Broadening Student Perspectives and Learning as Global Collaborators at John C. Fremont High School

Broadening Student Perspectives and Learning as Global Collaborators at John C. Fremont High School

By Michelle Touceda, Instructional Technology Facilitator, John C. Fremont High School, Fremont Community of Schools, Local District South

Global collaboration can take shape in many forms. Through the use of this strategy our students have the opportunity to actively build on their prior knowledge and deepen their understanding of a variety of concepts. Providing students with guest speakers, the chance to attend virtual lectures, and sharing their thoughts with other students both inside their classroom as well as outside of their school site allows students to grow and develop skills that may not be available to them without the use of technology – specifically the use of video conferencing.

Fremont High SchoolAt John C. Fremont High School, in Local District South, educators have found a way to reach beyond their school site walls to make sure their students are still experiencing the benefits of field trips, college visits, and guest speakers despite the restrictions that were implemented during the pandemic. According to Instructional Coach Troy Poe, “Technology integration has been our saving grace during the pandemic because without it, we would not have been able to hold career awareness and career exploration activities, which are vital to ensuring students graduate both college and career ready.”

Mr. Poe further stated that “Work-based learning is a strategy that allows students to learn through collaboration with experts in their respective fields.” He went on to share that recently students from the School of Global Media Arts (SGMA) Small Learning Community, had the opportunity to partake in a work-based learning event with ArtCenter College of Design virtually. During the Zoom conference, the classrooms inverted the new cameras from the technology package recently sent by the District to allow the guest speaker, Director of Recruitment Maria Huerta-Cervantes, to see the students in their classroomPresentation Overview Slide setting while the teacher projected Ms. Huerta-Cervantes to the front of the room. This set-up allowed the presenter to see the whole room and interact with them in a manner more closely resembling a traditional college visit. They talked about creative careers and gave an overview of the school as well as majors and the admissions process. This opportunity allowed students to “broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning”, a key component of ISTE Standard for Students Global Collaborator 1.7. The focus of the presentation was to allow students to know more about what an education at the ArtCenter would entail but also to learn about the portfolio process and allow students to ask questions that could be answered immediately by the ArtsCenter Director.

Additional examples of global collaborations happening at Fremont are virtual visits from professsionals in the field. For example, a virtual visit for Math and Science Academy (MSA) students where they met with Dr. David Marrett, Liaison for the Riverside Chapter of The Climate Reality Project, an Dr. David Marrettorganization founded by former Vice-President Al Gore. All presenters use his famous climate slide deck to teach others about climate change and the ways in which we can change as a society to better manage our planet.  Students had the opportunity to ask Dr. Marrett questions and share their own ideas on how to address the issue of climate change. In another example, students in the Law and Social Justice (LSJ) Small Learning Community were visited virtually by immigration attorney, Arturo Benavidez. The students were asked to prepare questions for Mr. Benavidez, which he used to prepare his presentation on steps to becoming an attorney, current immigration law, and how immigration law is affected by the federal government and changes with each presidential administration. Students were able to ask closing questions regarding his educational and career journey as well as how they might be able to enter the legal field. In addition to these speakers, students at Fremont have also had virtual speakers from Disney, Nickelodeon, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the local neighborhood prosecutor program, health and nutrition experts, and have held virtual mock interviews as part of their college and career readiness program.

ISTE Standard 1.7aRecently the students of two Local District South schools came together to share their combined expertise on the topics of global collaboration and digital citizenship as an example of local collaboration. Virtual Session with FHS Students Instructional Technology Facilitators, Desiree Palacios from Wilmington STEAM Magnet Middle School and Michelle Touceda from John C. Fremont High School worked together to allow their students to showcase their digital citizenship knowledge and to engage as Global Collaborators in alignment to ISTE Standard for Students Global Collaborator 1.7.b - Student use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints. The schools hosted a virtual summit providing students the opportunity to engage as global collaborators utilizing digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams. Students ranged from 6th through 12th grade. This age range provided for energetic and lively conversations where both groups of students came away with a richer understanding of the topic based on their interaction. The array of academic experiences students had encountered during the pandemic varied greatly and they all had definite opinions on the topics of virtual learning, digital citizenship, and how to engage as global digital citizens with the skills gained during the pandemic.

Through the use of video conferencing, students were able to continue experiencing rich learning experiences in addition to the traditional classroom lecture. As Global Collaborators students learned from experts, community members, and even their peers. All stakeholders addressed in the ISTE Student Standard. 1.7 Fremont High School looks forward to continuing supporting all students in becoming global digital citizens and serve as a model of effective implementation of the ISTE standards.