Achievements in Educational landscape: pragmatic, innovative, collaborative.
Arguably, the most frustrating situations for educators and parents alike include: not being able to support children by giving each child the tools he/she needs to navigate through his or her day with confidence and independence.
Our success story: in the fall of 2012, Karen met Lola, a bright, kind-hearted, eager and willing third-grader, the type of student that inspires any teaching heart. As the first week of the school year unfolded, Karen observed Lola, despite her powers of persistence, struggle consistently with recalling/retrieving information that she needed to followed multi-step directions.
Karen a veteran third grade teacher, knows that by third grade, kids start to take pride in “doing things on their own” and too many reminders by a teacher elicit painful embarrassment. Fortunately, she had just participated in “Structuring the Learning Environment” a special ed professional development series offering strategies to help special needs kids get through “tasks”. Building on what was learned, she began to create work systems on strips of paper for Lola that broke done daily routines and academic situations into “one step at a time lists” and added a little animal clip for Lola to move as she progressed through each step. Karen, in collaboration with Lola's Mom, Carrie, formalized these systems for Lola by posting them in her planner and empowering her to check off her tasks as she went - allowing her to feel far more in control and independent.
It was almost magical: Lola went from being frozen to completely independent, with her “work system” at hand. Building on Lola’s achievement, Karen’s principal requested that she share her strategies with other teachers, who in turn successfully applied work systems with their struggling students.
The recent course Karen had taken, coupled with the perfect timing of having Lola as student along with the professional development she shared with other teachers made Karen realize just how many kids would in the future, benefit tremendously by a "work system" like she had informally developed for Lola, and an idea took root: an App version.
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1 Submitted Idea
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Impact on the Educational landscape: inclusive, forward moving, digital.
It’s easy to recall this typical school-day scene: morning bell rings, kids line up, the teacher leads the way into the classroom and students find their places.
For some, however, this is also a time when confusion and isolation begin to set in.
Students’ backpacks unzip, papers, books and pencil cases make their way to desktops, as some find themselves stuck in a maze, frozen, without any idea of which direction to turn. Each year more and more students in Los Angeles classrooms find themselves, as hard as they try, lost in these everyday situations.
These students struggle with executive function.
How do problems with executive function affect learning? Difficult to: make transitions, remember and retrieve information, solve problems, organize thoughts/actions and keep track of more than one thing at a time.
Our solution: LOLA, the Lifelong Organizational Learning App. LOLA presents an App-based solution to the organizational troubles experienced by the increasing numbers of students at large. This is a rare opportunity to assist children while also including parents and educators in the solution process, which, in turn, greatly reduces the time and effort spent supporting, often not yielding the progression towards necessary life skills. Through these proposed efficiencies, LOLA provides a low cost, high reward framework which benefits the entire community involved - but most importantly: the development of lifelong organizational capabilities of a child.
For example: The LOLA work system: breaks down activities into manageable customizable task systems, which makes creating plans and keeping track of more than one thing at once a reality. The LOLA timer: uses personalize reminders in the form of light, images and vibrations. The LOLA messaging buttons: promotes private student-to-teacher communication to help: students ask for help, seek more information when needed, wait to speak and remain on task.
As a result, LOLA, through seamless support and private communication between the teacher and student, eliminates any humiliation associated with being confused along with the shame that comes with being the struggling child. Moreover, other students are spared from the distractions that come when a teacher verbally redirects an off-task student; therefore, the entire classroom community flows smoothly, focuses on the lessons at hand and learning happens.