While only a few miles from Disneyworld, play and leisure were clearly not on the agenda of Moriah staff. As leaders in the movement to further develop The Moriah School’s personalized learning program, a delegation was sent to the iNACOL Symposium in Orlando, Florida where they joined over 3000 participants from around the country to learn and share with each other. iNACOL is an acronym for International Association for K-12 Online Learning. iNACOL supports innovative educators implementing new learning models. The Moriah School was one of five schools to receive the BOLD Day Schools grant two and a half years ago, to transform the educational model to one that is student-centered, focuses on personalized learning and is based on best practices in forward thinking pedagogy. The BOLD funders facilitated Moriah attendance at this conference.
At the iNACOL Symposium Moriah faculty had the opportunity to connect with experts in the field of personalized learning. Several of the sessions they attended focused on professional development, which is at the core of the Moriah instructional model. Moriah is committed to offering its faculty exceptional, personalized, professional development, where the growth mindset of a learner is modeled. Utilizing data, student voice and choice and a variety of innovative technology tools Moriah empowers its faculty to strengthen their pedagogical skills and to bring the best practices in 21st century education to the Moriah classrooms.
One of the most impactful moments of the conference was the keynote presentation by Craig Kielburger, a world-renowned social activist. At the age of 12, Mr. Kielburger started a movement to empower young children to make a positive global impact through a variety of programs and initiatives. In line with a new chesed program, Moriah is excited to be partnering with one of his foundations called WE Schools, which provides resources for yearlong educational programming that empower students to lead with compassion and conviction and make a positive impact in our communities and beyond. The program also includes social entrepreneurship for students to learn how to start a successful chesed initiative, as well as to be given the resources and connections to make it a reality. The program commences with an incredible event called WE Day, when a stadium is filled with tens of thousands of students across the nation who earned their tickets through acts of chesed. To learn more about WE Schools and We Day, visit their website at http://we.org.
In support of its STEM program, Moriah representatives worked closely with iNacol presenters demonstrating a blended learning model for Lego Mindstorm Robotics. They explored exciting lessons about binary coding and in-depth programming strategies. Working in a rotation setting these will help students delve deeply into robotics and coding as part of the Moriah STEM curriculum.