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Summer is already in full swing for everyone (shout out to my New England friends who are working the last week of June) which means time for professional development keynotes, summer workshops, and cooking up fresh ideas with my dear friend and partner in crime Bena Kallick. (In the photo above, we are presenting at Vista Innovation & Design Academy in California with Dr. Eric Chagala)

Here is what Bena and I are developing right now …

Exploring a deeper connection between personalized learning and equity.

Helping every learner to achieve aspirations and develop contemporary skills is embedded in virtually all school vision documents, but there are still pervasive and significant challenges to make this a reality for all students. Bena, Yvette Jackson, and I are developing a session for ASCD 2019 Annual Conference which will lead to more conversations and blog posts on the topic throughout the year. If you haven’t taken a look at the interview with Dr. Yvette Jackson, check it out.

Diving deeper into the seven elements of personalized learning.

When schools want to dip their toe in the water in designing experiences, selecting at least one of the seven elements is incredibly helpful. This is something I always share when working with clients, an organizational frame in Students at the Center (anchors chapters 3-6), but was stunned to see that there are no blog posts articulating what they are, illustrative examples, and tools/strategies. However, they are foundational to many posts. For example, this newsletter features:

Continued collaboration with leaders within schools and influential to schools.

A prime example of this is how Jill Thompson, Director of Personalized Learning at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, shares concrete examples to grow personalized learning throughout a system. In this newsletter, she talks about how to engage faculty to drive personalized professional development. And in case you haven’t seen it yet, check out our co-authored e-book on making personalized learning a reality in your schools. Bena and I also will continue to interview influencers in personalized learning. Who are you interested in hearing from? Please send names along to me.

Getting ready for a roadtrip to Finland.

Once in awhile the stars line up and what you dream about turns into a reality. I am thrilled to be heading off to this adventure at the end of September with my dear friends and colleagues Marie Alcock, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, and Bena Kallick.

We will formally share our reflections at ASCD 2019 Annual Conference in Chicago. However, we are planning to document our learning about the Finnish schools, diving deeper into the beliefs and aspirations that impact the structure of schooling. I am particularly interested in what vocational education looks like there (again both how the community views it as well as opportunities for students). What questions are on your mind? Please send them along to me.

Thank you for reading and engaging!

Allison Zmuda
Educational Consultant and Founder of Learning Personalized

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