Belle Terre Elementary School strives daily to ensure its students are receiving an unrivaled education that will not only prepare them for future endeavors, but will also challenge them in a way that is as effective as it is fascinating and enjoyable. Despite tough economic hardships, students at BTES will have access to a brand new 21st century learning environment equipped with tools that most other school districts simply do not offer. These tools will be used to encourage students to grasp next level concepts while helping to inspire them to realize routine is not always the standard. We actually believe that the standard is, in fact, not the standard. Aside from the above adequate resources provided, students will also have the ability to collaborate with other classmates on a school based level, allowing them to confront and solve complex, challenged based projects, as a team, while absorbing crucial, lifelong techniques that will be used in and outside of the classroom… all while enjoying themselves and helping the environment. *whew* Collaborative learning actually played a key role in the decision to implement this lab and is something we are all very excited to experience with the students.
Furthermore, we would like to solidify the idea that a digital hybrid lab is just that, digital. The lab uses only digital renders of student work in place of tangible paper versions and items are dispersed through shared drives as opposed to handouts. If handwriting is a factor required for a certain assignment, a stylus and digital tablet will be provided.
The lab will also be used by faculty and staff for professional development. We, as educators, understand how quickly the fastest growing industry on the planet is evolving. With that being said, we will, along side of our students, be enhancing our own knowledge and expertise to responsibly assist their exploits.
But how are we going to accomplish everything we said we would and why are we even trying? Things seem like they work now, right?
Right, things are working, but isn't that what evolving is all about? After so long, it's time we go different routes to see the bigger picture. So let's sum it up, but first let's think about a couple of things. We've all heard the phrases "think outside the box" and "leap in with both feet" but do we actually stop and think about what exactly those phrases mean? And how do these relate to a school environment? "Think outside the box" is a very exciting concept to us. We take that as free reign (within reason of course) to pretty much do whatever we want. It's an idea that allows you to do things a little unconventionally while arriving at the same destination as the next guy, or girl, lady, gentlemen, whoever. This is exactly how we can make learning unique and fun. It's an idea that we can all embrace, differently of course, while staying motivated, inspired, and focused. It's the difference in a child saying "I have to go to school" versus "I get to go to school." It's a notion we would love to take full credit for and since we don't really know its origins, we'll just say it was us. ;)
"Leap in with both feet" is equally as exciting but in a different way. As we see it, this idea influences our aspirations to do things we may have never done before based on little or no prior experience. Is there always a possibility of failure? Of course there is, but how can we expect to produce internationally competitive students if we're nervous to take the lead and stray from the safe side. Either way, we can't lose.
Things are, without a doubt, very different than most of us remember it being in school. With how rapid everything is evolving, we are certain we can compete with any and every method of teaching anywhere on Earth. It's a pretty bold statement, sure, but then again so is the idea behind the whole "being" of Flagler County Public Schools: To produce internationally competitive students.
In Flagler, BTES is building a digital hybrid lab that will offer stuff most other places do not. Students can work together, which is cool, because they will help each other out and learn as a team. We are excited to be a part of that. Also, teachers will use the lab for professional development to stay smart, so they can help the students be smarter, so they can, in return, get awesome jobs and make lots of money. We're doing things a bit different and jumping in with both feet, but we're not scared because we're almost positive it will work. Things are much different as compared to the past, but we like change. Couple our quest for innovation with our understanding that failure is not an option, and we WILL be internationally competitive. We promise.