A person runningBEST/MTSS Summer Institute 2017

Strand P

Using Technology to Support Authentic Student Choice in Learning Experiences

Peter Drescher, Erica Zimmer, Brian Crane, and Jeff Renard


To get the most from the experience, participants will need to bring a laptop or other computing device, capable of connecting wirelessly to the Internet.  There will not be loaner machines, you must bring your own. On Maker day, participants should plan to wear casual clothing that might be subject to paint or glue stains. 


Join state and field-based experts to explore ways that technology can support learning experiences that focus on student choice.  The plan for the week is to allow participants the opportunity to both observe and be a part of a variety of experiences themselves.  Through the week participants will learn about:
Applying the new (2016) International Society for Technology In Education (ISTE) standards to the transferable skills and bringing them into the classroom;
Interacting with Open Education Resources (OER), resources freely available and created by other educators through a state-level platform;
The world of virtual and blended learning and envision ways that students can use virtual learning to be more successful in their overall education program;
The Maker model, where students are creating, modeling, and envisioning tools and systems within the STEM framework to solve real world problems;
Creating a classroom where Proficiency-based structures create an environment where students are encouraged to explore concepts through multiple learning lensesódriven by a teacher that uses Science as his foundation to deliver an engaging and robust curriculum.  Be a student for this portion!
Participants should plan to take from the week-long experience:


Check back after May 15th.


Peter DrescherPeter Drescher has been involved in Education Technology since the early 1990ís. He began his career in education as a Middle School teacher, making his school a model around its use of technology through the Ď90ís.   His role as the Education Technology Coordinator involves working with schools and education leaders around policies and practice related to digital learning, broadband and device acquisition, and as of late, open education resources. Peter is an active member of SETDA, the State Education Technology Directors Association and has been a past SETDA Leader of the Year.

Erica Zimmer

Erica Zimmer is a bilingual educator with 11+ years of teaching experience around the world in K-12, Higher Ed, and Adult Education settings.  She is currently a Tech Integrationist and was formerly a Spanish and ELL teacher. Erica is also Google Certified Trainer and has a BS in Computer Information Systems, an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and is currently pursuing an MA in Teaching with Technology.

Brian Crane

Brian Crane is a middle school science teacher from Rutland, VT. He is in his 13th year of teaching in Vermont schools. He teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at Rutland Town School. Over the last two years he has made a learner-centered model his primary focus. In the final version of his learner-centered classroom he gives no whole-class or direct instruction on science concepts. The learners are in control of their pace, products, and assessments. He accomplishes this through a blend of inquiry, technology, and student collaboration.

Jeff Renard

Jeff Renard is the Founder and Director of the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC), Vermontís K-12 online learning program. VTVLC serves thousands of students by connecting them with courses that are not offered locally, not accessible due to scheduling conflicts, or that are not offered at times that help students achieve success. Jeff has over 28 years of education experience in Career Technical Education, Academics, Online and Blended Learning, and Professional Learning through the Graduate level.