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bakersusan

Implementation in Advocacy/Guidanace/Post-Secondary Preparation (Articles) - 1 views

  • Over 60% of students who eventually dropped out of high school failed at least25% of their credits in the ninth grade, while only 8% of their peers who eventually graduated had similar difficulty.”
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I see this all the time with potential alternative school students. They are "on the radar" when they start their 9th grade year, then I can usually tell by the end of their 9th grade year after watching their progress and hearing from their teachers, who needs to be in alternative school. I find that if they fail freshman classes, it tends to snowball from there.
    • ahawthorne
       
      This is very important when identifying students at risk and in need of a different setting to be successful. Focusing on 9th grade and what interventions are being used and what is working with students can be key to students graduating.
    • kburrington
       
      Jessica I agree 9th grade is a very pivotal time to follow and address student issues. I always attend the 9th grade SAT meetings. It gives me look into which students I'll soon be seeing and the interventions they have tried with them. I've noticed many students at this age have already determined they are going to the alternative school. Some will even from this point on work at making it happen.
    • bakersusan
       
      Is there any research for the transition to 10th grade? Research I've seen refers to the transition to 9th grade. In our district, the 8th/9th graders are in the same building and 10-12 in another. For us, the 10th grade year seems to be more of a struggle. I'm wondering if in district's with a similar building break-down like ours if the drop-out rates get shifted to 10th grade class failures and not so much what takes place in 9th grade.
  • the government would reap $45 billion in extra tax revenues and reduced costs in public health, crime, and welfare payments if the number of high school dropouts among 20-year olds in the U.S. today were cut in half.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I wish the government and public would see this information and realize that investing in education really helps everyone. Maybe then, education would not always be the first place that budget cuts take place..
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree, Jessica!  Investing in education is essentially investing in our future!  
    • kburrington
       
      Jessica you are definitely preaching to the choir. It's more important to have a billion dollar surplus.
  • “When students have completed the attendance required in a course, and were unsuccessful, the options for earning credit towards graduation are often limited to using the same book, often with the same teacher, within the same seat time approach. Is this really the best way to invest resources of time and money in helping students succeed?
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I fight a battle about this in my district because many teachers feel that if a student fails a class that they should have to take it over again with the same teacher, same material, etc and that being allowed to take it online is "the easy way out."
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  • “When students have completed the attendance required in a course, and were unsuccessful, the options for earning credit towards graduation are often limited to using the same book, often with the same teacher, within the same seat time approach.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I fight a battle about this in my district because many teachers feel that if a student fails a class that they should have to take it over again with the same teacher, same material, etc and that being allowed to take it online is "the easy way out."
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I will more than likely be getting a student (senior) who has failed English 9 three times. Yes, THREE times! However, I know the teacher has modified and individualized opportunities for this particular student. She is GREAT about that. Some teachers do not adjust at all, but I know she does. This student has now put himself in a position where the alternative program is his only option based on the number and types of credits he has remaining. I don't think he necessarily wants to attend the alternative program. Students seem to do better in the program if it is THEIR CHOICE to attend rather than be placed by the administration.
    • ahawthorne
       
      I agree that students definitely do better if they feel it is their choice to attend the alternative program. At times our role as teachers may be to encourage the student to make that decision knowing that it will be best in the long run for the student. New teacher, fresh start, usually smaller environment which will give the student more interaction with teachers. I think we can encourage students towards alternative settings while still making it their chioce.
    • lisa noe
       
      Jessica, I have struggled with the same attitudes toward online credit recovery.  Many times, I see several students, who have had a particular teacher, who are in need of credit recovery.  I sometimes question how much effort the teacher put forth to make a connection with those students.  Some teachers take it personally if a student doesn't "care" about the class.  Perhaps if that teacher focused more on the students' needs they might see that they must care before the student will. 
  • In such moments, teaching becomes a deeply reciprocal process by which we decide to learn not just from but with the students, embracing the risks that accompany students developing as independent thinkers and informed risk takers (K. Schultz, 2003). Moreover, when we offer choice, we model risk taking for them and demonstrate problem-solving skills, such as how to thoughtfully navigate uncertainty and address unforeseen obstacles.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I feel like more teachers would be open to taking the "risk" of learning with their students and allowing students to play more of a role in their own learning, if teachers didn't have so much to "lose" in the process. We are expected to teach specific things, at specific times, and cover so much curriculum in a short time frame, and that keeps many teachers from taking risks because there is so much expected of us.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Until there is a paradigm shift from the top down, I'm afraid we will remain where we are. Fortunately, I believe there is a shift occuring, but it is occuring very slowly.
  • Over 60% of students who eventually dropped out of high school failed at least25% of their credits in the ninth grade,
    • sheilig
       
      This is interesting. We've talked about this in our MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/standards-and-curriculum/iowas-multi-tiered-system-supports meetings. This statistic has prompted my school to really focus on the 9th graders.
  • Nearly one-third of all public high school students—and nearly one half of all African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans—fail to graduate from public high school with their class
    • sheilig
       
      One-third is frightening!
  • Dropouts are more likely than high school graduates to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty, on public assistance, or single parents with children who drop out of high school Dropouts are more than twice as likely as high school graduates to slip into poverty in a single year and three times more likely than college graduates to be unemployed Dropouts are more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison as high school graduates Dropouts are four times less likely to volunteer than college graduates, twice less likely to vote or participate in community projects, and represent only 3 percent of actively engaged citizens in the U.S. today
    • sheilig
       
      A lot of our students who dropout stay in the area. They face the challenges listed above and aren't able to support the community in ways to improve it. The community suffers from the lack of people paying taxes, starting small businesses, creating jobs, volunteering, participating in community projects, etc. Our rural community needs active members to keep the existing small businesses and the school in the town. So increasing our graduation rate ultimately improves our community. Some move away; however, a lot of our students return after graduating from college. They are active in the community and helping our town.
    • ahawthorne
       
      Breaking this cycle for students in the community is very difficult. They need to understand the risks and difficulties they will face without a high school diploma. 
    • lisa noe
       
      Many of my former students were victims of generational poverty.  As stated above, breaking the cycle is very difficult.  Many students don't have the supports in place to be successful or to break the cycle.  We, as teachers and schools, must reach out to not only the students but their families as well to establish relationships built on trust in order to help students reach their potential.
  • Providing credit for work or community service allows students to be engaged in a valuable activity outside of school and to have this experience count towards graduation. It also motivates students to complete the program.
    • sheilig
       
      I think credit for work or community service is an excellent idea. Why not use it for elective credit? If at risk students knew they had specific core classes they had to take and had more choices for their electives, perhaps graduation would be more attainable to them. 
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree that giving credit for work or community service would be an excellent idea.  It would create a sense of connection and pride in students.  
    • kburrington
       
      We provide elective credit for work. Our students provide a copy of their paycheck to prove they are working. The also write a one page weekly reflection. They usually complain about their job or celebrate accomplishments at work.
  • “I have some things to say. First, all of you talked about Michael through your findings but do you really know my son? D
    • sheilig
       
      Unfortunately, most parents won't have the courage to speak up here. They will leave frustrated and upset with the school. The members of the team need to realize this.
    • ahawthorne
       
      So many parents had negative experiences in school that they are on edge even entering the school building. We as educators need to work with the parent and seek their input when working with their child.
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree that many parents' own negative school experiences create a sense of discomfort for them when working with teachers and administrators.  We must work to break those barriers and create a welcoming, positive, family-friendly environment that shows them we value their role as a parent and advocate for their child.
    • kburrington
       
      I see this kind of stuff on a regular basis. They send me students and are constantly telling me what I should watch for with them. What are their obvious strengths and weaknesses. I find it so often to be very inaccurate. I almost feel bad because I'll run into these same teachers at in-services and they are constantly asking me about these students. I feel almost mean telling them I'm not seeing any of the stuff they describe. I don't want to hurt their feelings but you just want to tell them maybe they should work a little harder to form relationships with these students.
  • There were eight staff members from the school, and myself as a parent. It was quite intimidating.
    • sheilig
       
      I have not experienced this; however, my sister-in-law described the same situation with her son. It was very intimidating. Fortunately, she was a teacher's associate in a different district as her son. She had teachers, counselors, and administrators there that she could use as resources and guidance. She had to be an advocate for her son. She knew how to do this because of the support from her friends in education. Not everyone has this support.
    • ahawthorne
       
      I don't like to have too many teachers and faculty in meetings with parents for this reason. You could have a couple of the teachers write their concerns or ideas for the parent instead of surrounding them. It would make anyone uncomfortable.
    • lisa noe
       
      Although I have considered how a parent might feel outnumbered when attending an IEP meeting, I thought my presence would give them a sense of my support for both the student and their family.  I want them to know I care and want the best for their child.  
    • kburrington
       
      I agree with you. When you have to many people there it almost feels like an ambush to the parent. I believe it's hard for them to voice opinions and concerns, especially dissenting opinions.
  • I discuss my own experience with the difference between the PLPs used at the Met and the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that are commonly used for students with special needs. The importance of creating a supportive link between the student, their family, advisor and mentors in creating a challenging and personalized educational plan for every student is crucial,
    • ahawthorne
       
      IEP's for all students. Every student should have a plan and a "supportive link" regardless if they are special needs, at risk, or doing fine as a traditional student.
  • An environment without risk fails to prepare students for life outside the classroom, a world of risk taking. Allowing students to experience measured risks, in a supportive community, models the real-world paradigm where choices naturally entail risk.
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree.  Many students struggle to make the transition to college or the workforce after high school because they are not prepared.  Taking risks in a supportive environment and learning how to adapt to change will increase a student's potential for success.
  • At the same time, these teachers are often pressured by school administrators, policymakers, and politicians to raise graduation rates. Too often, the pressure to “do something” conflicts with the need to actually arm students with the real skills they need to achieve success in post-secondary education or work. Instead of challenging students to raise their performance to the level they must reach to be successful, too often credit recovery “solutions” have lowered the bar for passing.
    • lisa noe
       
      If we think we should pat ourselves on the back for "helping" a student graduate, we are seriously mistaken.  We all know that even though they possess a diploma life will still be difficult for them.  Their choices will be limit.  We need to look for ways to create career pathways, such as those we have discussed in this course, to provide students the skills (trade/vocation) they will need to be marketable and employable if they choose to enter the workforce instead of continuing with postsecondary schooling.  
    • bakersusan
       
      I couldn't agree with you more. Several years ago when the graduation rate became an area of focus with NCLB, I saw a shift in the "quality" of credit recovery programs. The goal was to graduate, not necessarily provide the skills needed to be successful. In the end it is not only the community but truly the students who lose.
  • Among the worst offenders in this regard are some products and programs that call themselves “online.” These are often programs that are low-cost, have very low levels of teacher involvement, and require very little of students. They are used primarily because they are inexpensive, and they allow schools to say students have “passed” whether they have learned anything or not.
  • we build opportunities for choice, at age-appropriate increments, scaffolding the skills and habits of mind that are necessary to increase the independence and self-direction that students need as they progress. Our experiential approach is rooted in this concept: As freshman, students learn about and become part of a community; as sophomores, they explore what it means to serve within and through that community; as juniors, they use their service experience to provide leadership to younger students; and as seniors, they risk it all, moving beyond their immediate community to explore new ones.
    • madonna63
       
      I really like how this school organized themes for each high school year thru scaffolded steps culminating in 'Walk-About', where seniors get to explore their career options for an entire semester. Awesome!
  • In recent years, an increasing number of online programs have begun focusing on offering credit recovery and serving at-risk students. In some cases, these programs started with this focus, while in other cases existing online programs expanded their focus beyond high-achieving students. Online learning is proving to be an important—and sometimes transformational—tool in reaching at-risk students. Goals related to credit recovery and at-risk students vary with each online program often they include one or more of the following: Help students make up credits to meet graduation requirements Meet graduation deadlines Prepare students for state exams Get dropout students back in school
    • madonna63
       
      This is a great option for at-risk students. AS it says, it gets dropout student back in school. Without a high school diploma, students futures, on average, look bleak. Having that diploma sets them up for many future possibilties, even college. You can earn college degrees online.
  • Online curriculum must be rigorous to ensure that students are learning the material, and not simply moving through the course. Diagnostic testing that allows students to demonstrate mastery of the elements of a subject that they learned in their previous attempt to pass the course, and to move on to the parts of the course that they need to focus on, keeps students engaged.
    • madonna63
       
      I respect programs that make sure students learn and not just 'get thru' the course. Also, students will need to focus, which at-risk students don't do in the general classroom. As stated, testing lets students demonstrate what they've learned which motivates them to pass. 
  • If a student is struggling with a lesson, the teacher can focus instruction where the student needs the greatest support.
  • This individualization and personalization allows students to feel a one-to-one connection with their teachers and engages them with the material more thoughtfully.
    • madonna63
       
      This is a special part of the program. Teachers can see specific areas where students need help. It might have gone under the radar in a general class. It also points this out to the student. This gets the teacher engaged with the student instructing him/her in that specific area which makes it more personal. Human connections help to keep students feel more welcome, especially if they are more introverted.
  • Our schools need to be places where learning matters,
  • Proactive measures often are met with resistance and criticism.
  • the real message of the Coleman and Jencks studies of equal educational opportunities: not that the school is powerless but that the family is powerful.
juliefulton

"Personalized" vs. "Personal" Learning - 36 views

  • Tocqueville’s observations
  • A suffix can change everything
    • lisalillian311
       
      Harsh adverb.  Not all students analyze "ideas from the inside out".  I think that is something that personalized learning can teach them.
  • ‘We often say we want creativity and innovation – personalization – but every mechanism we use to measure it is through control and compliance.’
    • principalchris
       
      This is a topic that has been discussed for years - But how do I grade the project??  I am glad I do not receive a grade for being the principal!
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  • If we can’t engage our kids in ideas and explorations that require no technology, then we have surely lost our way.
  • One final caveat: in the best student-centered, project-based education, kids spend much of their time learning with and from one another. Thus, while making sense of ideas is surely personal, it is not exclusively individual because it involves collaboration and takes place in a community. Even proponents of personal learning may sometimes forget that fact, but it’s a fact that was never learned by supporters of personalized learning.
    • principalchris
       
      I like the fact that Alfie Kohn makes the reader think.  He is a word smith and must love kids!
  • She cautions educators who may be excited about the progressive educational implications for “personalized learning” to make sure everyone they work with is on the same page about what that phrase means.
    • madonna63
       
      Educational Admin. needs to work with schools to come up with other forms of assessment that meet up with individualized forms of learning. 
    • marydermit
       
      Yes, new forms of assessment will be needed with PL.  I think this maybe a challenge because standardized tests are tied to funding.  I am afraid standardized tests are here to stay until funding changes are made at the state /federal level.
    • ahawthorne
       
      This is always an issue. Making sure everyone is on the same page.
    • lisalillian311
       
      I think my original comment about change being difficult for veteran teachers was deleted (accidentally by me).  Part of my statement mentioned the need for PD on PL.
    • nwhipple
       
      I agree that everyone needs to be on the same page.  Too many times we get bombarded in PD sessions and walk away with mixed emotions and different understandings about what we learned about.  PL needs to be a clear, cut definition amongst everyone in the building.  It wouldn't be a bad idea to have PD on PL.  Veteran teachers absolutely need to be up to date on reaching all learners and stepping themselves out of their comfort zones to help reach every student's needs individually, not in a whole group setting.  
    • dwefel
       
      This will be a big challenge getting everyone on board.
    • kainley
       
      I agree that it would be a challenge to get everyone on the same page. I like the idea of PD, but how do we get our administrators to "buy in"? Then after that, how do you get people who are set in their way, especially if it is improving test scores, to change their thinking so we are focused on the whole child?
    • kburrington
       
      I guess I would like to go back a step and look at how college educational departments are teaching Personal Learning. I would say most teachers are teaching the way they were taught. Maybe the change needs to start there also.
    • katie50009
       
      As a district we tried to define creativity during PD incorporating the 4C's. It was no easy task. It is even more difficult to measure!
    • juliefulton
       
      It seems as though we need a multi-phase approach at infusing PL in our educational systems. I agree with needing PD for our current teachers and that colleges need to be modeling PL for our new teachers. We also need to inspire our students to be individual thinkers rather than the 'check mark the box' learners that our system currently promotes.
  • best thing we can do for kids is empower them
  • he demands of the system — and education leaders’ desire to excel within it — lend themselves well to the computerized, modular and often very standardized system of “personalization” many ed-tech companies are offering.
    • marydermit
       
      This sounds like more of the same unless PL stakeholders and teachers are involved in the R&D.
    • katie50009
       
      When thinking about the constraints of our current system--Common Core, standards assessments, pacing guides, etc.--I wonder if PL will become anything more than a dream or a small scale implementation.
  • Personalized learning entails adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated
  • Big questions, passion, personal interest are what should drive our use of technology, not the other way around.
  • “Personalized” learning is something that we do to kids; “personal” learning is something they do for themselves. In a world where we can explore almost every interest or passion in depth on our own or with others, it’s crucially more important to have the dispositions and the skills to create our own educational opportunities, not be trained to wait for opportunities that someone else has selected for delivery.
    • madonna63
       
      Educators will need to be informed on what it will look like for students to take these opportunities which won't be directed by us or possibly by curriculum. They will need to learn how to help students on this path and not hinder them.
    • marydermit
       
      PD is vital for teachers.  If left out it will not be good for anyone most of all the students.  
    • spfantz
       
      This definition is vague, I too would like to look at specific curriculum pathways and opportunities. Seeing personalized learning in action, and the role of the teacher would be interesting.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      I now understand more the difference between "personalized" and "personal" learning, but I do agree that staff and administrators need to be more informed and given specific examples or experiences to help us learn more about implementing it and what our role is as a teacher. It would be nice to be given examples of this in action. It seems so confusing once you think about how teachers do this in the classroom, but I think it can make a big difference in schools and student learning in the future. 
    • Jessica Athen
       
      This quote really helped me to understand more of what we are learning about. 
    • alissahansen
       
      Agreed, this is a very helpful statement, but I think I would also agree that I would like to see what PL looks like. (Alissa Hansen)
    • bakersusan
       
      This is a very helpful statement, PD with time to implement is important for success. In addition to teachers being educated about PL, parents will also need to be educated. In my district as we have tried to incorporate more technology, unless the parents are in agreement, the changes have not been successful.
    • kaberding
       
      I have a better understanding of personalized learning vs. personal learning.  I like how the author states the difference; it makes it very easy to differentiate between the two terms.  In regards to the rest of the statement, I think that professional development is a vital key in getting teachers "on board" with this concept.  I have cotaught with many general education teachers, and it is difficult for some to see how this will work and what this can look like.  A bank of teachers "in action" would be great for all teachers to access to get ideas!  
    • kburrington
       
      I totally agree that there are a lot of people who would have to get on board. I now realize that I'm just providing personalized learning with my Odysseyware, not personal learning by any means.
  • moving ownership of learning away from the teacher and more toward the student.
    • madonna63
       
      Our current way of teaching is somewhat like a 'helicopter mother'. We aren't letting students try and fail on their own, without us being there to catch them. We need to be more of a teacher/resource person to instruct and /or guide when needed. Also, like a grandmother-giving positive feedback.
    • marydermit
       
      We do not teach students that failure is part of learning or the importance of what we can learn from a failed attempt. Sticky notes are a perfect example.
    • spfantz
       
      Some of the online programs such as Khan Academy and E2020 are the epitomy of nonpersonalized learning, yet we are enrolling more and more students each year.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      This is where students could/should be encouraged to seek out resources that fit their individual interests.  It is a step in the right direction, but needs to be applied in a way that will help students become stronger learners. 
    • ahawthorne
       
      I agree the online programs are just classroom lectures put on the computer and are more of the same. 
    • jroffman
       
      I think it is a great idea to have students be responsible or the "owner" of their own learning, we need to get parents and administration on board with this, I feel that way too often it is the teachers fault or the schools fault when kids are not learning. 
    • dwefel
       
      I have to admit, I am that 'helicopter mother' teacher sometimes. I agree, teachers need to find individual interests in students and figure out how they want to learn and step away and allow students to figure out how they learn best, even if they do fail at first.
  • It requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well.
    • madonna63
       
      The idea of each student having a teacher(s) know her/him well is vital. We don't want students just being set free and only "check in" as they go along. They will feel very disconnected and alone. They need to be known, cared for. Teachers might have times during the year when she gets her students together to do activities to get to know each other, celebrate holidays, etc.
    • marydermit
       
      I like your idea of getting students together for a celebration It could be a celebration of learning to highlight student work / projects.  This fits into the PL model of "learn to learn, learn to do, learn to be." 
    • lisalillian311
       
      I wonder in an ideal PL environment what the student/teacher ratio should be?  Large classes are tough to get to know students in the way that PL suggests
    • nwhipple
       
      "Ah Ha".. every teacher who is there for their students should know their students well.  Not only how they learn, but about their family life and themselves personally.  Building a relationship with each child is huge.  I couldn't imagine walking into my room every morning and not wanting to connect with each student, individually and personally, daily.  If teachers aren't going to be caring and willing to get to know each of their students, then they shouldn't be allowed to have their minds to mold.  
    • jroffman
       
      Part of the requirement of the Voluntary 4 year old preschool program is that I go to each home before school starts and do a home visit. I love it, I think it is the best idea ever and I really think all elementary teachers should do it. I really think that I make a strong connection with all of my students by having them meet me in their home where they are in the most control. Even though I know each child very well I just feel like there is not enough of me to go around, there are always those one or two students that require more time and energy while the rest are kind of on their own.
    • alissahansen
       
      I think home visits are wonderful, although I am not sure my high school students would want Mrs. Hansen coming to their house! ha ha. I do make it a priority to keep the lines of communication open with families, in fact, I send out emails weekly (personal), make calls (5 a day, positive and negative), and even send out personal welcome letters at the start of the year. It makes quite the difference in how my students work for me! (Alissa Hansen)
  • echnology was strikingly absent from these conversations. Instead, the common view of personalization focused on giving agency for learning to the student and valuing each individual in a classroom.
    • spfantz
       
      The definitions we have read about personalized learning incorporate technology as an important piece of the personalized learning experience, so this surprises me.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      Yes this surprised me too! A lot of my kids learn best through using technology since they are surrounded by it today within this generation, and engages them more so to me it makes sense to have technology be a big part of personalized learning. 
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I agree! How can technology not be part of the personal learning environment? There are so many opportunities for students to use technology to reach out to others all over the world for collaboration. Technology doesn't have to be relegated only to ed-tech programs.
    • alissahansen
       
      I guess the idea behind the technology is to use it so students have the freedom to gather authentic and meaningful information to help them towards mastery, instead of using technology just for technology sake. A lot of us do, but I have definitely encountered classrooms that like the idea of having technology in the classroom, but it does nothing to further learning in students. (Alissa Hansen)
    • bakersusan
       
      I think with this statement, the author is trying to remind us that personalized learning is more than technology. You don't have to use technology to truly personalize learning for students but that it can be one of the "tools" in the teacher's toolbox to help students learn.
    • lisa noe
       
      I think that the author is implying that technology itself shouldn't be the teacher but more like a partner in learning. I personally think that too many times technology impedes learning.  Students don't have to think or try to figure something out, they can just Google the answer.  If all the answers in the universe can be found in Google what is the point of learning?  We need students to think of things that aren't out there yet.  To discover the unknown.  
  • specific curriculum that will be evaluated on standardized tests, while at the same time telling teachers to be innovative and creative within their classrooms
    • spfantz
       
      This sentence does appear to be a contradiction. Requiring teachers to teach a specific curriculum while infusing innovation and creativity is a challenge.
    • nwhipple
       
      I absolutely agree with you!  It is VERY hard to teach the specific standards for the test while wanting to be creative.  More projects take time and time is inevitable.  We need more time to make learning "fun" and "meet all the standards".  I find kindergarten to be a challenge to balance the standards and crafts/fun.  I know I tried hard this year to let the kids "play" at their tables during math and reading with manipulative instead of constantly doing pages from our math/reading books.  
    • emilyzelenovich
       
      Curiosity is something I really see lacking in some students today (at least high school students).  Many have a really hard time thinking of things they want to know or learn about or believe they can just get the answer to a question by looking online.  I have many students, who when given the chance to research a topic of their choice, believe they aren't interested in anything. This would be a challenge with peronalized learning. 
    • lisalillian311
       
      I agree: curiosity has to have motivation.  I allow students to choose their research topic, and once they delve into it, they start asking me questions, which, in turn, I help them find internet info that might send them in the right direction.  Then, they fly!
    • alissahansen
       
      Sadly, I too have seen more and more lack of innovation and creativity with students and the issue is on the rise it seems. I know with my own experiences as a high school English teacher that students really struggle coming up with their own original ideas, and even with lots of guidance and modeling beforehand. It's as if they do not trust themselves to make a good decision and this is so sad! I try to be very eclectic with how I teach the curriculum and my students will tell you that they do have a lot of choice and voice in my class, but they still need to meet standards and achieve mastery at some levels. I just don't know what it is that seems to be holding students back anymore. I do think PL can help this issue, but I do think that students will have difficulty (as with any chance) getting into such a different system if they already struggle being authentic, generating original ideas, and being creative. (Alissa Hansen)
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      This is very true in many schools. I can relate to this, since our school has been focused on following our new school's reading curriculum this year and focusing on test scores each week. It isn't allowing us to be creative in our classrooms. How do we change the views of administrators to help them allow us to have more personalized learning in our classrooms?
    • kainley
       
      I worry about adding personalized learning to our environment too. We have seen 20% growth in reading scores on Iowa Assessments as we switched our Tier One instruction to a new curriculum. I think our curriculum and the way that teachers are constantly looking at data and working together to create better ways to meet student needs (small group instruction, mixing up classes, intensive guided groups, etc.) has been successful. I wonder how personalized learning lends it self to standardized tests...although the voice of reason in the back of my mind keeps reminding me that one test on one day is no way to measure what a student knows...or for that matter who they are!
    • alissahansen
       
      We have seen a lot of growth with Iowa Assessments too, and it is a result of the amazing teachers in our building and the data teams. I do wonder what assessments look like in a PL environment. There has been a sharp focus on reading and math scores, and scores equate to funding, so I have a feeling that this would be a hard sell...sadly. How can the bureaucracy of the educational world come to terms with what learners truly need/want? I guess this is always up for debate, and once you add in the giving "students the freedom to follow a meaningful line of inquiry, while building the skills to connect, synthesize and analyze information into original productions," it tends to scare people.
    • alissahansen
       
      (last comment was from Alissa Hansen)
    • jenniferlb
       
      This is a true concern, as we have pre and post assessments for each unit to gauge their mastery of the standards.  While I find that information valuable, it is a struggle (and great concern) for many of my colleagues regarding the "freedom" to be creative in how they approach the standards.  I hope to better understand how the idea of innovation and creativity can coexist with necessary curriculum through PL.  Sharing that with concerned colleagues will be a great boost to morale, for sure!
  • The larger point is this: This moment of huge disruption requires us to think deeply about our goals and practices as educators, and it requires us to think deeply about the language we use. Words matter. More importantly, our thinking about what we want our kids to learn and our changed roles in that process matters. I’m suggesting that right now, because of the Web and the plethora of new technologies, the best thing we can do for kids is empower them to make regular, important, thoughtful decisions about their own learning, what they learn and how they learn it, and to frame our use of language in that larger shift, not simply in the affordances for traditional curriculum delivery that the tools of the moment might bring.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I had the pleasure of listening to Will Richardson speak at our school two years ago. I learned so much from his presentation and I was so excited about all of the ideas he provided for our district. I was saddened by how many teachers in our district were really turned off by Will, and felt that the presentation was a waste of their time. Unfortunately, because of this pervasive attitude, we never really proceeded with his ideas for our district.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      These ideas require teachers to thinking beyond the traditional model, which is difficult for most to do or think about.  His example about flipping is a good example, it could be used to really create students who know how to learn, but most don't use it in a way that encourages personal learning. 
    • dwefel
       
      I love this section. It really talks about students taking charge of their learning. I think it is so important for kids to make goals and to really understand where they are and where they need to be. It is neat when students can see where they started and where they end and realize that working towards goals really pays off. (Dana Wefel)
    • alissahansen
       
      Yes, students will only learn that metacognition and how it works by making their own goals and plans of action. I try to have my freshmen do this at the start of each school year and we revisit the list through the year. It is hard for them to create goals, even with modeling, however, so this is something that needs a lot of work (both the teaching of the concept and creating the goals). 14 and 15 year olds have a hard time seeing past the right now, and most struggle even more with articulating what they struggle with and what they are good at. I want to really help my students with this aspect as that will really help us get close to a PL environment. (Alissa Hansen)
  • That was flipping the curriculum, but it still wasn’t flipping the control of the learning.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      I have never really understood how flipping a classroom is supposed to be the future of education like so many educators are saying it is. 
    • bakersusan
       
      I totally agree. If I use the definition of flipping explain by this article, I've been flipping my classroom for most of my career.
  • Dozens of teachers agreed that a truly personalized learning experience requires student choice, is individualized, meaningful and resource rich. This kind of learning allows students to work at their own pace and level, meets the individual needs of students, and perhaps most importantly, is not a one-size fits all model. T
    • Jessica Athen
       
      This statement does a great job of summarizing the goals of personalized learning, but I find myself wondering how we can move in this direction? There are so many changes that need to be made at every level of education and government that it seems almost impossible that we will actually ever be able to provide this type of environment to our students.
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      Doesn't it also mean a lower student-to-teacher ratio? I also think it seems nearly impossible to implement on a wide scale basis. 
    • ahawthorne
       
      I agree the system needs to change from top to bottom. If we aren't able to see change in the levels of education we will continue to struggle to see significant change.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      I agree whole-heartedly Jessica! Transitioning from a more traditional model to a personal learning model would be a HUGE undertaking. We aren't just talking about PreK-12 education, but post-secondary as well. Teacher preparation programs would need to be overhauled as well. How does everyone get on the same page in terms of what Personal Learning means and what it involves? There is much work to be done at all levels of the educational system as well as the government that funds the public educational system. I can't really wrap my head around this monumental task.
    • ascallon
       
      I agree students need to make their own choices.  How does the teacher motivate the student to choose more than the basics to get by.  Many students I see want to do the bare minimum and nothing more.
    • alissahansen
       
      I agree that change is going to be difficult and that the entire educational system would need to be revamped, and that would also mean students would need to be trained for this type of learning environment because they have been born into this "one size fits all" system. I am curious what that training would look like. I am also thinking that communities that are homes to these schools would also need to be educated on personalized learning, or I fear major problems. (Alissa Hansen)
    • nwhipple
       
      I changed up my teaching this year and did less large group time and more centers and small group instruction time.  I found that my time with a small group worked really well because it was individualized by what their needs were.  However, I am still tweaking my centers and how the kids motivate themselves.  I have things for them to do, but to get them to do "more" is the hard part, unless you are scaffolding it, constantly.  (Natalie Whipple)
    • moodyh
       
      In my traditional high school classes, I am trying to work towards a more personalized classroom experience, (although I realize in taking this class that it's actually more of a differentiation approach.) I think someone has to initiate the change and make it successful and more people will try it.  
    • alissahansen
       
      I am curious what you are doing to make your high school classroom more personalized. I am trying to do the same thing, but is very tough as I have classes of over 25 and see over 100 students everyday. I want this as my goal, but it seems like quite the mountain to climb. I like doing small groups, but my biggest issue is that I only see students for 45 minutes. I am not sure that is enough time to create a truly "meaningful line of inquiry, while building the skills to connect, synthesize, and analyze information into original products." (Alissa Hansen)
    • edamisch
       
      What if a student's pace is excruciatingly slow?  How will a teacher ever get through everything? 
  • Certain forms of technology can be used to support progressive education, but meaningful (and truly personal) learning never requires technology.
    • ahawthorne
       
      Some of my students are so sick of technology - and good for them. We need to remember it doesn't solve everything. 
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree with this statement.  Learning is a process of discovery, the acquisition or knowledge and sklls, and although you can learn many things by googling information, true learning goes beyond that.  You must know how and when to use this information.
    • bakersusan
       
      I too agree with this statement. Technology is a tool and shouldn't be expected to solve "problems" within education. I work in a 1:1 school, and as staff have come to a better understanding of technology and what it can and can't do, I see more true learning taking place. Once still has to remember that the most important component of learning are the people, not computers, iPads, etc...
    • alissahansen
       
       Agreed! I have students who cannot even tell time on a clock that is not digital or read a map...this is where things are going if we use technology for technology sake. (Alissa Hansen)
  • However, in order to navigate the system of accountability in the U.S. educational system, many school district leaders require public school educators to teach a specific curriculum that will be evaluated on standardized tests, while at the same time telling teachers to be innovative and creative within their classrooms. When that happens, the structures around the classroom leave little room for the kind of authentic, whole-child personalization many teachers dream of offering. The demands of the system — and education leaders’ desire to excel within it — lend themselves well to the computerized, modular and often very standardized system of “personalization” many ed-tech companies are offering.
    • Jessica Athen
       
      This statement really resonated with me. I feel like as a teacher, we are supposed to "do it all." We are supposed to meet the individual needs of each student while also providing a mandated one size fits all curriculum with the goal of better test scores, and if we can't do all of this, then we are told that we have failed as teachers.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      Standardized testing is not consistent with personal learning. So how would schools be evaluated for progress? I don't see standardized testing going away anytime soon, but then again, it will take a long time to implement personal learning in a school, let alone the entire state and country.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      Interesting and good point! I think this is important for all educators to realize and know that personal learning should never require technology. We need to use it to support our student's on going learning.
  • ‘We often say we want creativity and innovation – personalization – but every mechanism we use to measure it is through control and compliance.’
    • Kristina Dvorak
       
      Maybe the idea of grading needs to be evaluated.  Even standards based grading does the same thing.  
    • ahawthorne
       
      This is always a difficult. How do we address this?
    • lisalillian311
       
      We use common rubrics that we design as a staff and use CCS as our guide.  It is difficult to set up at first, but it becomes second nature after a while.  On standardized writing, we set a baseline on three different student submissions so we are all on the same page while grading with the rubric, and we all understand what "proficient" and "approaching" clearly mean.  I have done this in two different districts--perhaps it is the same all over?
    • kainley
       
      We also use common rubrics that we designed. We are constantly changing them as we learn more about the standards. I love your idea of bringing submissions to a PLC and discussing what is truly proficient. I do wonder, how did you get your team to be brave enough to share?
  • not about giving students what they want, it’s about a
    • ahawthorne
       
      This is always a fear of mine. So difficult to not do for them what we really need them to do!
  • recommended learning path just for them.
  • Personalization is often used in the ed-tech community to describe a student moving through a prescribed set of activities at his own pace.
    • Lisa Hackman
       
      As a user of a couple ed-tech products, they are really no different than what happens in the traditional classroom. Students are receiving the same content but in a different way. This is still not a personal learning opportunity but an individualized learning opportunity. All of the students are still meeting the same objectives and completing the same work. There is really nothing personal about it. In a weak defense of these products, I have had students do quite well using ed-tech programs. They were at least showing up to school on a more consistent basis and completing work. That doesn't necessarily mean that it was the best way for them to learn but it was a slight improvement over their previuos experience in the traditional high school setting.
    • ascallon
       
      I don't think using a program like Edgenuity is personalizing for students.  All students use the same program.  I think it's more differentiation and individualization.
    • bleza66
       
      I agree with you that programs like Edgenuity are more about differentiation or individualization and not personalization but I think we can get there with programs like this if we can get the publishers to adapt them for more personalized choices. It can be built into the programming and if there is enough market f  or it they will create it. Education is a  slow moving train but with time and a push from educators this can and I believe will happen in the future.
  • because of the larger preoccupation with data data data data data.
    • ascallon
       
      A comment from a recent high school grad--standardized tests don't show individuality yet schools are funded by test scores. 
  • Tracking kids’ “progress” with digital profiles
    • ascallon
       
      I don't think it's fair that one test has so much value for a student.  Iowa Assessment scores are used for PSEO criteria, class placement.  If the student tests poorly due to illness, classroom environment, or just a bad day--it can have quite an effect on his/her future classes.
  • their choices are limited to when — or maybe, if they’re lucky, how – they’ll master a set of skills mandated by people who have never met them.
    • lisalillian311
       
      I worry about students who have gotten all the way to high school with a lack of intrinsic motivation.  So many are off track to graduate, so I guess I wonder how PL will help these kids if they already lack motivation.  Often, their goals are to be in a trade, which is fine, but they may see their parent making this work look easy.  For PL, I feel cautious around motivating the hard-to-motivate.
    • emilyzelenovich
       
      This is one of my greatest concerns as well. I have so many students who struggle to find anything to write about, read about, talk about that matters or is thought provoking to them. How would they handle the flexibility and independence that comes with PL? 
  • If we can’t engage our kids in ideas and explorations that require no technology, then we have surely lost our way.
    • lisalillian311
       
      Not every subject lends itself to technology, such as science, which requires hands-on lab work.
    • moodyh
       
      Another image comes to mind. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1d/eb/5c/1deb5c1cf49a5dbb7689131f3cc8b9a9.jpg I am all for technology as an OPTION, not as a requirement.
    • jenniferlb
       
      I totally agree! It is a seemingly impossible task to get students to put aside their technology for the sake of real world interaction.  I use technology, and invite them to use technology when appropriate and, ahem, innovative ;) but to get them interested in a novel is becoming increasingly difficult.  I feel that I share my passion for what we're learning, but it is a constant struggle to keep them interested without a screen.
    • kburrington
       
      I think of my favorite teachers and the classes I felt I learn the most in and I never remember there being a computer there. Technology is a tool not a substitute for teaching. KB
  • artificially personalized
  • Personalization is often used in the ed-tech community to describe a student moving through a prescribed set of activities at his own pace. The only choice a student gets is what box to check on the screen and how quickly to move through the exercises. For many educators that’s not the true meaning of “personalized learning.”
    • sheilig
       
      Is this where Skoolbo, Moby Max, Scootpad, and other sites like these fit? 
  • Simpler strategies, such as having kids choose, read, and discuss real books from the library may be more effective
    • sheilig
       
      YES! I don't see kids free reading enough. It's an inexpensive, easy, and effective strategy. It can be done when the internet is down, too! (I'm saying this because there have been times when we have lost power or internet and kids feel we should cancel school!)
    • alissahansen
       
      hahaha. I have heard that from so many of our students, and believe me, a little too often than not because our school is moving closer to 1-to-1 and it has done a number to the stability of the Internet, so of course as the district was increasing our bandwidth, there were a number of hours we lost power. But of course, I have students read independent reading novels each semester and create a project/presentation over what they choose, this gave them time to read in class! Most students really enjoyed reading a book, but I did have students look at me like I was crazy, "What, a book that is 100 pages or more?!"  (Alissa Hansen)
  • She cautions educators who may be excited about the progressive educational implications for “personalized learning” to make sure everyone they work with is on the same page about what that phrase means.
    • sheilig
       
      There is so much information out there that talks about "personalized learning." So, yes, I agree that everyone in the district needs to be on the same page about the definition and ways to implement it.
  • We often say we want creativity and innovation – personalization – but every mechanism we use to measure it is through control and compliance
    • kainley
       
      This is exactly why I think that PL will be a hard sell to my district. We ARE seeing growth on the test...does that mean that we are taking into account the whole child...no. However, this is how we measure growth and I'd like to know how we can even change that?
  • ‘We often say we wan
  • don’t lear
  • it is clear that all children don’t learn the same way and personalization seems to honor those differences.
    • nwhipple
       
      I agree that not all students learn the same way, especially at age 5.  I honor their learning differences daily but I am often challenged by grouping them based on their ability  and fitting in time to have them reach the standard for the day on their own.  The common core wants all kids proficient by the end of their school year in all their standards.  It gets tricky to personalize every child's learning and have them do it at their own pace when some may take 4-5 weeks to accomplish 1 standard.  This is where I worry about not having enough hours in the day and days in the school year.  
    • jroffman
       
      I agree too! Not all students learn the same way I also think that is why now in the preschool classroom I am having to teach students how to play. I think that even at a very young age kids are taught to wait and be told what to do. I always think back to my youngest brother who struggled in school, and how he was told he would never make it. He went into farming and now at the age of 26 bought his first farm and milks over 100 cows, I would say he is successful even though he didn't make all of the common core goals. 
    • jenniferlb
       
      When I think of the work I do with high school students, this is clearly something we deal with every day.  I present information in a variety of ways to attempt to meet the needs of different learning styles and I really try to "keep it moving" to avoid losing the attention of very "short-attention-spanned" kids! I think we can all relate to this, and I certainly agree that personalization will help adjust traditional learning to meet the needs of all students a little better. (Jennifer Betz)
  • A personalized environment gives students the freedom to follow a meaningful line of inquiry, while building the skills to connect, synthesize and analyze information into original productions.
    • kainley
       
      I love that students get choice. I love that they are connecting, synthesizing and analyzing. I love that they are creating something original. I guess I am wonder what a personalized environment would be for PL. In my class we follow the Daily 5 and with that, we have a comfortable reading space, cushions that can be brought to anywhere in the room, soft lamp light, tables for 4-6 students to work together, buddy areas.."home-looking." I mean is that what this is, or am I way off base?
    • jroffman
       
      I struggle with creating a personalized classroom because of space, when students start projects one day they have to be put away at the end of play time otherwise we won't have space for large group or table activities. I also struggle with enough adults in the classroom, students are not comfortable with that much freedom and want a teacher next to them for guidance, but one teacher to 18 kids just doesn't work most of the time. My other issue is a personal issue I am an all or nothing type of person and I get frustrated when it doesn't look like I think it should. In reality I am probally doing an okay job with personalized learning, but I have LOTS of improvements to make. 
  • the industrialized form of education that pumps out cookie-cutter students with the same knowledge and skills.
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree that many students have difficultly thinking outside of the box.  I believe that is because we have quashed individuality.  We ask everyone to conform to our standards.  Our society has a habit of criticizing those that go against the norm.  We expect all students to follow the same path and to want the same things.  Students don't want to be embarrassed for thinking or looking differently.  I see this happen frequently during group work.  There always seems to be a strong-minded individual who takes charge.  Many times other members' voices are never heard even though they may have equally as good of ideas, if not better.  Many students have zero confidence in themselves so they never stand up and let their voice be heard.  Hence, cookie cutters. 
    • alissahansen
       
      I am nodding my head in agreement to your every statement here Lisa. With all of the assessments and data driven curriculum we have not given students any room or confidence to be creative or innovative. And when we do ask for it, students are so reluctant out of fear and that fear is paralytic. PL has so many benefits. Don't we want our future citizens to be innovators and critical thinkers? I think we do and our current educational system seems to imprison any originality. (Alissa Hansen.
    • bleza66
       
      I agree with both of you (Lisa and Alisson) students today are afraid of being different or standing out because they are afraid of not being accepted. I also agree that society has taught us this lesson all too well. However, if we begin to initiate higher order, more individualized thinking and expression of ideas at an early age then our societal norms will eventually begin to change and persoanalized individual learning will become the expectation and eventually the new norm. We can only hope and dream for that day to come. 
  • Three words seem to be dancing around in my head of late when it comes to current thinking about education: “personalization,” “engagement” and “flip.” All three were on display on the vendor floor and in session rooms at last week’s International Society for Technology in Education conference in San Diego, one of the largest ed tech conferences in the world attended by upward of 18,000 people.
  • It meets the needs of an individual in a very standardized way, but it doesn’t take into account who that kid is.
    • moodyh
       
      This is what happened in my last school district.  The administration thought that a computer program could solve all the issues, but very few students learned well from a computer program.
    • kburrington
       
      We have been finding that technology works good for some students but not for all. Sounds familiar kind of just like direct instruction.
    • jillnovotny
       
      I think the issue is differences in the meaning of personalized learning. As we discussed in class previously, personalized learning is not the same thing as differentiation, which is supposed to meet students' needs. Personalized learning is truly about putting students in control of their learning and supporting them in developing that learning!
    • juliefulton
       
      When a student is unsuccessful in the traditional classroom we look to computer classes to fulfill the credit requirement. The focus is on successfully fulfilling the requirement rather than on learning. If schools were to turn to component recovery with a unit that allows personalized learning, the student could do both - learn and fulfill the graduation requirement.
  • Our kids (and we ourselves) are suddenly walking around with access to the sum of human knowledge in our pockets and connections to literally millions of potential teachers. It’s a dramatic shift that requires new literacies to navigate all that access and, importantly, new dispositions to take advantage of it for learning.
    • moodyh
       
      This line makes me think of this image. https://marinarn.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/pic1.jpg I think there will have to be some re"training" for teachers and students to be able to deal with the vast sums of knowledge available to everyone.
    • alissahansen
       
      Agreed! In my own English classroom, and I know I am not alone, students have access to millions of reviews and analyses of the literature we read in our own classroom so my goal is always to have them either create a product based on their own understanding of a concept, character, plot point, etc. or I do my best to give them choices for them to navigate their own understanding. A lot of "required" literature is all found online and there is so much out there on most aspects of each piece. Technology can make this aspect very difficult as students have all of this at their fingertips, and our goal as educators is for students to gain their own sense of meaning from what they have seen, read, heard, while also building skills that lead towards mastery along the way. (Alissa Hansen)
  • You want to really engage kids? Give them opportunities to learn personally, to create their own texts and courses of study, and to pursue that learning with others in and out of the classroom who share a passion.
    • dwefel
       
      This is a great piece in the article. It really got me thinking of how boring school is for kids. As an educator I 100% want my students to be engaged and having fun learning. It would be so great to hear old kids tell their younger siblings how much fun school is!
  • Technology and the Web has radically changed that concept.
    • alissahansen
       
      Technology has changed the way EVERYTHING is done in the classroom as students have access to EVERYTHING now. So, what can we do as educators to make sure they are having meaningful and authentic experiences in our classrooms? How do some of you deal with this issue? I know I put a lot of work into the in-class and out of class work that I have students do because many questions/answers can be found so quickly by students and this occurs anytime and anywhere. (Alissa Hansen)
  • “free to expand as a standardized individual.”[1]
    • alissahansen
       
      I think this is a great quote that truly shows just how contradictory our world is! And especially with education. (Alissa Hansen)
    • principalchris
       
      Alissa, I like this quote as well.  We are free to educate as long as everyone gets 100% on the standardized test.
  • more important to have the dispositions and the skills to create our own educational opportunities, not be trained to wait for opportunities that someone else has selected for delivery.
  • crucially more important to have the dispositions and the skills to create our own educational opportunities, not be trained to wait for opportunities that someone else has selected for delivery.
  • can explore almost every interest or passion in depth on our own or with others, it’s crucially more important to have the dispositions a
  • personalization only comes when students have authentic choice over how to tackle a problem
    • jenniferlb
       
      I like how this is stated..."authentic choice." We all want to be given choice in what we do each day...personally or professionally.  I think it is imperative to give students choice, when possible, in their learning.  But, the term "authentic" is what strikes me, because when I think of the choice I'm able to give students, I question whether or not it is authentic. When I offer students their choice of six different novels to read for a unit of study, is that truly authentic?  I'm doubting so.  It is a struggle, for sure.
    • katie50009
       
      I was also struggling with the word "authentic" here. Or even "how to tackle a problem." What problem? Why is this an important problem to tackle? Why? Would the student agree that it is worth tackling much less how to tackle it?
    • juliefulton
       
      I like the use of "authentic" however I am equally curious how a teacher manages a situation when the student does not believe it is worth tackling the question, as the previous reader noted. This is a great example of a need for PD - help teachers with strategies to inspire their students to want to take chances and risks to learn.
  • personalization only comes when students have authentic choice over how to tackle a problem
  • personalization only comes when students have authentic choice over how to tackle a problem
  • the prevailing narrative seems to be that we can’t engage kids without technology, without a smartphone, tablet computer or some other multimedia device or tool.
    • edamisch
       
      Technology is great and all, but it does have it's drawbacks.   A family friend was all excited that her baby could do XYZ on an iPad at a young age to find out later that her pediatrician thought that very thing might be why her speech was so delayed.  
  • better test scores
    • edamisch
       
      I've been interviewing and the question every district seems to ask it about data, data, data.  Two and four years ago, this was not the case.  I believe this is because of the high stakes testing trend in recent years.  
  • individualism yet experience a “relentless pressure to conform.”
    • edamisch
       
      This reminds me of the "hipster" trend - "let's all be different in the same way." 
  • “It’s so much cheaper to buy a new computer than to pay a teacher’s salary year after year.”[11]
    • edamisch
       
      There are districts using Rosetta Stone as opposed to foreign language teachers out there! 
  • One final caveat: in the best student-centered, project-based education, kids spend much of their time learning with and from one another.
    • edamisch
       
      I'll admit, there is one tiny, tiny part of me that thinks, "My parents' generation turned out alright without flipped/project-based/differentiated/insert every other educational buzzword here." Honestly sometimes I do wonder if all these best practice trends aren't leading to an egocentric, narcissistic  generation.  Selfies for example.  But then there's a larger part of me that knows the factory model doesn't work in education either.  
    • lisa noe
       
      I agree!  I think of all the amazing things that have been invented in history and wonder, how in the world did they do it without technology?!  I know that our world is changing, and that to continue to grow we must change, but sometimes things are better left as is. As I type that, I realize our educational system needs to be overhauled.  It's just that every time I turn around someone is trying to "sell" us something else they claim will work, and before we even have a chance to get it up and running something new comes along. :)
  • From what I’ve seen, flipping doesn’t do much for helping kids become better learners in the sense of being able to drive their own education
    • jenniferlb
       
      I have to agree with this statement.  With high school students who are over-involved (or resistant to be involved in anything at all) homework is rarely a priority.  Perhaps for a math class or a world language class where they have actual "work" to hand in, but when it comes to students finding reading time outside of class and putting as much effort into English is a challenge, for sure.
    • emilyzelenovich
       
      This is a common discussion in the English department at my school. We struggle to figure out how to make any kind of outside reading or homework a priority. We have tried providing more time in class, but then we often run out of time or students grow tired of doing one thing for too long. Trying to help them see value and meaning in the work we assign is tricky.
  • ‘We often say we want creativity and innovation – personalization – but every mechanism we use to measure it is through control and compliance.’
  • The Web has changed or is changing just about everything when it comes to how we think about the ways in which we communicate, collaborate and create.
  • It’s as if engaging them in learning without technology has become this impossible task.
    • kaberding
       
      It is hard to compete with technology.  When I think of technology, I think of even simple things like a cd player, video (the old VHS), radio station (for current news), etc.  As educators, we have been using technology to teach since we could get our hands on it. How about a simple cassette player with the ABC song on it?  I'm sure every educator has put their hands on any technology device that can help their students gain a better understanding of what is being taught. So I tend to disagree with idea that we shouldn't have to engage students without technology.  We should have to engage them with whatever is out there; doesn't that contradict the whole idea of listening to lecture is not an effective teaching strategy?  Basically, when I think of the term technology, I think of any form of it; not just the Web.  
  • Personalization promises better student achievement and, I believe, a more effective delivery method than any one teacher with 25 or 30 students in a classroom can compete with.
    • kaberding
       
      Personalization scares me to the extent that we are not only talking about teaching the content, but being an expert in whatever they choose as personal learning.  Or at least knowing how or where they can access all the information for their personal learning.  With class sizes only growing, I am nervous to see how planning, tracking, and assessing the learning will go.  
    • jillnovotny
       
      I will admit, this is the component of personalized learning I have not yet been able to wrap my head around. In thinking about how to manage the learning of all students in the classroom when the content may be different is kind of intimidating. Teachers who have experience with personalized learning like project-based learning have shared that it is not as difficult as it might seem and that the students work harder than they do. I think it is important that people don't get the idea that it is a hands-off approach from the teacher; it is simply putting the learning in their control and supporting them with developing their learning!
  • personalization,” “engagement” and “flip
  • personalization,” “engagement” and “flip.”
  • personalization,” “engagement” and “flip.
  • personalization,” “engagement” and “flip
  • “personalization,” “engagement” and “flip
  • personalization,” “engagement” and “flip.
  • “personalization,” “engagement” and “flip.”
  • engagement
    • kaberding
       
      When I think of these terms, I think of differentiation.  To me that is what personalizing, engaging, and flipping learning can be.  Only until you add the term personal does that change and move away from differentiation.  
  • system of accountability in the U.S. educational system,
    • katie50009
       
      I struggle with the systemic changes that will need to be made to have complete personalized learning for all students while still have some accountability for what goes on in the classrooms of America. I don't want to appear negative, and I am certainly for personalized learning, but I am conflicted on how this can happen and still have accountability
    • jillnovotny
       
      I completely agree with you that there are a number of systematic changes that will need to occur before personalized learning really takes hold in the US. In my opinion, there are still many ways to keep teachers and students accountable through personalized learning (i.e. still meeting the standards but through a project-based way). It is going to take some time for policy makers and other stakeholders in education to realize the possibilities personalized learning has to offer. I think it starts with having success with it in our own classrooms and success only comes through a number of attempts! I like to think of it as "If not us, who? If not now, when?"
  • We often say we want creativity and innovation
  • whole-child personalization many teachers dream of offering.
  • Personal learning entails working with each child to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests
    • jillnovotny
       
      Whether you call it personal or personalized learning, this is what it is all about! To nurture students' natural curiosity, we want students learning about things they are passionate about. By supporting students in creating projects that reflect their unique needs and interests, we are truly teaching to the child. Again, this doesn't mean teaching one student about addition using basketballs and another ballet shoes, but about getting students actively involved in their learning and putting more of the control in their hands. 
  • the industrialized form of education that pumps out cookie-cutter students with the same knowledge and skills.
    • juliefulton
       
      I wholeheartedly agree with all of the comments and agree that we need to place emphasis on the young learners to change societal norms which are incredibly strong in the high school culture.
kimgrissom

Implementation in Advocacy/Guidanace/Post-Secondary Preparation (Articles) - 0 views

  • we found that offering options to students also bears risk for the educators.
    • kimgrissom
       
      Wow. This is a great example of learning with student choice that has incredible value but this risk is real and a reason that many schools would likely shy away from this type of encouragement.
  • They also reached beyond the immediate Graham community to forge partnerships, potentially risking their original plan to unforeseen compromises and adaptations, leaving them-selves open to new opportunities.
    • kimgrissom
       
      As a parent, community member, and educator, I love this type of authentic learning. But how does this fit into the standards, required curriculum, high-stakes testing education system we have today? Do these partnerships with the community bring more support to schools or do they open up schools to even more criticism if test results aren't a piece of the puzzle?
  • Providing choice risks failure because when we, as teachers, make all the decisions for our students, lessons will proceed predictably in productive directions; however, when we remove the possibility of students choosing, and choosing wrongly, we fail to aid the students in becoming competent, thoughtful risk takers.
    • kimgrissom
       
      True of the system or district as well...
  • ...7 more annotations...
  • An environment without risk fails to prepare students for life outside the classroom, a world of risk taking. Allowing students to experience measured risks, in a supportive community, models the real-world paradigm where choices naturally entail risk.
    • kimgrissom
       
      This makes perfect sense to me. It's guided my parenting style and it's a piece of how I have taught as well. It's just a different look at what the can mean.
  • Over 60% of students who eventually dropped out of high school failed at least25% of their credits in the ninth grade, while only 8% of their peers who eventually graduated had similar difficulty.”
    • kimgrissom
       
      This is an interesting statistic that makes me wonder how we can be both responsive to students in this situation and proactive in preventing these kinds of situations.
  • The Silent Epidemic estimates that the government would reap $45 billion in extra tax revenues and reduced costs in public health, crime, and welfare payments if the number of high school dropouts among 20-year olds in the U.S. today were cut in half.
    • kimgrissom
       
      Wow. That is staggering and something I don't think gets talked enough about when it comes to education and finances.
  • It also suggests that educators have not yet found a single approach that comprehensively addresses the needs of all at risk students.
    • kimgrissom
       
      This is true. I think our schools wants online learning to be the magic bullet, but the truth is that online learning is a really great option for some kids. But not all kids will be successful that way either. We need a variety of options for kids.
  • Instead of challenging students to raise their performance to the level they must reach to be successful, too often credit recovery “solutions” have lowered the bar for passing.
    • kimgrissom
       
      Yes. This is real
  • It was not that I didn’t want to go to the school; it was that there was nothing for me to go to.
    • kimgrissom
       
      I'm not sure this is true of all parents, but it's possible that we sell them short based on the little interaction we make possible for parents.
  • The sum of all these experiences was a prelude to his senior year, when he began the process of selecting colleges.
    • kimgrissom
       
      These experiences all sound amazing. But how do they fit into what is required of schools? Is all of this in addition to the learning of "traditional classes"? How does this impact algebra or government class or writing skills? I think it sounds great and would allow students to become well-rounded individuals, but it's hard to understand how a school uses their human and fiscal resources to make this kind of learning available to all students.
Jennifer Riedemann

ollie_4: Article: Attributes from Effective Formative Assessment (CCSSO) - 4 views

  • Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes.
    • Mary Overholtzer
       
      Has there ever been a time when teachers can't give feedback or adjust their own teaching because students refuse to do what was intended as an instructional task for learning? As an educator, I have some students who don't want to do anything, even when given a choice on how they might show their learning.
    • Lorilee Hamel
       
      Unfortunately, at least in my teaching experience, in content areas other than reading and writing, I have run into many teachers who believed in the Bell Curve still for classroom grading. Their numbers are dwindling, but they still exist along with teachers who believe, "I told them once. They should have it." I'm so glad your experiences make your question even possible. That is growth and improvement in instruction.
  • Learning goals and criteria for success should be clearly identified and communicated to students.
    • Mary Overholtzer
       
      I have found that learning goals are broader in scope since we no longer memorize, skill and drill, and have the detailed oriented mechanisms of learning in place. Maybe I am missing the boat, but I want my students to be: great speakers who project their voice(yes, I do use a decibel reader) when they are public speaking. It's a great to incorporate the science of speaking. I do want them to be great writers, and I will say a well written rubric can enhance this. I am also after great thinking and problem solving. I have found that the middle level learner can seem to problem solve in some situations, yet they have become inept at problem solving on how to "get a pencil" when they don't come to class with one in their possession. Being able to get along with many within their peer group would be great. This seems to be an ongoing battle for some individuals who "want to work" by themselves. I have had my share of accountants in my classroom.... :)
    • Jodi Leimkuehler
       
      Are you saying accountants are loners? They have to be able to work with clients :) (I'm a business teacher and just couldn't let this slide :)
    • Mary Overholtzer
       
      Jodi, That was a narrow view, please forgive me. I stand corrected by you....Thank you for your correction. I will say, I have students who want to work by themselves....that is great for reflection, yet collaboration is a skills that we all need to develop.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Mary, You are definitely not missing the boat! All those goals are excellent and very necessary for students to obtain. Do not give up on your broader learning goals and keep letting your students know that this is what you want for them. You might need a poster in your room with your broader goals stated on it as a constant reference for you and your students, and then post on your board your daily learning goals for your students. You are such a wonderful teacher and your students learn so much from you! Keep up the good work!
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Mary, I can absolutely relate to your comment about students that want to work by themselves! Some TAG students are "past masters" of wanting to do things on their own - I live with one!! Learning to collaborate is often a very difficult task for them in middle or high school. In my own experience, this improves for these high achievers when they reach college and are able to work with others that have similar abilities.
  • Descriptive feedback should be about the particular qualities of student learning with discussion or suggestions about what the student can do to improve.
    • Mary Overholtzer
       
      I have found it interesting how the "Boy's Town" model from a long time ago....always started with a positive statement of praise and supporting details; yet if negative feedback was needed, it would weave in concern statement that didn't use words like "but or however". For example: I can appreciate how your started your paragraph with energy and great discriptive words. As you work on your thesis, you may want to keep in mind.....or have you ever thought of....? Yes, constructive feedback is an "art form" when communicating to students who think they have excellence, yet fall short....I mean way short.
    • Brooke Maine
       
      I have never heard of the "Boy's Town" model but I like how you wrote about giving concerns to a student without using "but" or "however'- I can see that making such a difference and being more influential and beneficial to students!
    • Sally Rigeman
       
      Too often the feedback is merely "corrective" - a check mark or "ok".
  • ...43 more annotations...
  • Creating such a culture requires teachers to model
    • Mary Overholtzer
       
      This is huge, yet it is necessary.
    • Lorilee Hamel
       
      True, and it's the key to first level of helping students begin to grow!
    • anonymous
       
      The atmosphere has shifted, and we now not only have 'permission' to do this, but are expected.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      This is an absolute necessity!!!!
    • Sally Rigeman
       
      Teachers need to ask more questions.
  • substantial interest in formative assessment
    • Lorilee Hamel
       
      While the language of formative and summative assessment is relatively new as well as the new emphasis on direct feedback, the fact of the matter is that writing teachers have done these things forever. We just didn't package it with a fancy name in order to make oodles of $$. Dang it! ; )
  • is to provide evidence that is used by teachers and students to inform instruction and learning during the teaching/learning process
    • Lorilee Hamel
       
      As I explain to my students, "If you can do this perfectly already, I shouldn't be teaching it."
    • Brooke Maine
       
      Haha, I like that Lorilee! I might have to steal it. :)
  • Learning Progressions:
  • Learning Goals and Criteria for Success
  • Descriptive Feedback:
  • Self- and Peer-Assessment:
    • Lorilee Hamel
       
      This is another area where writing teachers have a distinct advantage and have been practicing these protocols for a long time.
  • Collaboration
    • Lorilee Hamel
       
      Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop--that's the entire premise of Nancy Atwelll's work.
  • process requires the teacher to share learning goals with students
    • anonymous
       
      It makes such perfect sense to be doing this, and I'm not sure how much it is actually done. Just like in our class here, we want to know what we are expected to pick up from this and appreciate having the opportunity to self-assess our learning in a format where we can get instant feedback to see if we understand.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Clair, To be honest, in my experience out in the schools as an AEA Literacy Consultant, it is being done very little. No matter how many times I include this in professional development trainings over things like effective instruction, iowa core, etc., there are truly only a handful of teachers that share their learning goals with the students. Many of them write the goals out in their lesson plans, but never get around to telling the people who really need the information.
  • and provide opportunities for students to monitor their ongoing progress.
  • learning progression teachers have the big picture of what students need to learn, as well as sufficient detail for planning instruction to meet short-term goals.
  • It should help the student answer three basic questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? How can I close the gap?
    • Brooke Maine
       
      I have done something pretty unique I think in my classroom. I (and several student volunteers) have spent a lot of time over the last couple years writing out each unit's learning objectives on posters that I laminate and hang on the wall in my classroom for every unit in every class. I made little, cute colored checkmarks that I also laminated and cut out. As we progress through the unit, I checkmark the learning objectives we have covered in class, so students can see very easily what we have done and what is left to cover. And above my posters, is another poster that says exactly what is written here: "Where amd I going? Where am I now? How can I close the gap?" I remember reading this quote during PD on FA, but now I know where it came from! :) It has taken a lot of time to make the posters and takes time to change them, put checkmarks on/off, etc, but I really like that it is a focal point in my room and is very unique. Students should know exactly what they are learning and use the questions above to self-assess as we go through our units.
    • Jodi Leimkuehler
       
      That is a great idea! I am curious, have you found that your students are using the posters? Are they self-assessing? Are they taking ownership in their learning?
  • A teacher needs to have modeled good feedback with students and talked about what acceptable and unacceptable comments look like in order to have created a safe learning environment
    • anonymous
       
      Being able to give good constructive feedback is a skill that goes way beyond the classroom. It will serve students well later in life as they interact with co-workers, friends and eventually, their own children.
  • student- and peer-assessment should not be used in the formal grading process.
    • anonymous
       
      It's important to have students realize that they are not being graded on peer assessments.  It is only a benefit to give feedback about another person's assignment.  
  • teachers must provide the criteria by which learning will be assessed so that students will know whether they are successfully progressing toward the goal.
    • anonymous
       
      Students need to realize that they are progressing towards a goal.  If they don't see it, the quality of work usually isn't as great as when the goal is in mind.
  • self- and peer-assessment are important for providing students an opportunity to think meta-cognitively about their learning.
    • Mary Trent
       
      I think this needs to be used more often in the classroom. I know as teachers, we find collaborating with our peers to be so valuable and I think, if done correctly, students can also gain some very helpful insight into their learning.
  • supporting students as they monitor and take responsibility for their own learning, helping students to provide constructive feedback to each other, and involving students in decisions about how to move learning forward are illustrations of students and teachers working together in the teaching and learning process.
    • Mary Trent
       
      Amen! I think this statement is key. If students take ownership of their learning, they will become more passionate about it and ultimately want to do better for the pure knowledge and not just for a grade. Students need to feel as though they will have support through the learning process and will be able to rely on teachers and fellow students for help along their journey.
  • In peer-assessment, students analyze each others’ work using guidelines or rubrics and provide descriptive feedback that supports continued improvement.
    • Jason Martin-Hiner
       
      I've been trying this with lab groups in order to promote discussion both about experimental techniques as well as data analysis. After the initial work, I split groups up and have each partner discuss results with a member of another group.
    • Brooke Maine
       
      I like that idea Jason! When we looked at rubrics at the beginning of this class and shared a rubric we use in our teaching, the project for the rubric I shared is something I always have students self-assess and peer-assess when the projects are complete. I then give the students a few days if they wish to make any changes before they turn the project in to me for a final grade. I have definitely seen an improvement in scores and cognitive thinking when I started the self- and peer-assessment.
  • This feeling is dependent on a classroom culture characterized by a sense of trust between and among students and their teachers; by norms of respect, transparency, and appreciation of differences; and by a non-threatening environment
    • Jason Martin-Hiner
       
      All of these aspects are highlighed in the Characteristics of Effective Instruction in the Iowa Core.
  • during recent years
    • Brooke Maine
       
      I personally have learned a ton of information about FA the last several years. I took a class on it for my master's degree about 4 years ago or so and that next school year, it was the focus of PD in our district and is always something we revisit. I wish I would have learned more about it in college before I started teaching! But I'm glad to have the knowledge now.
  • Learning progressions describe how concepts and skills build in a domain, and show the trajectory of learning along which students are expected to progress.
    • Mike Todd
       
      I  know that in science, organizations like AAAS have worked hard to develop these progressions for many topics and created resources (Benchmarks, ATLAS, etc.).  But for some topics these need to be developed by the teacher.  And even with the AAAS resources, developing these learning progressions into a course that helps students connect everything together is the job of the teacher.  Collaborating on these tasks with other teachers is extremely worthwhile - I just wish this was valued by more school districts and administrators by allowing more time for these things during the school day.  Many seem to think that "courses" are already planned out.  I even had one superintendent that told me "Any minute not spent with students is a waste of time for teachers" - she was obviously lacking in knowledge about what professional teachers do with their time.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Good grief! I'm glad the state government is now stepping in to require schools to allow teacher collaboration. The only problem is the state's requirements are vastly lower than what should be and needs to be provided to teachers so that real collaboration on student progress and course development can happen.
  • The opening paragraph does not capture the audience’s attention because it does not clearly state what the speech is about. However, the opening sentence of the second paragraph states your position with an effective contrast. What can you do to improve or strengthen your opening paragraph?
    • Mike Todd
       
      I have often focussed on putting feedback on writing, similar to the last question, but have failed to include the preceding sentence - I agree that both are important.
  • Effective formative assessment involves collecting evidence about how student learning is progressing during the course of instruction so that necessary instructional adjustments can be made to close the gap between students’ current understanding and the desired goals.
    • Pam Rust
       
      This says it all. How many times do teachers check for understanding along the way and then just keep rolling through the lesson, ignoring the fact that some kids are missing something. Does no good to check for understanding as you go if you do nothing when the data says not everyone gets it yet.
    • Jodi Leimkuehler
       
      Why do so many teachers assign a grade to formative assessments when, according to this, it is to collect evidence on how student learning is progressing towards the desired goal?
    • Andrea Compton
       
      I have no idea Jodi, but I support a number of schools that firmly believe if they do not give something a grade then there is no use in doing it with the students. This statement is so perfect as to the purpose of formative assessment yet I would say the majority of teachers in the schools I come in contact with give a quiz, complain that the kids don't get it - as though it's all the kid's fault, and move right on with the content. It's frustrating!!
    • Dan Jones
       
      On the student side of Jodi's argument, many students do not see the importance of something if they are not getting a grade. Just yesterday, a couple of my students were complaining about something they had to do and they, "weren't even getting a grade on it so why bother". I agree with the statement that we need to see where they are, a lot of teachers just keep plowing through even though the infromation they get back indicates that a lot of students aren't getting it. It isn't helping the kid's perspective if they fail quizzes along the way and then fail a test.
  • Because the formative assessment process helps students achieve intended learning outcomes based on explicit learning progressions, teachers must first identify and then communicate the instructional goal to students.
    • Pam Rust
       
      Over the past few years we have worked on this during our PD. Goals are written on our boards and we refer to them often.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Excellent! I am so glad to hear that at least one school is following through on this!
    • Jodi Leimkuehler
       
      Love all the acronyms in the opening three paragraphs :)
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Education is truly becoming an "alphabet soup"!
  • a process rather than a particular kind of assessment
    • Jodi Leimkuehler
       
      I know a few teachers that automatically equate formative assessment with quiz or test.
  • language readily understood by students
    • Jodi Leimkuehler
       
      "I can" statements
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Yes! It's a waste of time if students do not understand the learning goal!
  • ormative assessment
    • Holly Palmersheim
       
      It seems that there has been all this buzz about formative assessment like it is a new thing. For ever teachers have been using formative assessment to guide instruction on a daily basis. I appreciate that is has gotten attention so that teachers can collaborate to build assessments together and analyze data.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      Holly, I am an AEA Literacy Consultant and you have no idea the number of times over the past 6 -8 years that I have found teachers who have absolutely no idea what the difference is between formative and summative assessments or how to conduct them in the classroom. In fact, the majority of teachers, even after training, want to be able to attach a grade to all formative assessment. They do not understand that this type of assessment can be accomplished in ways that do not involve a piece of paper, a homework assignment, or a pop quiz. It is truly an ongoing battle in a number of schools.
  • Formative assessment is not an adjunct to teaching but, rather, integrated into instruction and learning with teachers and students receiving frequent feedback.
    • Holly Palmersheim
       
      Helping educators integrate the formative assessment process is key to helping them be successful. They can't see it as one more thing to do.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      I agree completely, if only I could get teachers to understand this fact! They see it as "one more thing I "gotta" do" rather than a way to see if their students are really understanding the material.
    • Sally Rigeman
       
      Feedback to the student in terms of what they need to do differently is the most frequently ignored part of the process.
  • evidence-based feedback
    • Holly Palmersheim
       
      The Iowa Core aides the process of giving feedback as it provides specific student targets.
  • timely feedback should be based on the learning goal and criteria for success.
  • the reason the steps were incorrect.
    • Andrea Compton
       
      This is not a process that happens quickly. It takes lots and lots of good modeling by the instructor to create an environment safe enough for students to feel comfortable receiving as well as accepting good feedback.
  • students and their peers are involved there are many more opportunities to share and receive feedback
    • Sally Rigeman
       
      This type of feedback is especially useful in improving project-based or performance tasks.
  • may be accompanied by realistic examples of those that meet and do not meet the criteria
    • kellie kendrick
       
      I used to be hesitant about showing my students examples because I didn't want to limit their creativity. Once I started showing them, however, I saw that more students understood how to demonstrate their knowledge of the goals set out, and the end products were much more high quality. I first only did this with big projects, but have slowly begun showing students more high and low quality examples for smaller projects too.
  • In addition, students can be encouraged to be self-reflective by thinking about their own work based on what they learned from giving feedback to others
    • kellie kendrick
       
      Self and peer reflection is something that I still struggle with. I have my students in Spanish III and IV often perform peer reflections with the writings that they do, but they still do not always take it seriously. I have tried to tell them that they should work hard to improve someone else's paper because they want their peers to help improve their own papers. As for self reflection, I am still working with my students to see the value in their own thinking.
  • Sharing learning goals and criteria for success with student
  • Instead, there are a number of formative assessment strategies that can be implemented during classroom instruction.
    • Dan Jones
       
      This is where teachers get to use their covert,'sneaky' skills. They have to figure out how to get the information necessary to assess where the students are while appearing to go about their usual daily business. You have to be able to track that info too, which can be hard if you are collecting data on the sly.
  • students must be actively involved
    • Jamie Van Horn
       
      This can be a big challenge for teachers when parents are not involved in their students' learning and/or students do not put forth the effort. Sadly, this is very common.
  • “just right gap”
    • Jamie Van Horn
       
      The problem here is that the students in one class are not all at the same growth point and with growing class sizes, it can be difficult for the teachers to adjust to all students at the same time. Usually the advanced students will push themselves, but what about the lower students that need more time? With so much required of the teachers, they feel the pressure to move on so they can cover all of their units even when some students have not achieved the short term goals. This can lead to even bigger problems down the road.
  • allow the student an opportunity to identify ways to move learning forward
    • Jamie Van Horn
       
      So important to allow the student to identify the ways to move forward instead of just telling them what to do. This is where true learning takes place.
  • FAST SCASS and FA Advisory Group
nwhipple

Implementation in an Elementary Classroom (Articles) - 1 views

  • Step Three: Develop a Universally-Designed Lesson Referring to the Class Learning Snapshot, you will transform an existing lesson using the Personalized Learning (PL) Lesson template. You will use the model and examples to assist you in establishing a learning goal for this lesson, how to unpack the Common Core State Standards with your learners, design a warm-up activity that will engage specific learners based on the Class Learning Snapshot. You will also universally-design the new vocabulary along with guided and independent activities as the framework of the lesson
    • dwefel
       
      I like how it mentions using an existing lesson. This might make it easier for teachers just to start. Taking something they already know and tweaking it a bit to make is a PL lesson. I also like how it talks about models and examples to assist; when starting something new I ALWAYS need lots of examples and models for understanding.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      Yes, I agree! I like how all throughout these 6 steps it talks about models and examples to help us along. I'm one that needs visuals or templates to go off of to help guide me when doing something new too :) Although in the article, I wish it would show us what they mean by the templates and examples so we can get more of an idea of what they mean.  (-Alison Ruebel)
    • kaberding
       
      I agree with you both!  Models are important to students, so why wouldn't they be important for teachers to get the idea!  I'm at ease knowing that we can take the lessons we have and then move them toward personal learning.  Why reinvent the wheel?
    • jroffman
       
      I also like how it talks about one lesson, I personally dive into new ideas head first and then can't figure out why I am drowning! I like the idea of one lesson at a time. 
    • kainley
       
      ^^Yes go slow, I like anything that tells me to do that! I also like the idea of having steps to take as a guide and I agree it would be nice to have an actual template to see.
    • nwhipple
       
      Like you all said, models are important not only to students but teachers as well.  Teachers need to be shown how to do something right the first way before we expect our students to do the same.
  • We review how each generation processes information differently and how digital information has changed teaching and learning. We discuss the how and why people approach life depending on their mindset, the importance of failure to learn, unlearn, and relearn, and the skills needed to be college and career ready.
    • dwefel
       
      This reminds me of a title of a book I read, "If they don't learn the way you teach, then teach the way they learn." So true!
    • jillnovotny
       
      Good point! It is interesting to think about how learners have changed from one generation to another. When I was in elementary school, we were just starting to use computers more. Nowadays, almost every classroom has access to computer, iPads, or other types of technology. Digital information has definitely changed teaching and learning over the years, and it is going to continue to change! It is so important for educators to continue to do professional learning to prepare for these changing learners.
  • You will develop a rationale why assessment as learning creates independent, expert and self-regulated learners. Expert learners and assessment as learning is the key for learners taking responsibility for their learning.
    • dwefel
       
      Exactly! Students taking charge of their learning. That is exactly what we need to create. It will be neat to see once this is statewide after 10 years of implementation.
    • jillnovotny
       
      Assessment as learning, or assessment for learning, has been a major focus in my school district for the past 5 years or so. Within the structure of personalized learning, it makes complete sense that students would be able to take responsibility for their learning through self and peer assessment. Students are often more aware of their strengths and areas for improvement than we teachers are, because they know which parts of the assignment/project were more difficult for them. 
    • nwhipple
       
      Assessment for learning drives our curriculum and lessons.  I agree that if we expect our students to guide their own learning, they need to be able to tell us what it is they are learning about through questioning by teachers and peers.
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  • Although her natural inclination is “to help my students when they’re stumped or confused, I need constantly to remind myself that when I supply an answer or even suggest a method for finding an answer, I’m not truly helping.” In terms of the tenets of inquiry-based instruction, she explains, when she answers students’ questions straightforwardly instead of asking questions to help the students find the answers themselves, she’s actually interfering with the learning process.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      This is interesting. This would be so hard for many teachers to do, because we are just so used to helping our students, it's natural to us. We need to get into a different mindset and let our students figure things out and question. This would be difficult to change, but knowing it's not helping our students to help them out, tell them answers or suggest how to find an answer, that we are just interfering with our student's learning.
    • dwefel
       
      I agree! I think teachers naturally want to nurture students but in the end it is hurting more than helping.
    • jroffman
       
      I also fear that when teachers stand back students may just give up. I also feel that many teachers have so many things to get done in a day they don't have enough time for this type of learning. 
    • jillnovotny
       
      Letting students figure things out for themselves (in a supportive classroom environment where there are resources available for them to find the answers to their questions) is crucial for true learning. For this reason, it is so important that teachers are skilled at using guiding and probing questions to move students' thinking forward without giving them the answer or telling them how to find it. 
  • “Many teachers mistakenly assume kids know how to think,” she says. In most cases, though, children — many adults, too — experience thought as Zen masters describe it: a drunken monkey swinging haphazardly in a mind-forest, from thought-branch to thought-branch and idea-tree to idea-tree. Thinking Maps, she explains, help students gain control of the process by offering them eight distinct ways to organize their inquiries — a circle map for defining in context, for example, or a bubble map for describing with adjectives, etc. Thinking Maps, she continues, introduce students to the notion of thinking about thinking —
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      Yes-we do often just assume kids know how to think. Thinking maps are a great way to help kids record and organize their thoughts! 
    • kainley
       
      I love using graphic organizers. You are able to see what they are thinking and they can see what they are thinking drawn or written out on paper.
  • Most teachers know the classroom is the perfect place for children to play, but opportunities to provide those benefits are on the decline. Reduced recess, cuts to physical education courses and limited free time in the classroom coupled with an increasing emphasis on testing are propelling this decline all over the country.
    • Alison Ruebel
       
      So true :( It's very sad to think all of the time that kids were allowed to "play" is being taken away. I fully agree younger students learn to much through play! I worked at a daycare during my college years, and was able to see how important play was to kids and how much they actually do learn. 
    • kaberding
       
      I agree!  Ironically my 5th grade students did a compare and contrast paper after reading recent articles about the decline of recess and the pros and cons.  I think recess or "free play" allows for character development and social development as well; something many educators struggle to find time to incorporate anymore with the demands of the academics now of days.  
  • We will share examples of teachers using questions, display questions, and how to incorporate inquiry throughout teaching and learning no matter what grade or subject
    • kaberding
       
      To me it seems reasonable to begin the year with the meaning of question and inquiry and it's importance to learning.  I think if students can connect to this (even at a young age), then their learning might make more sense to them.  They already question and are inquisitive by many things that they learn on their own, so connecting that to the learning environment might spark more interest and help them realize this type of learning is really what we do in our daily lives.  For example, I've been curious about raising some cattle, so I have been doing a lot of research about this topic.  Same idea of personal learning.  We just need to share examples of what they may have done at their level already so they don't feel so foreign to this learning style.  
    • jillnovotny
       
      Great connection! I agree that questioning is SO important when it comes to personalized learning. There has been a lot of research about higher-level questioning and its positive impact on academics. To me, it makes a lot of sense why traditional classrooms typically use lower-level questions (Who, What, Where) and personalized/project-based/inquiry/etc. classrooms typically use higher-level questions (How, Why).
  • Start with just one lesson, Reed and Blaydes suggest, and modify it to suit your students’ needs.
    • kaberding
       
      I really like how they suggest to start with one lesson.  It seems that the articles all suggest to start slow with what you have.  That makes me think that the author realizes how overwhelmed teachers are in this day.  
  • For example, common sense seems to dictate that a five-pound object dropped from a given height will fall faster than a five-ounce object dropped from the same height. A traditional teacher may tell her class that’s not true and the kids might remember the correct answer if subsequently quizzed, but in their hearts they may not believe it. If employed properly, though, Ms. Moore contends, inquiry-based instruction stands a better chance of demolishing the misconceptions — eliminating them completely — by encouraging and allowing students to discover fundamental principles on their own.
  • Next, Ms. Moore asks the students what they wonder about their specimens. At this juncture, she explains, she knows which aspects of the material the Standard Course of Study requires her to cover and admits to becoming anxious if the students do not focus on them quickly. This is when her trust in the inquiry process is tested, when she must practice patience and restraint.
  • “Everything I do should contribute to students’ success outside of class,” she says, “and it’s never too early for kids to learn how to get along in the world.”
    • jroffman
       
      This is so true, I never thought about how working in groups is preparing students for real live working situations and just life in general. 
  • Marcon tracked children from preschool through the third and fourth grades and found that those with “overly academic” preschool experiences struggled in their later elementary years when they were expected to “think more independently and take on greater responsibility for their own learning process.”
    • jroffman
       
      Wow!!! this makes me sick I feel that we try and play a lot in the preschool classroom but maybe we don't play enough. 
    • kainley
       
      This is such interesting research. When I taught preschool we were doing the creative curriculum. I got a chance to have those same students again in third grade and they love turn and talk (getting and giving ideas and answers for comprehension questions) and creating projects together because they know how to communicate with each other and learn from each other. I wish the government and adminstrators would pay attention to this research...it is so vital that children get a chance to be explorers and creators in those early years!
  • They started small, and they've grown and honed their strategies each year.
    • kainley
       
      I like how they started small with 5 minutes turning into five years. It showed me a way to do a model like this with fidelity. I was also able to see I am already doing some of the things listed!
  • Look, Ms. Daugherty, these dinosaurs have open mouths, and these dinosaurs have closed mouths. I can sort things!” He’s taken Daugherty’s lessons on sorting by color a step further—and he’s done it while playing.
    • nwhipple
       
      A-HA.  Play time is HUGE, yet it is being taking away and forced out of the classroom.  This is exactly what I see and hear in my kindergarten classroom during, SHORT, periods of play.  When it is "free choice" children are learning MORE than when I have them in their seats or at the carpet "preaching" and "teaching".  If they can handle the reigns with their personal learning, they feel more in control and will be more comfortable talking to an audience about what it is they want to share.
  • Blaydes recommends activities that link learning and movement. An example activity for teaching punctuation asks students to first come up with motions and sounds for punctuation marks (for instance, jumping into the air and yelling, “Yes!” for exclamation points), then act out those movements at appropriate moments during a text read-aloud. These playful activities are fun—and memorable.
    • nwhipple
       
      I LOVE this because I have taught end punctuation like this to my large and small groups.  It is funny to see everyone get excited about finding an exclamation point in a text and jumping up and acting excited.  When kids will be reading to themselves, sometimes they will jump up on their own because they have come across an exclamation point in their book.  You know you have reached them when they do it on their own!  :)  
Evan Abbey

Lesson: Articles on Visual Design - 4 views

  • Depending on how a texture is applied, it may be used strategically to attract or deter attention.
    • rmfredrickson
       
      I never thought about "texture" online; what would be an example of a repeated element? A simple picture, or maybe a repeated diagram?
    • darinjohnson
       
      Texture is an interesting element that I generally disregard. However, I remember a literature professor open poetry discussions with questions about texture and taste. He would use such responses to get to the tone of the work. What taste/texture/tone does this course have?
    • Linda Hoobin
       
      Texture...not something I ever pay attention to or maybe even knew about.
  • Spacing makes things clearer.
    • rmfredrickson
       
      I have found this to be true since starting this class; less is more; and the idea of also adding an element of some kind to every page makes a lot of sense to me too. I think about this now as I create ANY kind of presentation page.
    • denise carlson
       
      "Less is more." That sums up nicely what we've been learning.  I know that I have a tendency to be too wordy and thus the page seems way too cluttered. I need to make a concerted effort to utilize the Less is More rule of thumb. 
  • In the last year or so, I've switched to using CSS to make my buttons and have never looked back. Sure, it means my buttons don't always have the flexibility I might wish for, but the savings in build time from not having to make dozens of little button images are huge.
    • rmfredrickson
       
      What does this mean? That in CSS (which I think I missed what that means...) you don't need to give a direction to click on a button to do whatever it is you are wanting it to do? Rather, it is automatically an apparent clickable button?
    • denise carlson
       
      Good question! What is CSS?  I think this is another rule of thumb we might want to add to our web-design rules: Don't assume the reader knows what the abbreviations or acronyms mean. Spell them out and define them so everyone is clear. 
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  • Everything should be themed to make your design coherent between pages and on the same page.
    • darinjohnson
       
      Here's one element that we can control and that we should control; however, it is also an element that I sometimes have trouble with. Sometimes it takes me awhile to find my style.
  • Font Choices
    • darinjohnson
       
      What font should we be using? My journalism minor is quite dusty, but I was taught that body copy should be a serif typeface (e.g. Times New Roman, Georgia) and headlines should be a sans-serif typeface (e.g. Arial, Helvetica). Your choice of type might also give you a better grade: http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/19604/does-size-12-times-new-roman-font-receive-better-grades-in-school S
  • Squeaky wheels get the grease and prominent visuals get the attention. 
    • darinjohnson
       
      This is a potent quotable.
  • Pantheon
    • darinjohnson
       
      This is off topic, but I can't let it go. This is an image of the Parthenon. The Pantheon is in Rome.
  • it’s a good practice to never open links in new browser windows.
    • darinjohnson
       
      I'm going to give this some thought because this suggestion is opposite of what I generally try to do. I've always thought it was better for readers to close the new linked area. 
    • denise carlson
       
      My too. I like new windows for new material. This seems contrary to my preferences. 
    • Linda Hoobin
       
      It is not the way I think either. I tend to want to separate things so I am not distracted. New windows keep me focused.
    • Evan Abbey
       
      Same here. Especially with Moodle, I try to have it open in a different window so that they don't lose the original course.
  • A typical example from usability sessions is to translate the page in Japanese (assuming your web users don’t know Japanese, e.g. with Babelfish) and provide your usability testers with a task to find something in the page of different language. If conventions are well-applied, users will be able to achieve a not-too-specific objective, even if they can’t understand a word of it.
    • darinjohnson
       
      I saw a Tweet recently suggesting to do something similar: Turn on speech to see if you can navigate on your site without vision. Is the site usable for all?