Unbundled: Designing Personalized Pathways for Every Learner — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen “with contributions from the Getting Smart team and numerous friends and partners in the field”

Excerpts:

In this publication, we articulate the critical steps needed to unbundle the learning ecosystem, build core competencies, design learning experiences, curate new opportunities, and rebundle these experiences into coherent pathways.
.

Building the Unbundled Ecosystem

Vision

Every learner deserves an unlimited number of unbundled opportunities to explore, engage, and define experiences that advance their progress along a co-designed educational pathway. Each pathway provides equitable and personalized access to stacked learning experiences leading to post-secondary credentials and secure family-sustaining employment. Throughout the journey, supportive coaches focus on helping learners build skills to navigate with agency. In parallel, learners develop foundational skills (literacy, math), technical skills, and durable skills and connect these to challenging co-designed experiences. The breadth and depth of experiences increase over time, and, in partnership, learners and coaches map progress towards reaching community-defined goals. This vision is only enabled by an unbundled learning ecosystem.

Recommendations

Solutions already exist in the ecosystem and need to be combined and scaled. Funding models (like My Tech High), badging/credentialing at the competency level (like VLACS), coaching models (like Big Thought), and open ecosystems (like NH Learn Everywhere) provide an excellent foundation. Thus, building unbundled systems has already begun but needs systemic changes to become widely available and accepted.

      1. Build a robust competency-based system.
      2. Create a two-way marketplace for unbundled learning.
      3. Implement policy to support credit for out-of-system experiences.
      4. Invest in technology infrastructure for Learning and Employment Records.
      5. Design interoperable badging systems that connect to credentials.
 

Colleges consider overhauling grading system for freshmen to ease transition to higher learning — from mercurynews.com by Kate Hull
Supporters say ‘ungrading’ could result in less stress and a more level playing field for students from less rigorous high schools  

Excerpt:

Dubbed “weed-out” or “gatekeeper” classes, they can be dream-crushing for many students — especially those hoping to enter the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. And a growing body of research says the courses can be particularly discriminatory toward historically excluded groups such as Latinos and Black and Indigenous people.

One possible remedy, some educators say, is “ungrading,” a style of teaching and assessment that seeks to evaluate students in other ways besides A-F letter grades — usually just in their freshman year.

“You’re trying to move the focus from a score to the learning,” said Robin Dunkin, who teaches biology and is the assistant faculty director at UCSC’s Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning.  “For that reason, it’s immensely powerful.”


Also relevant see the #Ungrading hashtag on Twitter, from which the below item was taken:

Excerpts from Jesse Stommel’s Ungrading: an Introduction presentation:

An excerpt from Ungrading - an Introduction by Jesse Stommel

An excerpt from Ungrading - an Introduction by Jesse Stommel

An excerpt from Ungrading - an Introduction by Jesse Stommel


Also relevant/see Robert Talbert’s Grading for Growth.


 

 

From DSC:
Unless students see how the topics that you are introducing are relevant to *their futures*, it just develops a mindset of “how do I play the game/system?” and “what’s the least I can do to get an A?”

On a somewhat-related tangent:

 

How to Receive Feedback With a Growth Mindset — from neuroleadership.com by the NeuroLeadership Institute

Excerpt:

A growth mindset can help us view feedback as a good thing, which ultimately makes performance reviews more effective. After all, we want to learn, grow, and improve our skills. People with a fixed mindset view criticism as an attack on their self-worth. Growth mindset, by contrast, leaves room for the possibility that we all have blind spots — and that your manager may have valuable insights on how you can hone your skills. Feedback, in other words, isn’t personal. A manager may critique our performance, but a growth mindset helps keep us from tying our performance to our identity.

The beauty of growth mindset is that it’s self-reinforcing. As you gain more confidence in your own ability to learn and grow, each feedback conversation becomes easier than the last. You become more capable of discussing high-stakes issues with honesty and transparency because neither side feels threatened.

 

‘Press Play’ Isn’t a Teaching Strategy: Why Educators Need New Methods for Video — from edsurge.com by Reed Dickson

Excerpt:

As I prepared to teach my first educational videography course earlier this year, I found that we lacked a common vocabulary for talking about how we design learning with video in mind. Since then, I’ve been advancing the term “video paratext” to reflect the myriad ways that we design educational guidance, prompts, activities or interactive elements to surround or be included within a video.

I pulled the word “paratext” from the field of poetry translation because, personally, I love the “paratext” that precedes or follows a poem—or even interrupts it. At poetry readings in particular, I lean into the words that a poet shares before or after reading each poem. Paratext helps me connect with and make sense of the poem.

Likewise, I ask educators to consider how to help students connect with videos through various prompts and activities that surround, or are included within, the video.” Might such “paratext” inspire students to take a closer look at a video they’ve watched, the way I might want to reread a poem to see how it works or what it means?

Resources for Teachers of Psychology — from teachpsych.org; with thanks to Christine Renner for this resource

Excerpt:

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) curates and distributes teaching and advising materials to all teachers of psychology (e.g., 4-year instructors, 2-year instructors, and high-school teachers).  The resources available below are documents that can pertain to any aspect of teaching. (NOTE:  Syllabi have their own listings under Project Syllabus.)

Instructors have generously shared classroom activities, annotated bibliographies, film guides, lab manuals, advising aids, textbook compendiums, and much more. Notations indicate those that developed from Instructional Resource Awards.

Strategies for Teaching Quantitative Concepts Online — from facultyecommons.com

Excerpt:

Collaborative learning is particularly helpful in statistics education. Technology can facilitate and promote collaborative exploration and inquiry allowing students to generate their own knowledge of a concept or new method in a constructivist learning environment. Group interactions have an important role in questioning and critiquing individual perspectives in a mutually supportive fashion so that a clear understanding of statistical concepts energy and knowledge of statistical ideas develops. Research has shown that it is important to discuss the output and results with the students and require them to provide explanations and justifications for the conclusions they draw from the output and to be able to communicate their conclusions effectively.

Worksheet to WOW: 10 ways to upgrade your worksheet — from ditchthattextbook.com by Matt Miller

Excerpt:

Can we turn a worksheet into a “WOW” experience?

We’re about to find out! Here are 10 ways your classroom technology can help transform your worksheet to “WOW” …

Which Blended Learning Model Should I Use? — from catlintucker.com by Dr. Catlin Tucker

Excerpts:

I get this question all the time in coaching and training sessions! First, let’s be clear about the definition of blended learning.

Blended learning is the combination of active, engaged learning online with active, engaged learning offline to provide students with more control over the time, place, pace, and path of their learning.

This graphic shows the different rotation models

Creating Classroom Camaraderie to Promote Learning: 3 Strategies — from scholarlyteacher.com by Donna Downs

Key Statement: Intentionally developing a welcoming classroom environment increases student engagement and cultivates meaningful classroom relationships.

Keywords: engagement, motivation, relationship

Although researchers suggest flipped classrooms, engaging humor, and online polling, I have found taking a more personal approach to engagement to be successful, specifically the following three guidelines: show your human side, share your professional experiences and wisdom, and admit your mistakes.


Somewhat related:

How to Receive Feedback With a Growth Mindset — from neuroleadership.com by the NeuroLeadership Institute

Excerpt:

A growth mindset can help us view feedback as a good thing, which ultimately makes performance reviews more effective. After all, we want to learn, grow, and improve our skills. People with a fixed mindset view criticism as an attack on their self-worth. Growth mindset, by contrast, leaves room for the possibility that we all have blind spots — and that your manager may have valuable insights on how you can hone your skills. Feedback, in other words, isn’t personal. A manager may critique our performance, but a growth mindset helps keep us from tying our performance to our identity.


 

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
 

Beyond Courses: Instructional Approaches in 2022 — from learningguild.com by Jane Bozarth

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

 In researching “upskilling for L&D practitioners” earlier this year, Learning Guild members were asked what they feel has been the biggest shift in their work over time: While technology has driven much change, sometimes seemingly exponentially, nearly everyone talked about a different sort of shift. This was true even of those who landed on the younger end of the experience spectrum. According to respondents, the biggest change is the move away from the idea that the primary role of L&D is to create “courses.” Technology changed and became easier to use, enabling development of myriad digital solutions. As noted in that report, respondents viewed this change as welcome and positive.

When asked what other types of content respondents created to be delivered OUTSIDE of a traditional course, the most common responses were creating video and job aids/performance support materials. Microlearning and curated content were also frequently mentioned, and curated collections of existing material was popular with those engaged in traditional design.

Also relevant/see:

Games, Organizing, & Motivation: ID Links 10/25/22 — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
Curated links on games built in Twine, storytelling, organization, useful tools, motivation, and transitioning from teaching to ID.

From DSC:
Under the Storytelling and CYOA books section, it was interesting to see the Random Plot Generator, where Christy wrote: “A writing prompt tool to generate two characters, a setting, situation, theme, and character action. This could be a fun way to start scenarios if you’re feeling stuck. h/t Jean Marrapodi.”

I thought this might be a good tool for developing writers, improv actors, and likely others as well!  🙂  

Random Plot Generator

Also from Christy Tucker, see:

If the content is very stable and unlikely to change much over time, voice over might make sense in a branching scenario. Investing in creating video also makes more sense for more stable content and skills than for something that changes every 6 months.

 

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?

 

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. 

 

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.

 

Students Are Calling BS on High School and Opportunity Knocks — from gettingsmart.com by Trace Pickering

Excerpts:

Let’s be clear. These students are not wrong. The pandemic showed students that much of what they were required to do and endure during pre-pandemic high school was a lot of busywork and tasks that held little relevance or interest to them, and apparently didn’t really matter since they were able to be successful without all that extra work. When schools lost their ability to command and control a student’s time, it forced a different economy for schools and educators. It required the curriculum to be pared down to only the essential standards and information. It now had a very real and powerful competitor for the student’s time – a job, a hobby, sports, music, sleep…

Students are no longer a captive audience. They have more options and choices. To avoid obsolescence, perhaps schools should focus on making school a place where kids see value and want to come to each day.

This is a wonderful opportunity to put in place the things that really drive 21st-century skills and give students the keys to their own learning and growth. To truly personalize learning for students, and unlock teacher professionalism and creativity in the process. That extra time could allow students to pursue areas of passion and interest, to dive deep into a subject that interests them, pursue job shadows and internships, and earn and learn on a job.

 

Inclusive Education For Students With Hearing Impairment — from edtechreview.in by Priyanka Gupta

Excerpt:

The following may be difficult for a student with a hearing impairment:

  • The subjects of spelling, grammar, and vocabulary
  • Making notes while listening to lectures
  • Participate, engage or understand classroom discussions
  • Understand educational videos
  • Present oral reports
 

We must end ‘productivity paranoia’ on working from home says Microsoft — from inavateonthenet.net

Excerpt:

As part of a survey on hybrid working patterns of more than 20,000 people in 11 countries, Microsoft has called for an end to ‘productivity paranoia’ with 85% of business leaders still saying they find it difficult to have confidence in staff productivity when remote working.

“Closing the feedback loop is key to retaining talent. Employees who feel their companies use employee feedback to drive change are more satisfied (90% vs. 69%) and engaged (89% vs. 73%) compared to those who believe their companies don’t drive change. And the employees who don’t think their companies drive change based on feedback? They’re more than twice as likely to consider leaving in the next year (16% vs. 7%) compared to those who do. And it’s not a one-way street. To build trust and participation in feedback systems, leaders should regularly share what they’re hearing, how they’re responding, and why.”

From DSC:
It seems to me that trust and motivation are highly involved here. Trust in one’s employees to do their jobs. And employees who aren’t producing and have low motivation levels should consider changing jobs/industries to find something that’s much more intrinsically motivating to them. Find a cause/organization that’s worth working for.

 

Boosting High School Students’ Sense of Agency and Motivation — from edutopia.org by Mary Davenport
Providing students with greater voice and choice in the classroom can build their desire to learn and do well academically.

Excerpt:

This year, instead of repeating essay after essay, we included project-based, performative, and creative assessments. The variety allowed for every student to shine at some point in a way unique to themselves.

More than anything, creating opportunities for autonomy has necessitated a shift in my perspective. Our field likes to talk about everything standards-based, but there are dangers to that: When the standard becomes more important than the student in front of us, we have lost the true meaning of education.

I offer students choice by giving them options regarding

    • learning content (which texts to read, videos to watch, podcasts to listen to);
    • communication and processing (written, verbal, or visual);
    • assessments (choosing topics, choosing texts, choosing supports, choosing structures); and
    • work time (independent, collaborative, location).

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian


 

Future of Learning Council on Statewide Grassroots Strategies & Pathways — from gettingsmart.com

Description of podcast:

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast Shawnee Caruthers is joined by Dr. Dave Richards, the Executive Learning Strategist for Michigan Virtual and a key part of Future of Learning Council, a partner that we’ve loved working alongside over the last year.

We are also joined by two superintendents who are a part of this project – Dr. Christopher Timmis, Superintendent of Dexter Community Schools and Dr. John VanWagoner of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian