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. 

 

HundrED Global Collection 2023 — from hundred.org
Meet the 100 most impactful innovations that are changing the face of education in a post-COVID world.

The HundrED Global Collection 2023

Excerpt:

The year 2022 has been a year to look to the future, as the global education conversation moves again toward themes of education transformation and the futures of education. The 100 innovations selected for this year’s global collection are impacting the lives of over 95 million students worldwide. The collection highlights the important role of teachers in education innovation; the continued need for students to develop 21st century skills, including social and emotional learning; an increasing focus on student wellbeing and mental health; and equity in education.

For more information, download the full Global Collection 2023 report.
You can also browse the innovation pages of the selected innovators here.
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From DSC:
Here’s an excerpt of the email I received today from EducationHQ out of Australia — though I think it applies here in the United States as well:

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Amplify and value teachers’ voice in education policymaking: researchers — from educationhq.com
Amplify and value teachers’ voice in education policymaking: researchers

Excerpt:

Monash University’s Teachers’ Perceptions of their Work Survey has revealed teachers’ waning satisfaction in their role and highlighted their…

Also from educationhq.com

Teachers changed my life: Trauma-informed education shows kids they matter — from educationhq.com by Beck Thompson
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Nonprofit Bringing Businesses to Life in the Classroom — to the Tune of $400,000 — from the74million.org by Tim Newcomb
Making candles out of crayons, building birdhouses, fashioning furniture: Real World Scholars has helped 50,000 students become entrepreneurs

Not much entices a second grader to skip out on recess to get back to schoolwork. But excitement around a classroom-run business can do just that, especially when it means creating candles out of crayons and selling them in the local community.

Students design their ideal urban home in My ArchiSchool exhibition — from dezeen.com

Students were able to bring family members to the exhibition. Architectural model by Ethan Chan

Excerpt:

Promotion: fifty-two students presented digital designs and architectural models of their ideal home as part of Hong Kong-based education institute My ArchiSchool’s latest exhibition. As part of the exhibition, My ArchiSchool students were asked to design their ideal home within an urban environment. The exhibition, which took place on 2 October 2022 at the Sky100 on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, showcased photomontages of digital designs presented alongside physical models.

5 Resources that help students become digital citizens — from rdene915.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

We need to create opportunities for students to become more digitally aware and literate, and to be responsible when using technology. There are many ways to do this, depending on our content area and grade level. We can model best practices for our students, bring in a specific digital citizenship curriculum to guide them through their learning, or use digital tools and resources available to have students explore and create.

Helping students learn to safely navigate what has become a highly digital world is something that we are all responsible for. Students need to be aware of the impact of their posts online, how to create and manage social accounts and protect their information, and how to properly access and use resources they obtain through technology.

3 Reasons School and District Leaders Should Get on Social Media — from edweek.org by Marina Whiteleather

Excerpt:

School and district leaders can—and should—be using social media in their work.

That’s the message shared by Stephanie McConnell, a superintendent in the Hawkins Independent School District in Texas, and Salome Thomas-El, a K-8 principal in Delaware, during an Education Week K-12 Essentials forum on Oct. 13.

At the event, McConnell and Thomas-El provided insights and advice for school leaders who are hesitant to post on certain social platforms or unsure how to use them.

 

Taking construction education into a new age — from highereddive.com by Jonathan Arnholz

Excerpt:

In 2021, the sixth edition of our top textbook, Core: Introduction to Basic Construction Skills was released in collaboration with our publishing partner Pearson. In addition to the standard updates to the content, this new edition introduced QR codes to our textbooks, directing students to digital resources to reinforce the material found in the book. In conjunction with the release of the printed book came a new Core eText and a fully re-imagined NCCERconnect online course with integrated augmented reality lessons, dozens of videos on performance tasks, construction math and employability skills, dynamic presentations to support classroom engagement, project-based learning assignments and more.


Addendum on 7/21/22:

Skilled Trades Labor Scarcity: Workforce Aging as Fewer Recruits Enter Trades — from finance.yahoo.com

Excerpt:

TACOMA, Wash., July 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The skilled trades industry is proving to be one of the hardest hit by worker scarcity. According to a new analysis by PeopleReady Skilled Trades, a specialized division of staffing giant PeopleReady, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a skilled labor shortage that companies are still struggling with today. In the period from March 2020 to December 2021, four million jobs were open in key skilled trades industries like construction—more than double the amount of vacancies pre-pandemic.

 

Best Sites and Apps for Digital Storytelling — from techlearning.com by Diana Restifo
Digital storytelling can help boost communication and presentation skills

Excerpt:

…storytelling is a great way for kids to learn to love reading and writing. But almost any school subject can be considered through a dramatic frame, from history to geography to science. Even math can be taught through narrative (word problems, anyone?). Most importantly, storytelling gives kids the opportunity to be inventive with language, graphics, and design, and to share their creations with others.

The following sites and apps for storytelling range from basic to advanced. Many are designed for educators or include guides for use in education. And while most are paid products, the prices are generally reasonable and nearly every platform offers a free trial or free basic account.

6 best classroom noise meters for teachers — from educatorstechnology.com by Med Kharbach

Excerpt:

One of the effective ways to monitor and reduce noise levels in classrooms is by making noise visible. Enabling students to visualize their noise raises awareness to their sound levels and makes them noise conscious. There are several noise meter tools and apps to use in your classroom to bring down students noise and therefore help in creating optimal learning experiences. Below is a collection of some of the best noise meters for classroom use.  They are simple, easy to use, and cost-effective.

Digital age classroom projects — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Classroom learning today has left the era of flipping through textbooks trying to be on the same page with the teacher, though not for every class lesson. Educators today are seizing the opportunities of digital devices and media to expand learning opportunities beyond pencil and paper homework. Also, assessment is not just a multiple-choice test.

Consider trying one of these projects:

The Education of Incarcerated Youth with Disabilities Ep.14 — from edcircuit.com

Excerpt:

The School Justice Project (SJP) champions an extremely vulnerable population: incarcerated youth with disabilities. The SJP’s mission is to ensure every learner, in or out of prison facilities, receives the education they were promised and deserve. Their current class action lawsuit against the DC prison system underscores the impact of their efforts. Featured guest, Claire Blumenson, pulls no punches as she forces us to look, and not to look away, in this pivotal moment.

We are educators, parents, siblings, and friends who aren’t satisfied with the quality of the content our students are exposed to. We know they deserve better, and are committed to bringing authentic, engaging, diverse and accessible content to all learners.

Business Leaders Say Computer Science Needs to Be A Core Subject — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Excerpt:

[On July 12], a collection of more than 500 prominent business, education and nonprofit leaders called on states to update their K-12 curriculum to make computer science a core subject.

In a letter sent to governors from all fifty states, they write, “computer science provides an essential foundation—not only for careers in technology, but for every career in today’s world,” and call upon state leaders to update curriculum to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn computer science in school.

What is Microsoft Sway and How Can it Be Used to Teach? Tips & Tricks — from techlearning.com by Luke Edwards
Microsoft Sway is a presentation tool that works really well for teaching

Excerpt:

Microsoft Sway is the company’s alternative to PowerPoint as a presentation tool that embraces collaborative working. As such, this is a powerful system for teachers and students to use in the classroom and beyond.

The idea behind Sway is to offer a super simple setup that allows anybody to create presentation slideshows. This makes it good for both younger students and teachers for in-class or online-based presenting.


For a somewhat related item, see:

Exploring some different instructional strategies and discovering how to incorporate them into the classroom process can rekindle a love affair with teaching. Finding the right instructional strategy to fit your classroom can make a world of difference to your students by allowing them to make meaningful connections with what they are learning. Take a look at a few different strategies, and see which one might suit your students this academic year.


 
 

Why gamified learning works so well for gifted children — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

The gamification of learning can be critical for gifted children in particular, who often struggle to stay focused, engaged, and challenged in a traditional educational environment. Gamification can be so effective in gifted education because the learner forgets they are “working” and instead feels they are “playing.” It allows the gifted brain to relax into the “flow” of learning, and more effectively use their intellect for problem solving and creativity.

Also see:

Synthesis dot com


Addendum on 4/27/22:

Homeschooling our gifted children: The power of artful questions — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Examples of artful questions for learning:

  • Why do you think that might have happened?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • What did you notice about that?
  • What would you suggest we do instead?
  • That’s a good point. How can you reconcile these two things?
  • Do you have an idea for how we could make this better?

From DSC:
Perhaps we should post those types of questions up on the walls of many board rooms and conference rooms around the nation…or have it be a slide in a presentation…or…

 

We need to use more tools — that go beyond screen sharing — where we can collaborate regardless of where we’re at. [Christian]

From DSC:
Seeing the functionality in Freehand — it makes me once again think that we need to use more tools where faculty/staff/students can collaborate with each other REGARDLESS of where they’re coming in to partake in a learning experience (i.e., remotely or physically/locally). This is also true for trainers and employees, teachers and students, as well as in virtual tutoring types of situations. We need tools that offer functionalities that go beyond screen sharing in order to collaborate, design, present, discuss, and create things.  (more…)

 

Reflections on “Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?” [Bohnke]

From DSC:
Christin Bohnke raises a great and timely question out at edsurge.com in her article entitled:
Do We Really Want Academic Permanent Records to Live Forever on Blockchain?

Christin does a wonderful job of addressing the possibilities — but also the challenges — of using blockchain for educational/learning-related applications. She makes a great point that the time to look at this carefully is now:

Yet as much as unchangeable education records offer new chances, they also create new challenges. Setting personal and academic information in stone may actually counter the mission of education to help people evolve over time. The time to assess the benefits and drawbacks of blockchain technology is right now, before adoption in schools and universities is widespread.

As Christin mentions, blockchain technology can be used to store more than formal certification data. It could also store such informal certification data such as “research experience, individual projects and skills, mentoring or online learning.”

The keeping of extensive records via blockchain certainly raises numerous questions. Below are a few that come to my mind:

  • Will this type of record-keeping help or hurt in terms of career development and moving to a different job?
  • Will — or should — CMS/LMS vendors enable this type of feature/service in their products?
  • Should credentials from the following sources be considered relevant?
    • Microlearning-based streams of content
    • Data from open courseware/courses
    • Learning that we do via our Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) and social networks
    • Learning that we get from alternatives such as bootcamps, coding schools, etc.
  • Will the keeping of records impact the enjoyment of learning — or vice versa? Or will it depend upon the person?
  • Will there be more choice, more control — or less so?
  • To what (granular) level of competency-based education should we go? Or from project-based learning?
  • Could instructional designers access learners’ profiles to provide more personalized learning experiences?
  • …and I’m certain there are more questions than these.

All that said…

To me, the answers to these questions — and likely other questions as well — lie in:

  1. Giving a person a chance to learn, practice, and then demonstrate the required skills (regardless of the data the potential employer has access to)
    .
  2. Giving each user the right to own their own data — and to release it as they see fit. Each person should have the capability of managing their own information/data without having to have the skills of a software engineer or a database administrator. When something is written to a blockchain, there would be a field for who owns — and can administer — the data.

In the case of finding a good fit/job, a person could use a standardized interface to generate a URL that is sent out to a potential employer. That URL would be good for X days. The URL gives the potential employer the right to access whatever data has been made available to them. It could be full access, in which case the employer is able to run their own queries/searches on the data. Or the learner could restrict the potential employer’s reach to a more limited subset of data.

Visually, speaking:


Each learner can say who can access what data from their learner's profile


I still have a lot more thinking to do about this, but that’s where I’m at as of today. Have a good one all!


 

Five Building Blocks in the New Architecture of High Schools — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • Schools personalizing learning and moving to mastery often use five linked learner experience systems to promote growth on learning goals.
  • Each system has unique learner experiences, feedback protocols, supports and staffing strategies.
  • These systems work independently and together to promote learner-centered growth toward shared outcomes.

Schools personalizing learning and moving to mastery or competency-based learning models often use five linked learner experience systems to promote growth on learning goals: skill-building, projects, immersion, advisory, and out-of-school learning. Each system has unique learner experiences, feedback protocols, supports and staffing strategies. These systems work independently and together to promote learner-centered growth toward shared outcomes (i.e., learner profile or portrait of a graduate).

 

Methods and tools to develop future-ready skills — from blog.neolms.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

Because of the changes that we experienced in the past year, I believe that it is important to have various options, whether teaching in-person, hybrid, or virtually. Choosing methods like Genius hour or project-based learning, activities such as scavenger hunts or learning stations, or selecting digital tools that promote more interaction with and between students will help foster the development of essential future-ready and SEL skills.

There are many methods and tools to explore, but it’s important to focus on the why behind the choices we make for our students. The use of digital tools promotes collaboration, communication, creativity and many more essential skills while also promoting the power of choice for students to share what they have learned.

More choice. More control.

Also see:

Escape rooms have become very popular as a place teams can go to work out how to get free from the room in which they are “trapped.” It’s like a real-world version of a computer game that makes you work together to solve puzzles to escape from somewhere.

Breakout EDU helps to bring that experience to educators so as to better engage students and help them learn while having fun.

 

Why the Science of Teaching Is Often Ignored — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie
There’s a whole literature on what works. But it’s not making its way into the classroom.

Excerpts:

Yet, teaching reformers argue, the dangers of ignoring the expanding body of knowledge about teaching and learning are ever more apparent. Traditional teaching may have sufficed when college campuses were more ivory tower than lifeboat, educating future generations of scholars and other elites rather than trying to lift up a diverse group of students and prepare them for an increasingly complex world.

Studies have also shown that faculty members are more likely to try evidence-based teaching practices if they feel they have supportive colleagues and departments. Faculty learning communities can be particularly helpful, teaching experts say, because instructors meet regularly over a series of months to tackle complex challenges, often by exploring the research and experimenting with small changes to their teaching.

Reforming teaching evaluations so that they reflect the hard work of reading and reflecting on teaching scholarship is also a critical lever for change.

 
 

A Crusade to End Grading in High Schools — from washingtonpost.com by Thomas Toch and Alina Tugend; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
One educator is leading an effort to evaluate students differently. Can it catch on?

Excerpt:

He envisioned schools where students learned math, history and science not as isolated subjects in classroom-bound courses but while working together to address real-world issues like soil conservation, homelessness and illegal immigration. Such learning would make schooling more meaningful for students and thus more engaging, Looney believed. It would let students demonstrate more talents to colleges, holding out the prospect of a wider, more diverse range of students entering higher education’s top ranks.

The existing high school transcript, however, with its simple summary of courses and grades, wouldn’t do justice to the interdisciplinary, project-based learning he wanted. It wouldn’t capture students’ creativity, persistence and other qualities. Looney needed a radically different way to portray students’ high school experiences, one that replaced grades with a richer picture. But he didn’t know what it was.

Today, 275 private high schools and 125 public schools are part of the nonprofit Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC). They are in various stages of designing and launching the transcript — and working to make Looney’s radical vision a reality. Started in 2017, the organization is expanding rapidly.

 

HOW SCHOOLS ARE REWRITING THE RULES ON CLASS TIME FOR STUDENTS—AND EVEN DITCHING GRADE LEVELS — from wsj.com by Yoree Koh
Educators are testing competency-based education, a form of personalized learning that emphasizes mastery of skills over hours spent in a classroom

 

 

Transforming the classroom with augmented learning — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Forbes documented the many ways that augmented reality (AR) has come to life in recent years. They list several award-winning apps that use AR. A few are:

  • The “Gatwick Airport Passenger” App, which helps passengers navigate the airport;
  • The “Dulux Visualizer” App, which  lets you virtually scan and paint your room any color you choose;
  • “Envisioned by the Mine” App, which lets you put 3D images of any type of accessory or furnishing in your home that Lowe’s offers;
  • “Sephora Virtual Artist”, which allows you to “put makeup on” without actually touching brush to face;
  • “Accuvein”, which doctors and nurses use to scan a patient’s vein network (it reduces escalations by 45%);
  • And, of course, there are apps like the “BIC DrawyBook App” just for fun.

But what about the classroom? Can we see a future in transforming the classroom with augmented learning?

From DSC:
Along the lines of developing creativity with edtech…

I saw another item recently about Book Creator, something that’s made this blog before. I love that type of tool because it promotes creativity, unleashes a student’s imagination, promotes their artwork and writing/storytelling and their musical or acting abilities, and it develops skills in design and developing multimedia-based artifacts. For teachers, it could be a nice project-based learning exercise. 

I asked our youngest daughter if she would like to use it…we’ll see. You can get a free account that allows you to publish up to 40 books. (Plus there is pricing for schools and districts.)

And who knows…? This type of thing might just produce the next J.K. Rowling or a J.J. Abrams.

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

Book Creator -- check it out

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian