Lakota Sees Benefits of Real World Learning

One Year Later Lakota Sees Benefits of Real World Learning
Posted on 07/22/2019
This is the image for the news article titled One Year Later Lakota Sees Benefits of Real World Learningdigital promise logoDistrict plans to continue expanding Real World Learning opportunities for students.

One year after being selected as one of five districts nationwide to lead the Real World Learning Challenge Collaborative, Lakota Local Schools is poised to not only be an example for other districts, but continue to expand learning opportunities for its students. The Challenge Collaborative, through Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools, is funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).

Member districts were tasked with determining how schools can bring authentic, life-relevant opportunities to secondary education. For the past year, Lakota has worked to develop a platform that will give teachers, administrators and strategic partnership coordinators an avenue to make Real World Learning connections more easily. “Our district leadership had already begun working on a plan to re-imagine the high school experience for our students,” said Lakota Superintendent Matthew J. Miller. “Having been selected as a Core District in the Challenge Collaborative reiterates the importance of this work.” Miller was also chosen to be one of two team leaders for the Challenge Collaborative.

The work done by the Challenge Collaborative has been compiled into a Real World Learning roadmap that will be launched in the fall in beta form. “It’s a tool that helps teachers who would love to bring real world learning into their classrooms but aren’t sure where to start,” explained Keith Koehne, executive director of curriculum and instruction at Lakota. The website will have guides, lesson plans and resources to help teachers expand learning opportunities for their students - and it will show how the work ties back into state standards. 

Throughout the year, Lakota’s team has participated in monthly virtual meetings with the other core districts. Representatives from the League of Innovative Schools have held focus groups with the district’s teachers and students to gather feedback about how Real World Learning is impacting education. “The work we’ve done in Lakota has shown that students are more engaged when real world learning is introduced,” said Koehne. “Our goal is to take what we’ve learned this year and build it out for our kids.” This will include introducing real world skills at the junior schools and continuing to incorporate learning opportunities such as guest speakers, project mentors and more internships at the high schools.