We've reached the point where we are beyond the halfway point in the shift to digital. During this time there are three common problems that schools and districts are facing, a lack of narrative, a coherent change strategy, and a reflection on the mess that some find themselves in today.
With EdTech investment in the United States and abroad reaching record levels in 2015, we look to the new year with 10 predictions that will have BIG implications for learners. This includes better formative assessments, the dominance of Chromebooks and the adoption of micro-credentials.
Student agency may be as important an outcome of schooling as basic skills according to a new Harvard study. "The Influence of Teaching Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets, and Agency" makes 10 suggestions for teaching.
After visiting seven Bay Area schools from our elementary and secondary schools worth visiting lists we believe that when it comes to innovation, the Bay Area is a great place to see a wide range of schools doing great things. We were inspired to see options like design thinking models that challenge traditional school and innovative project-based learning strategies.
Using points, badges and levels to track progress, students at Epic in Oakland embark on their own "Hero's Journey" in an innovative blended middle school with a game-base UI. Epic's curriculum features design thinking workshops, while there is a makerspace provided for students to build.
Instead of creating change through compliance and extrinsic motivators, the new era of education and education policy will require ecosystems of policy, regulation, investment, and operating structure that enable, rather than dictate. Under New Hampshire's PACE accountability system districts and schools are now opting into using next-gen performance-based assessments, staked to much richer definitions of student success, on the basis of their readiness to do so.
School Retool is a professional development fellowship that helps school leaders redesign their school culture utilizing small experiments called "hacks." The Raikes Foundation, based in the Seattle area, is bringing School Retool to the Puget Sound in early 2016. Learn more about the opportunity and how to apply.
By matching design, technology, professional learning, networks can provide a short cut to coherence and performance. Networks providing relevant services at a competitive price continue to grow in size and impact. Networks like New Tech Network are growing by using a combination of three strategies.
Ten tips for expanding the impact of a nonprofit organization and three basic scaling strategies: expand services, expand locations, or advocate for your solution. Despite inherent disadvantages of the nonprofit structure, there are big problems to solve and solutions that should be brought to scale.
Machine learning, an effort to program computers to identify patterns in data to inform algorithms that can make data-driven predictions or decisions is changing how we learn. Students, parents and advisors will make more decisions about learning pathways but those decisions will be nudged and guided by informed recommendations. In the coming year, every faculty should discuss the coming impact of big data--and ask students to do the same.