Future Skills Institute
Curriculum expectations can be interpreted in many ways. It’s one thing to learn math. It’s quite another experience to work with a group, applying that math to a real-world problem and building, for example, the prototype for a dream home.
Working within the curriculum requirements across all grades and subjects, the Future Skills Institute empowers educators with project-based strategies that build creativity, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Educators walk away with immediately applicable ways to build classroom of the future, armed with a unit plan that embeds design thinking, entrepreneurship, global mindfulness and innovation into their daily routines.
CIS Ontario and Future Design School (FDS) collaborated to redefine our annual Future Skills Institute to respond to the needs of CIS Ontario educators. The Future Skills Institute 2020 was a fully online two-part professional learning series that helped educators reflect on their online teaching and learning, celebrate success and to push thinking on where teaching and learning should go in the 2020/21 school year, whether fully online, in-person or a blend of both.
As experience designers, educators deepen and amplify learning by taking a human centred approach to designing units and lessons that build future ready skills and competencies in a blended setting through an inquiry-based approach. Leveraging a backwards design process, educators learned a repeatable process to drive innovative practice in unit and lesson design that take advantage of the best use of the different learning modalities.
Attendees spent 3 hours of synchronous and 3 hours of asynchronous actionable professional development. They worked in teams from their own school, or collaborated with teachers across schools, to plan a lesson or unit together leveraging inquiry based learning and connecting learning to real-world challenges. Context specific inquiry-based unit plans that build future ready skills and competencies in a blended environment were designed & implemented.
Part 1 focused on 'Reimagining Remote Inquiry in the Elementary Years' and Part 2 focused on a 'Deep Dive into Remote Inquiry', with sessions for Elementary, Middle and Senior teachers.