Homeschooling high school with interest-led learning — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

There is a misconception that interest-led learning is not appropriate for a high school education in your homeschool. The good news is that all the same benefits of interest-led learning still apply in the middle and high school years.

Think of an interest-led homeschool as one that functions more as a college than a high school. Just as a college student declares a major and the bulk of their study is in that topic area with supplemental general education, your interest-led high school can function the same way.

Allowing interests to guide the educational path you take in your high school has tremendous benefits including:

    • Less resistance
    • Less learner anxiety
    • Increased self-confidence in learning
    • More in-depth studies in topics of interest
    • Self-motivated learning that can be applied in later college and career settings
 

Homeschooling High School With Interest-Led Learning — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Think of an interest-led homeschool as one that functions more as a college than a high school. Just as a college student declares a major and the bulk of their study is in that topic area with supplemental general education, your interest-led high school can function the same way.

Also relevant/see:

This approach allows you to help them develop their interests, communicate that you see their interests as valuable, and it gives your child the chance to follow their own paths of interest. It’s an outstanding way to facilitate a self-motivated, self-directed learner and thinker. 

 

Sparking Curiosity for Learning — from rdene915.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

When students are curious about learning, they become more invested in the process. Sparking curiosity will lead students to become problem solvers and critical thinkers and shift from being simply consumers to becoming creators and innovators. To bring these opportunities to our classrooms, we must first engage students in learning. But how?

 

Why Now Is The Time To Overhaul K-12 Education — from forbes.com by Phyllis Lockett and Michael Horn

Excerpts:

If you take a team approach, then one adult works with students on their social-emotional learning and how they connect to their learning. And another leverages data to create small group opportunities based on the learning objective. And another connects learning to real world projects and helps students build social capital in the community, which also creates a more permeable classroom that’s open to the outside world. Or there could be other ways the teams are structured to best support the student.

For all the plans in the past to “reinvent” K-12 education, none have questioned the fundamentals of time-based instruction. It’s no surprise then that the system produces the outcomes it does. Not every child needs exactly 180 days to master the knowledge and skills required for a third grader. Conversely, some kids need more time. It’s an arbitrary system that cuts off learning for children based on a calendar, yet doesn’t provide a different pathway forward for them that’s productive. In our current system, time is fixed and learning is variable, then students are labeled and sorted accordingly.

Michael Horn


From DSC:
This quote…

The answer is for district leaders to create independent teams of educators in which they are shielded from traditional day to day pressures and have the explicit license to do things differently. They can give these new “schools within schools” the resources they need without encumbering them by the old ways of doing things.

…makes me think of a graphic I did a while back about the need for more Trim Tabs within our learning ecosystems:


 

Innova: A Revolution in Education? — from gettingsmart.com by Chris Terrill

Key Points

  • Innova Schools is designed to rapidly cut through the vast inequities that exist and be a lever for change in Latin America.
  • Innova has the potential to revolutionize education around the globe.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The initial school start-up was funded by Carlos Rodriguez Pastor, a Peruvian businessman. He saw an opportunity to provide high-quality schools in areas where the government struggled to supply essential education services (Peru and Colombia consistently rank near the bottom on the global education survey). He enlisted the famed US design firm IDEO to develop a comprehensive program that would eventually be utilized in multiple countries.

From DSC:
Stop the presses. I love that idea of using IDEO to be involved here. It seems like that is a positive step towards implementing Design Thinking within our learning ecosystems.

In the original model, the founders designed a rigorous, engaging, personalized curriculum, with a heavy emphasis on Project-Based Learning. I wanted to know if and how that is actualized, and how that is enacted across multiple countries in schools thousands of miles apart.

Finally, IDEO’s work included a design for the physical structure of schools to be quickly and economically replicated at each location; how was that design working? The vision for Innova may be one of the most ambitious educational undertakings today. What lessons can I, as an individual educational leader, and we, as a global education community, learn from their work?

The Maker Space and the Gaming Lab demonstrate clearly how digital competency is a central element of their curriculum. I saw highly engaging lessons that were perfectly synced with classroom projects, pursuing a bigger goal of equipping Colombian students to fill the digital labor gap. 

 

Digest #166: Perfectionism in Education — from learningscientists.org by Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel

“Perfection is the opposite of done!” I came across this statement recently and it made me think about how perfectionism really affects one’s work and studying. Growing up, I always thought of perfectionism as a good thing, as something to aspire to. However, more recently I am questioning this thought. It adds unnecessary pressure that it difficult to live up to and sustain. I see that many issues that my students are experiencing can be traced back to perfectionism. To incredibly high goals and standards that are impossible to achieve and that makes your work not being “good enough” – when it actually is. The consequences of high perfectionism can be manifold and in today’s digest, I’d like to offer an overview of resources on perfectionism in education.

From DSC:
Somewhere along the lines, I heard that if an interviewer asks you to state a negative characteristic, choose something like perfectionism — to turn something that could be a negative into a positive. And back in my earlier days, I thought that made sense.

But I have to agree with Carolina here. The older I get, the more my empathy levels would rise if someone gave me that answer today. I’m a perfectionist and I can truly say that perfectionism is a joy-robber! It can destroy a good day. It can destroy a good mood. It can destroy joy. I don’t recommend it.

 

Attention higher-ed leaders: Faculty and staff have something to say — from ecampusnews.com by Jen Landon; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource
Higher-ed leaders can apply the same listening skills and level of investment put forth for students toward their workers

Excerpts:

An organization’s greatest asset is its people. In no other industry is that more true than in higher education. The importance of faculty and staff can’t be overstated; they are, in every way, core to carrying out the mission of higher education.

Institutions should put employee satisfaction at the top of their list from day one: investing in the growth and success of faculty and staff with as much determination as they invest in student success. This mindset should extend to job candidates as well.

From DSC:
I appreciate some attention being paid here to the career/skill development of faculty and staff, as well as to the attempts to create caring cultures. Higher ed has a lot to learn from the corporate world in terms of training its managers, supervisors, and leadership. Provosts, for example, move out of the academic ranks and I’d bet that most of them have never had any training in being a leader — especially re: the business side of higher ed. 

Staff members are key to all institutions of higher education, yet many of them are second-class citizens on many (most?) campuses. They have limited say and even more limited budgets. Even though they have transformed institutions — such as the case with providing online/blended/hyflex-learning — they aren’t lifted up.

For myself, if I didn’t feel like I was growing and learning, I felt stagnant. That’s why blogging has been so wonderful and important to me through the years. The budgets for training one’s staff are very important — as staff members need to stay marketable and relevant. As with most others in the workplace, staff and faculty members may need to reinvent themselves from time to time. Hopefully, this type of growth/reinvention is being supported by the institutions of traditional higher education out there.


Speaking of the workplace and higher education, you might be interested in The Job newsletter. This week’s edition was interesting indeed! 


 

Returning Joy to Teaching & Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Trace Pickering

Key Points

  • Too many school-based reform efforts continue to have educators implicitly standing with the standards against the students.
  • Pivot your perspective for a moment to the opposite.
  • What does a school where its educators stand with the students against the standards look like?

From DSC:
My hunch is that we need to cut — or significantly weaken the ties — between the state legislative bodies out there and our public school systems. We shouldn’t let people who know little to nothing about teaching and learning make decisions about how and what to teach students. Let those on the front lines — ie., the teachers and local school system leaders/staff — collaborate with the community on those items.

 

The Most STOP-Enabled Innovators of 2022 — from yassprize.org
MEET THE 32

Excerpt:

This year’s 32 semifinalists come from 23 different states and really prove that innovation is alive and well in education.  Micro schools, pods and hybrid learning environments almost unheard of two years ago are now being utilized by parents and educators across the nation.  Traditional public schools that operate more like a charter and charters that continue to flourish outside of traditional systems, private schools serving specialized populations that are often overlooked and leaders in the ed tech space who provide remarkable tools that can be integrated into any of the other full service models we are celebrating today.  Truly a remarkable group of visionaries that are transformational exemplars for all in this tumultuous 2022!

Also relevant/see:

 

Is Compliance Training Killing Your Learning Culture? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Adam Weisblatt

Excerpt:

There is a disconnect in learning and development departments in most large companies: On one hand there is an obligation to meet regulatory requirements for compliance training. On the other, there is the drive to improve business outcomes by creating a culture of learning.

These two forces can clash when expectations are not well defined.

Somewhat relevant/see:

Branching Scenario Podcast with Mark Parry — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
Mark Parry recently interviewed me for his podcast about branching scenarios, including how feedback is used to help learners in scenarios.

 

Arts Integration and STEAM Resources for K-12 Educators

Unlock the power of creativity -- arts integration and STEAM resources for K-12 educators

Official Trailer (Art Works for Teachers)

Excerpt:

Introducing the Art Works for Teacher Podcast Trailer! Get a quick sneak peek at what you can expect from this new show, launching September 22, 2022. New episodes will be available each Thursday on your favorite podcast platform, on YouTube, and right here on our site.


From DSC:
Along these lines, also see WEST MICHIGAN CENTER FOR ARTS + TECHNOLOGY. Such a learning environment builds skills and creativity while supercharging participation and engagement!

 

 

From DSC:
It will be interesting to watch the pre-K-12 learning ecosystems out there, especially if the exodus from traditional school systems gathers momentum — both student *AND* teacher-wise.


‘Alternative to school:’ Las Vegas has self-directed learning center — from reviewjournal.com by Julie Wootton-Greener

Excerpt:

It’s part of a movement called “microschooling.” The trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly, while Clark County School District campuses operated under a year of distance education until in-person classes resumed in spring 2021.

Southern Nevada is home to more than 20 microschools, which are “multifamily learning arrangements,” said Don Soifer, president of Nevada Action for School Options and a former board member for the Nevada State Public Charter School Authority.

Most are operating with children who are considered homeschooled, he said, while some are small private schools.
.

Showing up in our homeschools — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

What do you want your kids to think about homeschooling? What do you want their homeschooling experience to be? Choose how you want that to look and then work on it, set an intention for the day or for the week and show up that way.

Take a deep breath. When things get difficult, respond with peace, not anger.

Notice little things, be curious about what’s going on in your homeschool, and then find ways to make it look the way you want it to look.

I share more in depth strategies all about making this intentionality happen in today’s episode of the podcast.
.

A Guide to Rethinking Education After Pandemic — from edsurge.com by Michael Staton

Excerpt:

During the pandemic, there were those who rose to the occasion—innovators who forged a new path, students who learned more than they knew they could, teachers who felt unbound by convention, administrators who mobilized bureaucracies known for inertia and parents who saw first-hand that another world is possible. There were many individuals and organizations who knew it was a once in a millennium moment to rethink what has been, to experiment with what could be, to create an upgraded education model and a better school experience.

Michael Horn’s new book, “From Reopen to Reinvent: (Re)Creating School for Every Child,” highlights key organizations and individuals who seized the moment—some because they were prepared; some because they were lucky enough to have a quirky vision which suddenly made sense to try during pandemic lockdown; some because they were forced to adapt and had no other choice. From those, Horn sheds light to help others learn a brighter path forward.
.

Pandemic “Learning Loss” Actually Reveals More About Schooling Than Learning — from fee.org by Kerry McDonald
The alleged “learning loss” now being exposed is more reflective of the nature of forced schooling rather than how children actually learn. 

As we know from research on unschoolers and others who learn in self-directed education settings, non-coercive, interest-driven learning tends to be deep and authentic. When learning is individually-initiated and unforced, it is not a chore. It is absorbed and retained with enthusiasm because it is tied to personal passions and goals.

 

Top Tools for Learning 2022 [Jane Hart]

Top Tools for Learning 2022

 

Top tools for learning 2022 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

In fact, it has become clear that whilst 2021 was the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things, 2022 has been the year of consolidation – with people reverting to their trusty old favourites. In fact, many of the tools that were knocked off their perches in 2021, have now recovered their lost ground this year.


Also somewhat relevant/see:


 

Augmented Books Are On The Way According To Researchers — from vrscout.com by Kyle Melnick

Excerpt:

Imagine this. You’re several chapters into a captivating novel when a character from an earlier book makes a surprise appearance. You swipe your finger across their name on the page at which point their entire backstory is displayed on a nearby smartphone, allowing you to refresh your memory before moving forward.

This may sound like science fiction, but researchers at the University of Surrey in England say that the technology described above is already here in the form of “a-books” (augmented reality books).

The potential use-cases for such a technology are virtually endless. As previously mentioned, a-books could be used to deliver character details and plot points for a variety of fictional works. The same technology could also be applied to textbooks, allowing students to display helpful information on their smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs with the swipe of a finger.

From DSC:

  • How might instructional designers use this capability?
  • How about those in theatre/drama?
  • Educational gaming?
  • Digital storytelling?
  • Interaction design?
  • Interface design?
  • User experience design?

Also see:


 

Aurora Institute: Federal Policy Priorities and Recommendations 2022 — from aurora-institute.org

Introduction:

It is critically important for our country to reimagine education and focus on investing in our future, not our past. The current K-12 education system has not produced equitable outcomes for all students. We must change policies and invest in innovation to transform our education systems. Student-centered policies are needed for true systems change and innovations for equity. We must challenge frames and investments that perpetuate tinkering with the existing system, rather than reimagining it. The time is ripe to redesign education to align with future needs and purposes to achieve human flourishing.

To ensure all learners are prepared for life’s uncertainties, as well as a more knowledge-driven workforce and economy, we must restructure the education system to universally recognize anytime, anywhere learning. Many states and districts have taken steps to move in new and improved directions, but more work must be done to meet students where they are and accelerate them to successful futures and prosperity. We must question the fundamental purposes of our education system, align our goals to that purpose, and expand learning to anytime and anyplace, with greater opportunities for next generation learning.

Aurora Institute’s latest Federal Policy Priorities represent an equity-oriented and future-focused set of recommendations designed to ensure that the nation’s education system moves from its current state to a system capable of preparing all learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.

 


From DSC:
I post this because I like the design thinking exhibited herein. I love the idea of greater collaboration between K-12, higher education, vocational training, and the workforce/workplace. We should consider eliminating — or at least building much better bridges between the — existing silos. These silos seem to be easier to put up than they are to take down.


 

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian