ISB is preparing students for a world that will require innovative solutions to problems that we have yet to identify. Students will need to know how to devise creative responses to these challenges. The skills of creativity, problem-finding, problem-solving, design thinking, communication and innovation lie at the heart of ISB’s Common Ground Curriculum and will be key to this future.
As part of ISB’s ongoing mission to explore powerful new approaches to daily learning and deepen student engagement in the classroom and beyond, the Middle School organized a Learning Institute called In The Zone. All MS students and faculty participated in this special learning event (special registration is not required as it’s a regular day of school). The day aimed to serve several purposes:
- introducing a wide range of new ways of learning and new technologies for learning
- beginning a year-long exploration of these learning approaches across the curriculum
- helping students find their personal learning passion and be In The Zone
Renowned education technology, innovation and social media expert, Scott McLeod kicked off the day with a TED Talk on the future of education (Empowering Future: Learning Today) followed by 6 interactive workshops (“Zones”), exploring 6 new skills that are key to success for the world in which our students will live and work. Click here to see the 10 most valued work skills in 2020.
Design is a fundamental element of everything around us. Every computer, chair, car, cup has been designed by someone. Design thinking incorporates the process of understanding problems from multiple perspectives, collaborating with others to find innovative solutions, building prototypes, testing those ideas, and revising the solution based on that feedback. In this Zone, students will be using light as a design element for an invention of their choice. Students discovered our new Innovation and Design Lab & Engineering and Robotics Lab.
Zone Leaders: Joelle Frankard, Christine deLannoy, Dante Gianoli & Ed Grody
Coding is the language of the technology that surrounds us. A key to understanding the modern world lies in understanding the fundamentals of this language. Those who know this language can use computers as a tool for inventing. Once students learn how to “make the computer do something” the opportunities are endless. In this Zone, students created video games and apps, while learning the basics of all programming languages. Why should our students learn to code?
Zone Leaders: Maria Simoes & Patrick Feeney
Communication remains a fundamental skill for all students. Students need to communicate their ideas, thoughts and passions in compelling and engaging ways. In this Zone, an accomplished visiting storyteller, Niall de Burca, and our MS Drama teacher, Carl Robinson, worked with students on new and dynamic ways of expressing themselves.
Zone Leaders: Niall de Burca, Katie Basha & Carl Robinson
The Make Zone will turn our new Design facilities into a Makerspace. Maker Spaces are places that allow students to make a connection between engineering and technology. Students used electronic modules including motors, lights, and sensors to create new inventions. With these building blocks, students invented original solutions for authentic problems.
SAM Labs - an innovative technology company, started by recent ISB graduates will run this Zone.
Zone Leaders: Kat Frey & SAM Team
In our rapidly changing world, students need to find ways to focus on the present, manage many competing demands, and remain mentally and physically healthy. This zone began a year long exploration of introducing students to strategies that allows them to manage stress and anxiety. These techniques include the basics of Mindfulness, meditation, breathing and being healthy. We want our students to have balance, to embrace positivity for fulfilling and successful lives as indicated by the findings of brain research.
Zone Leaders: Sandie Pergallini & Heather Sheridan
Visual media plays an increasingly important role in our digital environments. Today’s world surrounds us with media messages from a wide variety of sources including television, social media and websites. In this environment, accessing, analysing, evaluating, selecting information and creating (media) news/information were key skills for our students. In this Zone, students worked with trainers and experts to organize, shoot, and edit a newscast, building creativity, collaboration and communication skills. Sky TG24 HD (Italian all-news channel) journalists was onhand to discuss the main goals of the project and share their insights.
Zone Leaders: SKY Team
Innovation and Design Lab & Engineering and Robotic Lab
As part of the ongoing renovation of the Middle School building, last summer our Science Floor was entirely transformed. Part of this transformation involved the construction of two new Makerspaces or Fab Labs …. one for Innovation and Design and the other for Engineering and Robotics. These labs are equipped with cutting-edge technologies that include the following:
|CNC Machine||Laser Cutters|
|Arduino Boards||Raspberry Pi||
|Soldering Stations||Creation Stations||Vacuum Former||Vinyl Cutter
where an hour can feel like 5 minutes …
you feel centred, focused … doing something that resonates deeply.