In search of on-ramps to competency-based learning

The Christensen Institute

As more and more school systems across the country explore “going competency-based,” we need to be attentive to the processes that will actually allow such innovations to thrive. Current time- and age-based accountability measures have a stronghold on schools, even those trying to break away from the factory model of education. As a result, we would predict that time-based metrics and incentives could cannibalize many efforts to reinvent learning in a competency-based manner.

Utah and Florida sign bills to support competency-based learning pilots, but now the real work begins

The Christensen Institute

This month, governors in Utah and Florida signed bills supporting the creation of competency-based education pilot programs in districts and schools. Utah’s bill, SB 143 , creates the Competency-Based Education Grants Program, which allows local education agencies to apply for grants to pilot competency-based education programs. Treat competency-based learning as a whole-system—rather than one-off—reform.

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Tackle teacher shortages with online learning

The Christensen Institute

As we’ve written before , one affordable and flexible solution stands out: online and blended learning hold the potential to unlock new solutions to the nation’s teacher capacity challenges. Online offerings could hold the key to disrupting the nation’s antiquated teacher recruitment and retention strategies. For this to happen, policymakers and leaders will need to recognize online learning’s potential and to legislate and plan accordingly.

Competency-based and blended learning: Friends or foes?

The Christensen Institute

Last week, I presented a webinar for the Michigan-based EdTech Specialists’ webinar series on blended learning and competency-based education. The presentation provided me with a chance to revisit a blog post I wrote two years ago on the overlap—or lack thereof—between competency-based and blended approaches to teaching and learning.

Inputs do not guarantee outcomes: Getting online credit recovery right

The Christensen Institute

The Los Angeles Unified School District is back in the news for its use of technology, this time for its online credit-recovery courses. In a recent editorial , the Los Angeles Times called into question the district’s record-high 75 percent graduation rate, as it said that the figure was based in part on LA Unified’s dependence on its less-than-rigorous online credit-recovery courses. Actual learning—not a piece of paper—should be the goal for every student.

How should quality assurance for competency-based ed work?

The Christensen Institute

As online, competency-based learning gains steam in higher education, a critical question is emerging. If the federal government will fund competency-based programs through Title IV dollars, how should it think about regulating these programs? For online, competency-based programs, the old metrics are those focused on inputs. This post was first published on CompetencyWorks.

Coursera, K12, Inc. make bold moves to drive learning

The Christensen Institute

similarly stormed through the early 2000s by bringing online learning to the world of K-12 education and went public in 2007. As I told its team, offering courses from the top universities online and claiming that at last, anyone anywhere can access the best learning in the world isn’t correct. The reason is that the top universities do not offer the best teaching and learning experiences. Putting these courses online often makes them worse.

Unlikely bedfellows converge, create inspired vision for future of education

The Christensen Institute

Not only are we tired of the same recurring debates about what is wrong with today’s education system and who is to blame for its inadequacies, but we also realize that no amount of tweaking or modifying the current, industrial-era system will fulfill our vision of all children learning and thriving to their full potential.”. Conversely, the Internet revolution has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity for new approaches to learning.”.

Competency-based legal education

The Christensen Institute

In thinking about how best to prepare for that changing world, law schools need to consider how competency-based educational models can be employed to advance educational objectives for students seeking to enter the market for legal services. In this new environment, law schools need to reimagine themselves as educators for students interested in learning about the legal services sector, not simply those seeking a JD.

Disruption looms for law schools

The Christensen Institute

With the emergence of online learning and the opportunity to pair it with competency-based learning and flexibly mix it all into place-based bootcamp type experiences that train students to practice law—the combination of which would be disruptive to higher education—legal education is awaiting a disruptive innovator that takes advantage of the current opportunity. The news that law schools are in crisis is not new.

Beware of taking flexibility a step too far

The Christensen Institute

At its best, online learning can catalyze new heights of flexibility—in path, pace, place, space, and teacher-student interactions—amidst an education landscape that has long looked more like an industrial production line. In blended and online environments, students can move at their own pace, and when provided access to real-time data, teachers can intervene more nimbly when individual students get stuck.

What law schools should do to combat disruption

The Christensen Institute

That threat is likely to accelerate when, not if, a disruptive innovator emerges in legal education (in this context, the news of 2U’s partnership with Syracuse to build an online juris doctor (JD) program is worth watching). First, schools can use online learning as a sustaining innovation to improve learning and control costs. There has been plenty, from discount retail to online retail.

Charter schools tackle shortcomings of college

The Christensen Institute

Summit Public Schools, a charter network based in Silicon Valley in California, had elements of this model. For the first time, their alums were being asked to truly learn on their own and figure out how to navigate their school’s requirements largely by themselves. Education Blog Blended learning Charter schools college College for America competency-based learning digital learning disruptive innovation graduation rates higher education Innovation K-12 education online learning

Creating a sea change to improve teacher impact

The Christensen Institute

Tomorrow the Clayton Christensen Institute is releasing a white paper titled, “Solving the Nation’s Teacher Shortage: How online learning can fix the broken teacher labor market.” Dwinal then explains how online learning is addressing these issues by making the teacher labor force more flexible such that more skilled and certified individuals are available to address the nations teaching needs.

6 tips from personalized learning innovators leading change

The Christensen Institute

Earlier this year, the Rhode Island-based Highlander Institute and the Clayton Christensen Institute teamed up to bring together a conference on blended and personalized learning in Providence, R.I. The goal of the event was to focus on the practical elements of blended and personalized learning by surfacing the tactics that practitioners were deploying in the trenches. Click here to learn more. For more, see: Blended learning up close—really close.

Disruptive innovation can help solve nation’s teacher shortage

The Christensen Institute

A critique against the power of disruptive innovation to help our schools educate each child more effectively has been a backhanded one: Yes, re-architecting schools around personalized learning is important, but even more important is having a highly effective teacher for every child. Online learning advocates have for a long time made this point. Second, officials should move from seat-time requirements to competency-based learning models.

Course 246

Stepping aside to dig deeper: My next career move

The Christensen Institute

Our education team has galvanized a conversation around transforming our monolithic, factory-model education system into a student-centered one powered by the disruptive innovation of online learning so that all students can realize their fullest human potential—an idea that was not on the radar before 2007. Horn online learning

The next-gen high school to watch

The Christensen Institute

Last month, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) in New Hampshire launched a new set of pathways for students. Although proponents of personalized learning often talk about affording students more choice regarding how they learn, few schools have managed to figure out a coherent architecture to get there. These allow students to move through learning at a more flexible pace, on an as-needed basis.

Finding ‘personalized learning’ and other edtech buzzwords on the Gartner Hype Cycle

The Christensen Institute

As Clayton Christensen recently said to me, just as people have taken the phrase “disruptive innovation” to justify whatever they already wanted to do, people are using the phrase personalized learning—and a whole host of other terms—in a similar manner. Peak of inflated expectations: personalized learning. Today’s most hyped phrase, personalized learning, is nearing Gartner’s peak of inflated expectations among the chattering class of education thought leaders and philanthropists.

How teachers can go blended (when they’re the only one)

The Christensen Institute

About the author: Casey Lynch is a K-12 education research intern with the Christensen Institute focused on interviewing and profiling schools in the Blended Learning Universe Directory, and a rising 8th grade English teacher in The School District of Philadelphia. Many teachers interested in implementing blended learning may be deterred by challenges in their school contexts. Students complete gamified learning exercises on Siyavula’s Everything Maths at home.

Finding ‘Personalized Learning’ and Other Edtech Buzzwords on the Gartner Hype Cycle

Edsurge

As Clayton Christensen recently said to me, just as people have taken the phrase “disruptive innovation” to justify whatever they already wanted to do, people are using the phrase personalized learning—and a whole host of other terms—in a similar manner. Peak of Inflated Expectations: Personalized Learning. Today’s most hyped phrase, personalized learning, is nearing Gartner’s peak of inflated expectations among the chattering class of education thought leaders and philanthropists.

What do at-risk students, English language learners and adult college students have in common?

The Hechinger Report

The New York Times has a new education supplement, called Learning, and The Hechinger Report is collaborating with the Times to produce Bulletin Board, a collection of noteworthy ideas and trends in education that will appear on page 2 of the section, which will come out four times a year. The April issue’s theme was “Nontraditional learning.” The middle school has started using an online system to guide self-paced learning, and Ms.

Does Presence Equal Progress? Tracking Engagement in Online Schools

Edsurge

We all remember classmates who sat in the back of the room, eyes glued to a comic or dog-eared paperback, anything to escape a learning environment that did not—or could not—engage them. But this innovation is at odds with a generations-old notion of what school should look like and it is spurring debate of the merit of online schools. Many valid questions have been raised about online schools. How do you know learning is happening?

When to Teach Online Classes Live and When to Let Students Learn on Demand

Edsurge

Even when students are all in the same time zone—such as for most K-12 schools and community colleges—getting to a live online class on time can be challenging for those who live in households where there aren’t enough computers or tablets for every learner, or where the internet connection isn’t robust enough. But the benefits of being online together, when it works, are huge, Self said in a recent episode of the EdSurge Podcast. When Elizabeth Self starts teaching her 11 a.m.

Video 131

Not Just Buzzwords: How Teachers Bring Big Ideas, Innovative Practices to Life

Edsurge

Blended learning in credit-recovery courses and alternative schools—areas where students would often have no brick-and-mortar options—has gotten a bad rap because of questions about the rigor of the online learning experience. But the Office of Educational Options at BCPS works hard with its teachers to keep standards high so that students are not merely recovering credits to graduate, but also learning. Education Technology School Models Learning Strategies

How 2Revolutions is Helping Schools, Districts, and States Support Future of Learning Models

Edsurge

There are organizations that support different kinds of transformation in schools and after researching and interviewing some of these organizations, we've learned a great deal about what these changes can look like, how schools go about redesigning aspects of their model, and what types of support they need along the way. In October, we will share a guide highlighting the trends, insights and challenges we've learned about while profiling five key players in the world of school redesign.

What Does a School Need to Enable Learning Based on Student Competency?

MindShift

Many teachers have long been frustrated with static, canned curriculum that doesn’t seem connected to kids’ lives, and testing requirements that drive the learning experience. Three main ways schools are attempting this work are through technology use, an emphasis on personalizing learning and moving toward a mastery-based or competency-based evaluation system. ’ Competency education refers to a break from the traditional time-based school model.

The Trends and Challenges Shaping Technology Adoption In Schools

MindShift

Redesigning Learning Spaces: Panelists identified changing learning spaces as a trend that educators and district leaders have embraced for quite some time and which is likely to continue. An increasing number of educators are finding that collaborative, hands-on learning requires a different type of space than most traditional classrooms offer, and that the learning environment greatly impacts both pedagogy and student engagement.

A school where you can’t fail — it just takes you longer to learn

The Hechinger Report

The only goal is to learn the material, sooner or later. But, in general, students work at their own pace through worksheets, online lessons and small-group discussions with teachers. They get frequent updates on which skills they’ve learned and which ones they need to acquire. Mastery-based learning, also known as proficiency-based or competency-based learning, is taking hold across the country.

Will “school choice on steroids” get a boost under a Trump administration?

The Hechinger Report

The logical extension of such policies – permitting students to take individual courses wherever they wish, by using online options – has already begun to take root in about a dozen states. Under such plans, the funding for a course taken by an individual student goes to the school or online company offering the course, often away from the student’s local district. His school, with 400 students, can manage it partly because no more than 40 students a year are taking an online class.

Has New Hampshire found the secret to online education that works?

The Hechinger Report

In January 2015, Duggan enrolled in New Hampshire’s self-paced Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS), joining about 200 full-time middle and high school students and about 10,000 part-timers from brick-and-mortar schools statewide who take VLACS courses a la carte. Virtual schools promise flexibility and a universe of learning just keystrokes away. But a slew of recent studies have found lackluster performance at online schools, seriously tarnishing their promise.

Texas districts are rethinking technology integrations

The Christensen Institute

These 75 organizations first confronted the puzzle together last summer, when Raise Your Hand Texas, a privately funded organization that advocates for public schools, invited all 1,200 Texas districts to compete for five opportunities to receive up to $500,000 each and intensive technical assistance to implement blended learning. In the fall, the 75 teams that demonstrated the most interest and readiness met together to begin to draft their blended-learning plans.