" educational environment, students are encouraged to gain depth of learning outside of the four walls, textbooks, and teachers that have historically been the basis of knowledge acquisition.
In her first efforts at modeling how we learn from experts outside of the classroom, Animation teacher Ashlei Adams (@MHStechteach) sought the connection with someone in the animation industry... An email, a Google search, a Tweet, and a text later (ok...maybe not that exact order, but close enough) and Ms. Adams' students had booked a Skype call with former Pixar assistant editor David Condolora (@davidcondolora).
And learn I did! About animation...yes... but even more! I was validated in my belief that...
"real world" expertise can bring laughter, smiles, enthusiasm, and a level of engagement completely unattainable by traditional instruction.
Some of the students, via their teacher, emailed me quotes they would want shared with the world... Pretty cool!
Alee- "He helped me have a better insight into how creating an animated film really works!"
It seems their expert enjoyed the experience too!
How are you, as educators, flattening your classroom?
It's your turn! Let's CommuniCATE!