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November 09, 2017

Adults Need Space, Time, and Encouragement to be Lifelong Learners Too

Educators often fail to model the lifelong, passionate learning we so desperately try to impart to our students. We simply don't have the time or space to make it happen. At Distinctive Schools, we are committed to deep, relevant, personalized learning for all learners ...including the adults! We strongly believe that to truly instill the value of lifelong learning in our students, we must model this at every level of our organization.

November 08, 2017

Innovation Equity

People all over the country, and world, are working on the same education issues. To address them efficiently and effectively, we need to share out, listen, learn, and collaborate. We need to work together to push one another's thinking. At the Boston Public Schools Office of Innovation we are consciously making an effort to break down these silos.

October 25, 2017

Why Every Student Should Have a Mentor

Mentorship in middle and high school has the power to impact the course of students' academic and personal life trajectories. One of three foundational pillars of the Summit Learning Program, one-to-one mentorship allows all students a chance to meet with a dedicated teacher or school leader each week as part of their academic and personal development. Students meet with the same mentor year over year, providing them with a sense of continuity and allowing mentors to know students deeply.

October 23, 2017

5 Lessons from Implementing Personal Learning

One hundred percent of Vista Unified's schools are now engaged in the Vista Unified Personal Learning Challenge. The transformation to Personal Learning at Vista Unified has been guided by the work of pedagogy experts, Allison Zmuda and Bena Kallick. In their book, Students at the Center, they define Personalized Learning as a "progressively student-driven experience where students have a role in co-creating investigations and ideas."

October 20, 2017

Mighty in Presence: The Teacher Innovator at Work

For this edition of Friday Focus: Practitioner's Guide to Next Gen Learning, we caught up with Christina, her principal, Kevin Gardner, and Scott Fuller, next generation learning coordinator for Colorado Springs School District 11, to talk about her work as a champion for innovation at Doherty, and the integral part she and other forward-thinking educators play in D11's implementation of next gen learning.

October 19, 2017

Teaching & Learning is an Open Book at Turner Middle School

At Turner Middle School, we are opening our classrooms for principals, teachers, and district level administrators across Thompson School District in Loveland, Colorado, to come in and "see" what we put into practice each and every day. We are able to share our struggles and successes with personalizing instruction and building a competency-based education system K-12.

September 28, 2017

Vista Unified's P-3 Continuum: Closing the Achievement Gap Before It Opens

The world of education is changing rapidly. Students, parents, and teachers have a much broader array of materials, tools, and activities to access as they work together to execute a meaningful personal learning (PL) pathway. Our focus in this blog post is brushstroke #1: our work expanding early education supports through the design of a prenatal-to-grade-three pathway. We call this the P-3 Continuum.

September 27, 2017

3 Ways to Put Students in the Driver's Seat with Personalized Learning

In 2013, Summit Public Schools built its own personalized learning platform to gain better insights into how students were progressing in relation to their personal goals. Fast forward to 2015 and what started with 19 schools has today grown to include more than 330 schools across 40 states.

September 14, 2017

Scaling Personalized Learning at Distinctive Schools: Going Slow to Go Fast

Scaling personalized learning can benefit from the lessons of early innovators, but investing the next group of educators in both planning and design is crucial.

September 12, 2017

Building Empathy With Extreme Users in the Classroom With Design Thinking

All kids are capable of knowing where they are academically and taking the steps to move forward in their education. A teacher's intent to glean from students what strategies they preferred for learning a new skill, practicing that skill, and then demonstrating their understanding of that skill leads to a new way for co-creating learning pathways with and for her students.

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