Mary Ryerse, Director of Strategic Design at Getting Smart sits down with Paul Goren, Superintendent of Evanston/Skokie School District in Evanston, IL to talk about Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Goren is a champion of SEL and believes SEL is important for students, educators and the Evanston-Skokie community. He shares examples of initiatives, his background in SEL and the response by parents in the shifting emphasis in SEL.


Powerful project-based learning experiences can be through ten strategies that includes the opportunity to create something of value, beauty and importance for the world can be captivating. Student engagement is vital for motivation, persistence, and deeper learning. In this blog we highlight strategies from leading educators, schools and districts.


As we look to the new school year, we must recognize that parents have a strong desire to be advocates for their children, in partnership with teachers and EdLeaders. The path forward and beyond exists, and is inspired by over 60 parents represented in our new book. The reality that we live in an era of change is undeniable. Parents and educators should work together; learning that is student-centered is becoming infinitely more powerful when supported at home and at school.


Denver Public Schools (DPS) is a district worth watching because they have the best and most aggressive elected school board in the country. The board is seeking to dramatically accelerate the progress they've made by investing more in what is working and embracing innovation. One way DPS is succeeding is by launching an internal innovation incubator.


Nicholas C. Donohue, President and CEO of The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, shares personal stories, practical strategies and a framework for parents navigating the shift to student-centered learning. He also shares why Nellie Mae has chosen to partner with Getting Smart to tell parent stories in the new book, Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning. This book is a compelling call to action and a practical road map for any parent, guardian or educator and "is a must read for anyone who wants to engage young people in the process of their own learning," according to Nicholas.


School districts have a theory of action but don't or can't express exactly what it is. Naming the theories in use is the first step to designing a system of schools that serves a community well.


After spending time with urban districts recently, we were reminded of the complexity of the work that superintendents are responsible for. We were also reminded how traditional education programs and development experiences do not prepare EdLeaders for their roles. In our recent paper, Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning we outlined 10 roles for today's EdLeaders. In this blog we share important emerging skills associated with these 10 roles.


As we head to Atlanta to join Fulton County Schools in a leadership discussion, we identify 10 tips for superintendents and principals as they work to create next generation schools. For example EdLeaders should create a learner exchange vision, identify and share your theories, learn about new school models, embrace broader aims, create community engagements, model next-gen learning, personalize professional learning, and improve wellness.


There are several technical challenges to delivering on the promise of personalized learning including defining a standard student record, boosting interoperability, and combining multiple formative sources. However, there are additionally daunting implementation barriers related to school models, leadership and parents. Despite these challenges, personalization offers tremendous opportunities to boost achievement for both accelerated and struggling learners.


New schools development has been the most important K-12 innovation in the last 20 years. In the last five years, the most important development has been new tools. So, how can we evaluate this progress? In this blog we compare recent technology development against school model development.


The opinions expressed in Vander Ark on Innovation are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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