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21st Century Skills - Competencies without a Classroom Podcast - Episode 18 Recap

S2 E18: Jake Miller - @jakemillertech
Griffin Jaeger
April 27, 2021

In our 18th #21for21 episode of Competencies without a Classroom, we had the pleasure of chatting with the host of The #EduDuctTape Podcast, Jake Miller. Jake has been teaching in Ohio schools for around 19 years ranging from grades 4-9. He has spent time teaching math and STEM, as a tech coach, and is currently teaching an 8th-grade science class.

Student Ownership of Learning With Jake Miller

When Jake was teaching a new quarterly stem class, he came up with an idea that was revolutionary for both him and his students.

Within the class, he noticed that his students were showcasing a lot of behavior problems. In reflecting and assessing why this may be happening, he realized that some students were fast processors, while others were slow processors. Those who were in the middle weren't showcasing any problems.

The issue? He was trying to teach every kid at the same pace. In reality, every learner works and learns at different speeds, and that’s okay!

So Jake turned his class into a student-paced course, making all of the content available digitally and allowing his students to work through ordered lessons and activities at their own pace.

In doing so, students were able to take ownership of their learning process, assessing their flow and growth in the classroom. They were in control.

Students in Jake’s stem class worked on 21st-century skills like self-awareness and self-actualization. They were also to incorporate high levels of reflection throughout their learning process on their progress, how they were doing and what they needed to do.

Making this change helped Jake realize his passion for technology within the classroom.

Reflection Prompts for Your Students

Use the prompts below to have your students reflect on what they heard in the episode and consider how Jake’s advice can be applied to them.

  1. This year more than ever, students have had to take ownership and show resilience in finding new ways to better their learning process from home. Think about how you have grown this year in the (virtual) classroom. How were you able to assess and modify your flow of learning from home? What challenges have you come across and what did you learn from them?
  2. If Jake had a billboard that everyone was to see, he would put the equation - Event plus response equals outcome (Jack Canfield) alluding to the ways we problem-solve when handling personal problems. Describe a situation in which you were faced with an issue and had to take ownership and focus on what you could control. What did you learn from this experience?
  3. Jake speaks on the use of digital portfolios as a place to showcase work from beginning to end. What elements do you consider when deciding to put something in your personal portfolio? How can your portfolio be used to show growth in your learning?


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Capture the moments where growth happens with portfolios your students actually want to use
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