Before COVID-19, at the end of each school day, all of the students at Sageland MicroSociety Elementary School in Ysleta ISD could be found in their campus’ Morton building. On the inside, this building looks like a movie set for a small community—there are restaurants, a courthouse, a post office, and more.
For 45 minutes, each student would run and operate their own business or government agency; paying taxes, rent, and operating costs. On their “days off” students would assume the role of consumer, dining at restaurants, running errands, and making purchases for their business. As the only MicroSociety school in West Texas, Sageland provides their students hands-on learning experiences to reflect the American democratic free enterprise system.
To support this learning environment, the Sageland campus became very tech-savvy. They are a 1:1 campus, meaning each student has their own device, from Kindergarten through sixth grade.
Sageland is part of the Ysleta Independent School District. This district was looking for an easy way for educators to document what was happening on each of their campuses. They found bulb Digital Portfolios, and at the beginning of 2020 began an initiative to have every educator—from Teacher Assistants to Administrators—document their Professional Development within their bulb portfolios.
As with any new initiative, Sageland’s Leadership Team understood they needed to create a simple onboarding plan to ensure its campus-wide success. They began with the basics.
Every week the Leadership Team had the educators complete one task in bulb:
As the weeks went on and the tasks became more involved, Sageland’s Leadership Team organized small-group training sessions for educators to attend for one on one help. They covered topics like: creating and copying templates, in-line commenting, and reorganizing collections and pages.
All of the educators on Sageland’s campus were consistently using bulb prior to school closures due to COVID-19. At the time of the school closure, they did not have online classes for the students. The Leadership Team decided to kick-off three weeks of Professional Development with their teachers to empower them with the skills, tools and knowledge needed to navigate the rest of the school year.
After surveying their educators to gain a better understanding of what was needed during these three weeks, they created a plan of what work to document within their bulb portfolios; embedding Google Forms, FlipGrid content, lesson plans, beginning and end of year activities, and more.
After an hour or two of instruction, the educators would share their plans for their classroom, ideas for remote assignments, and additional helpful resources. All of this was documented and shared through bulb.
At the end of these three weeks, each educator had built out a robust curriculum for their classrooms on bulb; from processes to assignments, and every aspect in between.
For the 2020-21 school year, Sageland is holding parent and guardian training sessions, to focus on teaching parents and guardians how to use their bulb parent account. Their goal is to provide the skills, resources, and empowerment to parents and guardians as they help their child(ren) complete their class assignments remotely.
Having resources in an accessible and organized place for everyone has made the shift to remote and blended learning easier for all. The Leadership Team at Sageland will continue to use bulb for their educators’ Professional Development, and are looking forward to training the students’ parents and guardians on the platform.
To view more examples of the work the educators at Sageland MicroSociety are doing, click the links below: