Education Elements

Transforming the System to Fit the Student

Education Elements

Transformational leadership is about using your actions to elevate others and put them on their path to greatness. Terina Allen. The superintendent holds a lonely, yet transcendent position in public education. The position tends to isolate the leader because of the growing divisions in our society.

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We Call Them Leaders Because They Go First

Education Elements

If Blockbuster was still around today, and you had to take out your life savings and invest in that company or Netflix, which one would you choose? The answer is obvious. But what about five years ago? Ten years ago?

Evergreen Leadership

Education Elements

Through my career, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of exceptional leaders in the private sector, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and in the public sector, including Ted Mitchell, Former CEO of Newschools Venture Fund.

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How Teachers Are at the Core of Personalized Learning - Not Technology

Education Elements

One of the major complaints that I have heard in my community as we have adopted personalized learning relates to the idea that personalized learning means that we are adopting technology and getting rid of teachers. There may be some places that are doing that, but my vision for personalized learning doesn’t include removing teachers – instead, it requires asking even more of teachers. Personalized Learning Classrooms

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.

It’s 2018 – Do You Know Where Your Personalized Learners Are?

Education Elements

Personalized learning, like so much of what we value most in our schools, should be aligned to the particular educational needs of individual learners – that’s what it’s all about.

Is Marketing Your School District a Thing? Part 2: Storytelling

Education Elements

Stories are all around us. Researchers found that personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversation. Some stories are as small as 6 words or 280 characters, and others are the length of a book or a movie. Your best stories are told in multiple lengths and forms. School Districts

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Learnings from Implementing Personalized Learning in Denver Public Schools

Education Elements

In the three-plus years since introducing Personalized Learning (PL) in individual schools within a large public school system, the Imaginarium, Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) innovation lab, has been studying the conditions that help and hinder the implementation of PL at scale. Personalized Learning

A Case for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Classrooms

Education Elements

If recent Halloweens have taught us anything aside from the absurd amount of money spent on candy for one day, it's that those involved in child rearing must address cultural sensitivity. The young white boy who wanted to dress as a Polynesian hero named Maui or the young white girl who wanted to dress as Princess Jasmine are caught in the middle of a debate on what is acceptable.

The New “PD”: How Shifting from Professional to Personalized Development Will Improve Your Workshops

Education Elements

August is an important month for school leaders; it is the last opportunity to reflect, recharge, and realign on your personal and shared goals before the school year officially kicks off. While there is no debate that we all want better student outcomes, many discussions occur during this period regarding the best methods to employ.

What is the Missing Step in Your District’s Strategic Plan?

Education Elements

All districts have strategic plans. For many districts, they are the most expensive document created in a given year. Getting to a final draft usually takes several months or more and requires the time of many staff and community members. There are committees, meetings, surveys, reviews, discussions and multiple rounds of revision. Personalized Learning School Districts School Leaders

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6 Summer Reads to Make You a More Responsive Leader

Education Elements

We published The NEW School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive School s this winter to help leaders make a shift toward being more effective, responsive leaders. Since the book’s release in February we have had dozens of requests for webinars and presentations about The NEW School Rules. Demand has been so great that we’ve developed a leadership course based on the rules. This summer we kick off leadership courses across five districts and four states.

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Seven Things Education Elements Does to Support School Districts

Education Elements

One of the most common questions I answer about Education Elements is, “So what do you guys do?” If we have an elevator ride that goes to, say, the top of the world’s tallest building, I can give a fairly satisfying and comprehensive answer.

Shaping the Future in Rochester, New Hampshire

Education Elements

I believe that personalized learning is imperative ; it is essential that school systems focus on learning for every student. The shift to personalized learning represents a deep change for schools and their leaders. What can a leader do to capitalize on this shift? As a middle school principal who recently led a personalized learning implementation, I know that it requires strong collaborative leadership in your district.

Leadership in Personalized Learning

Education Elements

“You can’t buy personalized learning…” I read this statement by Richard Culatta recently and it really resonated with me because personalizing learning is about skilled teachers, not students working on computers for a large part of a day.

Making Bold Changes Through Personalized Learning

Education Elements

In Harrisburg we have been implementing personalized learning for a little over 5 years. In our 5 years of implementation we have learned a ton and have started to create a solid roll out plan: Personalized Learning Classrooms

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?

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

Personalized Learning Journey Begins with a Vision

Education Elements

Have you ever stopped and looked around your school, your classroom, and asked yourself: “How did this all happen? Where did it all begin? How did we get to this point? When did the transformation occur?”. In year one of being a personalized learning school, I have had many reflective moments like this at Trailside Middle School. I look back on what our classrooms looked like, sounded like, and felt like a few years ago - and the transformation is amazing.

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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Flexible Seating in Personalized Learning

Education Elements

It was about a year ago that I took the plunge and implemented personalized learning in my classroom. That decision turned out to be one of the best I’ve made in my sixteen years as an educator. Under the guidance of and support from Kelly Freiheit at Education Elements, my traditional third grade classroom has evolved into a personalized learning classroom that has changed the way my students learn. Personalized Learning Classrooms

How to Personalize Professional Development: One District’s Story

Education Elements

Close your eyes and imagine yourself in an all-purpose room with uncomfortable chairs and a trainer lecturing to a whole-group about the latest small-group teaching strategies. We’ve all been there, right? Stuck in PD sessions with facilitators who don’t practice what they preach. Personalized Learning Leaders School Districts

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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.

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

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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.

Million Dollar Advice: It’s Worth it When You Want To Change Your District

Education Elements

There are even more ways to tell a story than there are to bake a cake. A recent article in Edsurge told a story about million dollar consultants (us) and some of the districts we support in their efforts to transform teaching and learning through personalization (including Charleston County SC and Fulton County GA).

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Is Marketing Your School or District a Thing? Part 1: Branding

Education Elements

It is important for schools and districts to remember that in our ever-evolving world, they now need to compete for students, administrative and teaching talents, and community perception. Like other competitive organizations, schools need to set themselves apart from other schools in the country. School Districts

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Standing Up For What We Believe In: Why We Joined #FoundersForChange

Education Elements

The first time I stood up for something I believed in I had to stand on a chair. I was around 7 years old and I wanted to know why there was a Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and nothing to celebrate other holidays. After writing a letter to which I got a very unsatisfactory answer, my dad bought me one share of Rockefeller stock and took me to the shareholders meeting.

Blended Learning Won’t Work Without a Strong Culture to Support It

Education Elements

Years ago, Anthony Kim, CEO of Education Elements, remarked to me that “Blended learning accelerates a good culture and makes it great, but it will also accelerate a bad culture and make it terrible.”. Personalized Learning Leaders School Districts

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

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PL Summit 2018: 3 Days of Shaping the Future of Education

Education Elements

It is hard to make something better each year and yet, somehow, as I reflect on the Education Elements Personalized Learning Summit 2018 , it feels like we have done it. It’s five days since the Summit ended and I am still energized by the energy and passion of every one of the 750 people who attended. I am still excited about the ideas I heard and looking forward to talking more to the people I met. I am still amazed that we pulled it off.

The Core Four Continuum - a New Framework for Personalized Learning Implementation

Education Elements

Since 2010 Education Elements has supported more than 150 districts, 600 schools, and 550,000 students with personalized learning implementations. Through our work with schools and districts across the country, we established the Core Four of Personalized Learning : four key elements that we believe ensure that personalized learning is implemented with high fidelity and success. Personalized Learning

Educators: Before you Recharge this Summer, Reflect

Education Elements

Our company is known for having a unique organizational culture. We have eliminated the traditional organizational hierarchy of direct managers; we employ a self-organizing team structure; and if you attended this year’s Personalized Learning Summit, you know we also view trivia and dancing to 80’s music as valuable team-building time. Something that is not as widely known is that we also have internal monthly challenges.

Bringing the Core Four Home: Helping Parents Understand Personalized Learning

Education Elements

This scenario is all too familiar. Children spend a day at school and then have nothing to report. How is this possible? You can encourage parents to avoid this by asking questions connected to personalized learning. Remind them that in their child’s classroom, teachers and students are working together to include four elements of personalized learning. Share these tips to get the conversation started. Personalized Learning core four

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.

On This Episode of Mythbusters: Personalized Does Not Mean Digital

Education Elements

If Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters looked deep into the world of personalized learning, they would quickly note that one of the biggest misconceptions schools and teachers have is that personalization equals technology. I was in high school prior to the advent of Facebook, the iPhone, the Chromebook, and the popularization of blogs (ironic, given the medium of this article), and to this day, my most personalized educational experiences happened as a high school senior.

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Questions to Ask if You're Worried About Student Data

Education Elements

Last week I heard a district leader say, “In God We Trust - everyone else, bring data.” I chuckled - because we talk out of both sides of our mouth when it comes to data. In the same breath we demand “data driven instruction” instruction in our classrooms but it’s also clear that we don’t understand (and many times don’t trust) the technology that captures this very data needed to drive instruction.

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From Great Ideas to Successful Execution

Education Elements

In education reform, the focus is often on the sexy idea-of-the-day—the vision that lights donors up and causes them to give, that can grab headlines, that can give policymakers a political win. All too often we—thought leaders, foundations, policymakers, and, yes, some educators—forget about the real work that has to happen to put these things into action. The actual operations. Leaders

Personalized Learning: Lessons to Get the Message Right

Education Elements

Interest in personalized learning continues to surge all across the country. However, not everyone understands what personalized learning looks like or the changes it will necessitate, and people are often wary of what they don’t understand. So how we talk about personalized learning can either engage families or push them away. Personalized Learning