Micro-Teams Enhancing Student Agency and Learning with Meg Ormiston
June 30, 2020
enhancing-student-agency-Meg O

When schools moved from in-person to virtual at the drop of a hat in the spring of 2020, many schools and educators panicked. Too many lacked the tech savvy or, frankly, the creativity to find ways to keep rambunctious students engaged through Zoom.

The problem? Teachers were trying to teach as they always did–and even those practices made it challenging to keep kids engaged.

Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that students want to have a say in what they’re learning and how. Classrooms across the globe are teacher-led, rather than being student-centered. And because of this, students shut down amid COVID-19 and distance learning.

Today on the Education Evolution podcast, I’m talking with Meg Ormiston about what a more student-driven classroom looks like and how any type of school or classroom can use micro-teams to keep engagement up and students learning. Even when nothing else in their lives looks the same right now.

About Meg

Meg Ormiston, in her role as consultant, partners with school systems that have committed to 21st century learning experiences for everyone. Meg creates a unique partnership in each district, reflecting the mission, vision, and direction that local leaders identify. Her district-wide projects include guiding teams through the visioning process, designing and delivering professional development, facilitating classroom modeling, developing student leaders in technology, and educating parents.

Meg is the lead author in the NOW Classrooms series of five books all published in 2018. The books, written by 27 practicing educators, are organized into grade bands of k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and leadership guide. The NOW Classrooms: Lessons for Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Technology books are practical and sequence technology skills k-12. The 3-5 NOW book was awarded a Teachers Choice Award by Learning Magazine. Also, Meg was named as one of “2018’s Most Influential People in EdTech” by Tech and Learning Magazine.

After twelve years teaching and coaching in the classroom, Meg volunteers on her local school board, facilitates grant projects, and continues researching and writing about best practices.
To learn more about Meg’s work, follow @megormi on Twitter.

Jump Through the Conversation

[1:45] What is a NOW classroom?
[2:30] Elements of the NOW classroom
[3:52] How micro-teams work
[5:45] The power of having students lead micro-teams
[10:03] How students become leaders with micro-teams
[12:45] How a fifth grade classroom became a service organization and supported a school of 900
[15:54] It IS possible to shift a school for the benefit of students
[20:23] Meg’s magic wand: I wish everyone had kept up and knew all the great educational technology tools before [COVID] happened. You chose to not come to the different sessions and…a lot of teachers were not prepared. So students were not engaged.
[23:22] “The Arrow” continuum from teacher-driven to student-directed learning
[24:48] Top 10 Toolkit of educational technology for teachers

Links and Resources:

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show.

Latest Episodes

Creating Equity to Improve Education with Carlon Howard

Imagine being at a school where 80% of the students look like you…but you’re the only one like you who is in the honors and advanced classes. That’s where this week’s guest, Carlon Howard, found himself as he readied to graduate from high school. And that experience...

What Your Teachers Need and Can’t Tell You with Melina Palmer

You have to make so many decisions every day as an educator or educational leader. It’s overwhelming and enough to drive you to burnout. Add to that the change that happens seemingly every minute in the classroom or the office. We can’t train on how to manage our...

Latest Blog Posts

Why Isn’t Educational Change Happening?

School change is so much harder than I thought! When I did my doctoral research on school innovation and created a hands-on learning school-within-a-school in the 90s, I had no idea that I’d spend the next few decades making tiny changes. Changes that often...

Instilling a Practice of Gratitude in Uncertain Times

Thanksgiving looks different this year. Traditions are being shattered in 2020 and new realities are emerging. Thanksgiving is no exception. After Canada’s Thanksgiving in October, COVID statistics jumped, reminding us that, sadly, the pandemic isn’t taking a break...

Building Interdisciplinary Learning into Traditional Classrooms

A traditional classroom setting is just that...traditional. Teachers must teach specific subjects for a required amount of time, often using prescribed curriculum materials that may be a decade old. There’s little consideration for the individual learner--their...


Coming Soon!


Listen to Education Evolution on Apple Podcasts
Listen to Education Evolution on Spotify
Listen to Education Evolution on Stitcher
Listen on Google Play Music

Related Posts

Sign Up for Podcast & Blog Announcements
and Get our Free Guide:
Five Interdependent Hacks to Lead the Creation of a Learner-Centered Culture!

By providing your email address you are agreeing to receive email communications from Education Evolution.
You can unsubscribe at any time.