North Dakota educators meet for Innovation Academy

Published: Feb. 11, 2019 at 8:26 PM CST
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Teachers and administrators from 14 school districts met in Bismarck Monday to discuss the future of education.

Scott McLeod, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, was invited by past Fargo Superintendent David Flowers to lead this seven-day event.

McLeod is known for his education blog "Dangerously Irrelevant" and has more than 30,000 followers.

"The seven day arc is meant to help people build a sense of urgency around changing school, giving them concrete tools techniques and strategies on how to do that," said McLeod.

He says schools are changing rapidly, and schools are changing slowly which creates relevance gaps in the needs to society, and graduates.

"We need to move beyond recall and regurgitation, all of those traditional worksheets and end of chapter review questions and all of those sort of lower level learning mechanisms that we've done forever, we now have to supplement those with opportunities for students to gain critical thinking and solving skills, technology fluencies, global awareness, critical communication and collaboration skills and other new proficiencies we never had to deal with before," said McLeod.

A teacher from Williston High School said what she's learned from the innovation academy.

"Students should be looked at as participants in their own education, so students should be able to make those moves towards what they want to learn and not be so dictated by the state," said Tania Cummings, teacher at Williston High School.

Cummings says it's important for parents and business leaders to visit schools.

"They need to see what our students are working on and why it will make a big difference on the city and state as a whole," said Cummings.

Cummings says teachers should communicate with other teachers on social media to see what is working in other classrooms and create better learning environments.

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