There appear to be six basic strategies for capturing engagement and initiating a learning cycle. These six engagement templates progress from instructor- and content-centric to learner-centric. Teachers might call these lesson plan templates, but with the expanding array of professional and informal learning this is an attempt to build a broader framework applicable to impact games, meetings, conference sessions, open resources, and professional development.

Elected officials, state board members, K-12 and higher education leaders gathered at Southern Utah University for a Joint Education Conference to talk system improvement and innovation. The discussions addressed five potential next steps including flexibility from time based systems, a transition to proficiency-based diplomas and anytime, anywhere learning.

Like students, educators deserve a clear map of what they need to know and be able to do, multiple ways to learn, and options for demonstrating mastery. In most cases we think progress will be marked with a stackable series of micro-credentials. A system of micro-credentials is how educators will be prepared and how they will be recognized for their professional learning.

In this podcast, Tom Vander Ark sits down with Jennifer Kabaker, director of educator micro-credentials at Digital Promise and Jason Lange, Bloomboard CEO, to talk specifics about what micro-credentials look like, how research can be used to support personalization of teacher development, and why this will impact the future of educator development.

Imagine giving teachers and schools opportunities to run experiments of their own or to join larger trials. Imagine if they had access to better measures and powerful analytics. It's been difficult to run formal experiments because measurement systems in education are bad. The next step in supporting teachers as scientists is an intelligence platform that combines information about best practices, formative assessment, templates for setting up experiments, and social features.

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.

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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