Education Elements

Choosing Your Blended Learning Model

Education Elements

Educators and researchers alike love to obsess over what model of blended learning a school should implement. A favorite question I get asked is: “OK, now that you’ve told us about all the blended-learning models, be honest, what’s the best one?”. Leaders

Ten Tips for Creating a Culture of Innovation

Education Elements

Recently it seems that innovation is a buzzword on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Need happier employees? Innovate! Need bigger profits? Innovate! Need better leadership? Innovate! Over the past six months I’ve explored hundreds of news stories, white papers, and blog posts focused on why and how leaders might foster a culture of innovation. Unfortunately, innovation is too often be touted as a silver bullet solution without even defining what innovation is.

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The Technology Trap: Can You Personalize Learning Without Devices?

Education Elements

I was lying to myself and didn’t even realize it. After completing numerous 5K and 10K runs, I was considering taking my running to the next level by training for my first half marathon. I would visit the specialty running store and look longingly at the glass case of GPS smart watches. “If If I only had one, I’d run more,” I’d say to myself. “I I would have up-to-the-second data and an increased desire to run. Everything would be easier.” I took the plunge and made the purchase.

The Core 4 of Personalized Learning

Education Elements

In some ways, creating a successful personalized learning classroom is similar to winning a basketball game. To give us direction, my high school basketball coach consistently focused on three key areas, which he called the Big Three: Personalized Learning Teachers Blended Learning EdTech

5 Costly Inventory Management Mistakes Schools Should Avoid

If your school is like most, inventory and/or asset management plays a critical role in daily operations.

What Exactly Is Curriculum?

Education Elements

I recall one distinct shocking moment as a new teacher. It was when a mentor teacher was onboarding me. She walked me to my classroom, opened a cabinet door rather proudly, showed me two shelves filled with textbooks and supplementary materials (worksheets, assessment guides, etc.) and said, “This is your 6th grade math curriculum.”. Curriculum Classrooms

2017 Predictions for American Education

Education Elements

Before we get too far into 2017 I like to reflect on what has been and make predictions for what the year ahead will mean for education. Time and time again I find myself thinking “Darn, my predictions aren’t half bad but things are moving too slowly, slower than I expected.” This year, however, I am confident when I say that we are going to experience a lot of change -- largely influenced by shifts resulting from elections, among other factors.

Personalized Learning Delivers Results (We Aren't Surprised, Are You?)

Education Elements

This time of year is full of hope. Kids are excited for school and hoping they will get the best teachers and be with their best friends. Teachers are excited and hoping that this year their students will achieve great things and be more engaged than the year before. And leaders are hoping that the hard work that they are putting in against their strategic plans and initiatives will pay off with successful students and satisfied staff. Personalized Learning Leaders School Districts CBE

First Steps to Personalize Learning

Education Elements

If you wait until you’re ready for personalized learning, you’ll never get started! Our antiquated, factory-style education system is failing our students. It’s also failing our teachers. We have more and more students each year struggling to find relevance and connections between what they do in school each day and their future hopes and dreams.

Join SETDA: Affiliate Memberships Now Accepted

SETDA's Affiliate program connects non-profit education membership organizations with state leaders. SETDA's mission is to build the capacity of education leaders to improve learning through technology policy & practice. Benefits include: SETDA conferences, webinars and news feeds.

Character Education is a Personalized Learning Experience as Well

Education Elements

A few years ago, I stumbled across a wonderful column where the author reflected on all of the teachers who had a profound impact on his life from kindergarten all of the way through graduate school. It reminded me of the impact of Professor Randy Pausch’s “ Last Lecture ,” where faced with months to live, Pausch delivered a memorable lesson for so many Carnegie Mellon students around living your childhood dreams.

Tracking the Big Picture: Onpoint for Personalized Learning

Education Elements

We hear all the time “You’ve seen districts implement personalized learning all across the country - give it to us straight - how do we compare?” Whether districts are just getting started and dipping a toe into personalized learning, or are reflecting on several successful years of implementation and searching for ways to go deeper, district leaders want to know how their progress compares to national benchmarks. It isn’t enough to look inward; they need data from the outside too.

10 Books on Personalized Learning for School Leaders

Education Elements

If you’re like us, as you wind down another hectic school year, you’re imagining yourself on a beach with a few good reads. But what books will make the cut? Education Elements put together a few of our favorites on personalized and blended learning just for you. You’ll start the 2017-18 school year refreshed and full of great ideas to continue to move forward with personalized learning at your school and across your district. Personalized Learning Leaders

Reflections on our Epic Personalized Learning Summit

Education Elements

Epic Lip Sync Battle. I almost feel like I could both start and end this post with just those 4 words and a short description of what it was like to be in a room full of educators singing and dancing their hearts out (some in costume!) on Thursday night of Education Elements' 3rd Annual Personalized Learning Summit.

Six Examples of What Personalized Learning Looks Like

Education Elements

Each year we receive hundreds of questions along the lines of, “Okay…so what does personalized learning actually look like?”. We have a few answers to this question. One is that personalized learning always involves these core four elements - targeted instruction, data-driven decisions, flexible content, and student reflection and ownership. Check out our Core Four white paper for a more detailed description of these elements, as well as classroom examples.

One Trick to Pitching a Blended Learning Plan

Education Elements

Imagine you find yourself in an elevator for three minutes with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, who together are giving up to $1 billion in each of the next three years to “advance human potential and promote equality.” You can’t believe your luck! You’ve been dreaming for years about a more personalized, blended model for your school, and now you actually have the chance to pitch the idea to the founders of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

[Guest Post] Giving Up Control: A Teacher’s Perspective on the Personalized Learning Journey

Education Elements

When I gave up control of my classroom, true learning started taking place. Giving up control felt liberating and inspiring. I handed the baton of teaching to my students. I was no longer the focus of the lesson. Student’s voices traveled through our classroom with excitement and engagement. I happily took the role of facilitating and the words of my students amazed me. The more I put on the students the more they produced.

25 Focus Areas For Implementing Personalized Learning

Education Elements

In 2015 we published the first edition of our Personalized Learning Implementation Framework (aka PL Framework) based on lessons learned from working with schools and districts over the previous five years. At that time I shared how the PL Implementation Framework was inspired by my Grandma Rose’s love of bingo and the idea that, much like on a bingo board, there are many ways to “win” on the PL Framework.

[Guest Post] OER 101: Building the Future of Education Beyond Brick-and-Mortar

Education Elements

Back in my day, all schools were brick-and-mortar. Back in my grandfather’s day, they were brick-and-mortar with everyone in one classroom, regardless of grade level. Back in my grandfather’s grandfather’s day… well, who knows? The point is: Education is evolving and changing as it responds to the needs of students and the opportunities around us.

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6 Education Leadership Challenges and How to Address Them

Education Elements

When our team partners with a school district to tackle its toughest education leadership challenges, relationships are built at all levels of the organization. We may encounter superintendents and cabinet staff first, but we tend to find ourselves learning in many nooks and crannies of an organization over time, listening to content area specialists, IT staff, teachers and school leaders, and even attending parent nights or school board meetings. Personalized Learning Leaders School Districts

10 Personalized Learning Superhero Snapshots

Education Elements

At Education Elements we are incredibly fortunate to work with so many exceptional, passionate, and extraordinarily talented people, including teachers, coaches, principals, and district leaders. These amazing people are going above and beyond to transform education, and are helping to write the future through the success of their students. Personalized Learning Leaders School Districts

Discipline Through A Personalized Learning Lens

Education Elements

When we work with school districts to embark on a personalized learning journey, we empower students to be self-directed, independent, motivated, and well-versed in articulating and sharing ideas. We encourage students to reflect on their own performance data and collaboratively plan an academic path forward that meets their needs. Yet we don’t build that sort of student agency when it comes to behavior and discipline. Personalized Learning Education Educators Leaders

Peak Me!

Education Elements

How do I stay ahead of the game consistently and constantly? This question is probably the most frequently asked question by those that are operating at their peak in any profession. Though there are many books, a lot of advice and much research conducted about human development and personal growth, very little has been published or discussed on how or what we need to do to sustain peak performance levels. Leaders Inspiration

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4 Things I Learned in Spin Class About Personalized Learning (that’s right, spin class)

Education Elements

I recently went to a spin class. I am normally a fairly small person who likes to lift fairly big weights so this was a departure from my routine but I got talked into it and I went.

The Promise of Blended Learning

Education Elements

As one of today’s most promising models for learning, blended learning is growing rapidly across the country. But what is blended learning, and how can educators use it to improve student outcomes? In a blended learning environment, students learn through a combination of online instruction – with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace – and instruction in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home. There are several different blended models.

It’s An Elephant!

Education Elements

As a Senior Consultant at Education Elements I have the pleasure of visiting more than 100 schools and districts each year some are just starting to think about innovation and others have completely re-imagined the thing we call school.

More than One Metric Matters in EdTech

Education Elements

When it comes to edtech I agree with the recent Forbes magazine article that student outcomes matter. Making a difference for students is why I first became an educator, then a school leader, and why I work in an edtech start-up.

Defining the Purpose of Curriculum in Personalized Learning

Education Elements

As an increasing number of schools and classrooms shift to personalized learning across the country, educators face many questions. Many of these questions focus on the need to define the purpose of curriculum, digital content, and tools in a personalized learning setting. While educators are certainly familiar with the use of curriculum in a traditional classroom, a shift to personalized learning brings up new questions like: Personalized Learning Curriculum

How Touchpoint Compares to Other Tools

Education Elements

There are many project management tools such as Trello and Basecamp that are already out there, and they’re great. However, we found that there was still something missing and that none of the existing solutions really met the needs of our school districts. Blog Education K-12 Educators Partners EdTech Analytics touchpoint

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Personalization: How A Change in Classroom Delivery Can Change the Outcome

Education Elements

School was never hard for me, it just wasn’t engaging enough for us millennials. It felt prehistoric and bland, so I often doodled and wrote poetry. I was an average student until sports became my incentive to achieve academically. This wasn’t due to lack of knowledge, but moreso a lack of interest. However, things changed once I got to college. College was the first time I was in charge of my educational path. It was a time I felt connected to school and empowered as a learner.

6 risks to avoid when implementing personalized learning: Part 1

Education Elements

The Education Elements team has the great privilege of working with districts across the country to plan, design, and implement personalized learning. Without fail, one of the first questions district leadership teams ask us is, “What have other districts done that we should avoid?”.

How to Build Momentum and Leadership at the Same Time

Education Elements

Yuma Elementary School District ONE began the journey of Personalized Learning over two years ago and we went all in --17 schools and 9000 students all at once. At the start of school, iPads were distributed to all students and 490 teachers -- many staff and students had never even held an iPad prior to the distribution. Not only were devices deployed, but digital programs were ready to go.

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Beyond Unpacking: How to personalize a standard

Education Elements

If you’re an educator, my guess is that at some point in your career you’ve been to a workshop focusing on unpacking standards. Unpacking a standard refers to the practice of reviewing what is often a long, clause-ridden statement and breaking it down into component parts to identify what students should know and be able to do. Personalized Learning Curriculum

Our 10 Most Popular Personalized Learning Blogs of 2016

Education Elements

Over the course of 2016 we published more than 70 blog posts on our weekly blog, sharing ideas from our team, our districts, and thought leaders from across the country. We are amazed and inspired by all the passion, leadership and innovation in the personalized learning space reflected in the Bring Your Own Thoughts (BYOT) blog.

Why This Brand-New Online Tool Will Help Districts Implement Initiatives More Effectively

Education Elements

A few months ago Education Elements launched an online tool called Touchpoint. Touchpoint was designed for the districts we support. As our design & implementation consultants work with districts to support their personalized learning (PL) initiatives, the tool helps organize the project members, workshop schedules, related resources and action items in one place.

Overcoming "Otherism": Thoughts on Race and Cultural Differences in the Classroom

Education Elements

My mother’s first language is Spanish. As the daughter of an immigrant, I grew up living a life nuanced in foreign customs and cultures. Not that these nuances felt foreign to me: it was just “life” in my home. Plus, I had the privilege of living in communities that saw my family as vibrant, exciting and beautiful — not foreign or unwanted. It is because of my mixed background that I have always been intrigued by the different value sets that drive us.

The Power of "What If?" - How XQ is Rethinking High School

Education Elements

On Friday night America’s top TV networks put aside the battle for ratings, when all four aired the XQ Super School Live special to address the question: What needs to change with American high schools? Cameos from an all-star lineup of celebrities, and cover songs from our favorite high school movies were an added bonus to the program’s key message.

Constant Learning and Creative Response: Charting the Course in Personalized Learning

Education Elements

At Education Elements we try to walk the walk of personalized learning. We strive to make our workshops interactive, upbeat, and fun. We create space for spirited large and small group discussion, and we honor time for quiet individual processing and reflection. We believe teachers should be designers of their classrooms. We want school teams to build connections at our workshops. We help districts visualize their personalized learning journey.

How Can "Sprints" Help Schools and Districts?

Education Elements

Ah, the joy of grade-level meetings. In my past life as a public school teacher, I attended them every Tuesday morning at 7:45 AM. All the teachers on my team met to learn about new school and district mandates, plan field trips, and vent about challenging students and how to help them. Even with the most well-intentioned teacher planning and running the meetings, rarely did they result in a list of clear actions with clear owners and clear deadlines. Teachers Districts schools

Stop! Collaborate and Listen. to Enhance Personalized Learning

Education Elements

The world of work is changing. As we integrate into a global community, we’re tasked to work together to solve complex problems. Our solutions can be innovative and represent multiple perspectives if we know how to maximize group work. With so many benefits to a collaborative environment, why is it so challenging?