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Getting the Most From Your Site VisitPosted on February 8, 2017 at 8:11pm by Brad Stam

Site visits are a wonderful opportunity to meet students, teachers, and administrators and ask questions about what makes the Linked Learning approach different from other educational approaches.  While you may have a lot of experience visiting schools, here are some tips for getting the most from your visit to a Linked Learning pathway. 

The most important thing is to ask questions! Don’t stand back. We find that students love interacting with adults. They want to describe what they’re learning, as well as share their thoughts about the Linked Learning approach. ConnectEd schedules site visits throughout the year. For information on upcoming site visits, please see our calendar.

On your site visit (to pathways), look for:

  • Evidence of the pathway theme. How does a visitor know that they are in a health science or a digital media academy or pathway?
  • Student work in classrooms or the hallways – what does it show? What kinds of work are students doing?
  • What teachers are doing. Are they lecturing at the front of the room? Or are the circulating among students, and assisting students on projects?
  • What students are doing. Are they working individually or in teams? How are the learning environments configured?
  • Equipment and technology related to the career theme. How are students using those tools?

Ask teachers, counselors or administrators:

  • How is teaching and learning different from a traditional high school?
  • What is challenging for teachers?
  • What advice would they give teachers who are just starting out in pathways or academies?
  • What kinds of support do teachers receive to teach differently? To collaborate with colleagues?
  • What opportunities do teachers and students have to engage with professionals in the career sector of the pathway/academy? What is the value add to them?
  • What is the most valuable part of being in a pathway for students? For teachers?

Ask students:

  • What attracted them to the theme of their pathway or academy? What are their career goals? Are they thinking about pursuing a career related to their pathway theme?
  • What do they find most different (from other learning experiences) about learning in an academy or pathway and why?
  • To name a skill or two they are developing in their academy or pathway. How do they see using that skill after graduation in college and career?
  • Whether they would recommend academies and pathways for any type of student? If not, why not?
  • What opportunities have they had for work-based learning such as job shadows, guest speakers, internships? What has the value been for them?
  • If there were one thing that they could change or improve about their academy or pathway, what would it be?
  • What do they love most about their academy/pathway?

Ask employer partners:

  • Why did they decide to partner with an academy/pathway/school?
  • What benefits are they receiving from the partnership?
  • What advice do they have for employers, community members who are thinking about partnering with an academy?

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