Learning Design Specialist – John Hattie said, “When teaching and learning are visible, there is a greater likelihood of students reaching higher levels of achievement.” The RVS Learning Design Team embraces the idea of making learning visible using a design process in which students empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test, and share their learning.

After hosting four successful cohorts this year (Rocky View Productions, #UXRVS, Rocky View Maker and RVS Living Local), we felt it was about time to bring the amazing work that both came out of the cohorts, and what was already happening in the division, to light!

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, the Learning Design Team hosted the Living Local Gala Exhibition. As with many prototypes, we erred on the side of caution, as we were unsure what the uptake would be like for the day… and wow! Rocky View teachers and students really stepped up!

The Gala began with 23 Grade 5 students from Herons Crossing School recording RockyTalks that they each wrote, reflecting on their Changemaker experiences. Afterwards, their teachers, Kendra Jewer and Kate Pike, reflected on their own perspectives as designers of the learning opportunities they provided the students. These engaging RockyTalks were followed by a panel discussion about “The Farm”, an innovative new project we are currently developing in RVS, in which students from Grades 7 through 12 will learn and work on a farm!

While all these filmed discussions were taking place, other student projects were showcased, demonstrated, discussed, and celebrated. The evening was a flurry of excitement, as students, parents, and teachers explored incredible products of student learning. Students were able to discuss the processes of making, creating, and doing in a variety of modes. Guests were able to engage with digital resources, hands on activities, virtual reality, student demonstrations, visuals, and physical projects. The degree to which students had opportunities to make choices about their learning and voice their opinions about the direction and products of that learning were incredible. Their confidence was astounding.

We look forward to making next year’s exhibitions even bigger and better! Mark your calendars for the Winter Gala on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, and Spring Design Gala on Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Keep them in mind as you have kids in your classes do great things throughout the year. We would love to help you show them off!

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