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.


While at #PS2015, a graduate student at BYU asked me, "What other theories are being applied in education?" That may be the best question of the year and one that every school and district leadership team should ask themselves. So, what theories are being applied to public education? Here's a few that appear to be at work.


Think of a student you care about. Think about the world they will inherit. What do you want them to know and be able to do? Now think about what their learner experience (LX) should be. Here's 20 questions that may help.


The emerging vision for learning as a service is requiring more learner and parent decisions than ever. So, with all of the individual choices, how do we protect and advance the public good? The answer to this important question has eight implications for state and local policymakers.


A combination of best practices and new tools makes us optimistic that personalized learning will be adopted at scale and will lead to the anticipated gains. We believe a comprehensive learner profile, data backpack, and student portfolio are key to personalization. However, there are five challenges to overcome to unlock the power of personalized learning that includes student records, interoperability, and developing growth rates.


If education is about talent development, we need to radically improve how we recruit, hire and develop educators, and this demands much better talent platforms and human resource information systems. In general, better career education would inform learning and work choices. Following are six, strategies to improve career education in K-12 including expanding CTE academies, encouraging maker driven learning, encouraging career awareness in grades 6-12.


According to The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, Young adult success requires agency, an integrated identity, and competencies. The report says, children need four qualities that parents, teachers, after school professionals and other adults can help shape: Self-regulation, knowledge and skills, mindsets, and values. A key problem, according to the report, is that disadvantaged youth often face extra challenges, including fewer opportunities for consistent, positive developmental experiences and relationships.


Today's educators have an unprecedented opportunity to use technology to understand how students learn. With innovative teaching models and new assessment capabilities brought about by technology, students and teachers will have greater access to information about levels of understanding, remediation can decrease, and personalized learning at scale will become reality. And, ultimately this will mean that students will get the skills they need to succeed in education and in their careers.


Despite schools with classrooms full of technology, many students don't have computers or connectivity at home. Given the opportunity to extend and personalize learning, there is simply no excuse for not providing take home tech, at least for students that don't have access at home. We've known the answer to this question for nearly 20 years, it's take home technology.


Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), an initiative of Educause, announced today that, through six regional programs, 49 school teams received grants as part of a $25 million K­-12 initiative to create new and transformed secondary schools. This includes 29 new or redesigned K­-12 schools that will open this fall. When these regional fund schools open, there will be more than 100 schools serving 50,000 students with transformed teaching and learning models.


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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