Reimagining Roles

‘Tackling the Motivation Crisis’​ with Mike Anderson

  As the new school year is officially in full swing and the initial excitement of the first weeks has...
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‘Tackling the Motivation Crisis’​ with Mike Anderson

Hacking Assessment to Go Gradeless with Starr Stackstein

  I’ve been an admirer of Starr Sackstein and her work for a long time. She’s been a beacon for years on...
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Hacking Assessment to Go Gradeless with Starr Stackstein

Talent by Design: Designing for Engagement, One Human at a Time

Engagement When designing the Vista Innovation & Design Academy (VIDA), we sought to gather empathy from students and as a...
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Talent by Design: Designing for Engagement, One Human at a Time

If Students Are Progressively More Self-Directed, Then What Am I Here To Do?

Three Interrelated Roles of the Contemporary Teacher One of the common questions we often are asked about personalized learning is,...
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If Students Are Progressively More Self-Directed, Then What Am I Here To Do?

What Does It Mean to Reimagine Roles?

The roles of teacher and student shift in a personalized learning environment. We move from a traditional hierarchy to more of a learning partnership.

This category shares insights as to how schools and teacher-leaders are making the shift in releasing more control over to the students and what challenges they face along the way.

  • Teacher as coach — “just in time” instructor, mentor, networker, evaluator, collaborator
  • Student as self-directed learner — increasingly capable to raise questions, navigate research, develop ideas, and grow from feedback based on current performance
  • Leaders as door opener — permission to create, innovate, share, and grow as individuals and as community

‘Tackling the Motivation Crisis’​ with Mike Anderson

  As the new school year is officially in full swing and the initial excitement of the first weeks has faded, one of the most important concerns on many educators’ minds is how to keep students motivated. Over the Labor Day weekend, I caught up with a good friend and thought partner, Mike Anderson. We met about 10 years ago at an author's retreat hosted by ASCD and immediately became immersed in conversation about perspectives on...

Hacking Assessment to Go Gradeless with Starr Stackstein

  I’ve been an admirer of Starr Sackstein and her work for a long time. She’s been a beacon for years on moving away from grading and moving toward a focus on self-directed learning. She has made real movements in pedagogy and ownership of learning through her passion, practical advice, and the way she has grown a supportive educator community. I asked her to sit down for an interview with me in light of the recent publication...

Talent by Design: Designing for Engagement, One Human at a Time

Engagement When designing the Vista Innovation & Design Academy (VIDA), we sought to gather empathy from students and as a result made a poignant discovery: students, particularly those from poverty, felt that school was irrelevant to their lives. We endeavored to reverse this by design, and we knew that if we created a school that was more about their lives than "just school," we could capture their hearts, and then we could get to their...

If Students Are Progressively More Self-Directed, Then What Am I Here To Do?

Three Interrelated Roles of the Contemporary Teacher One of the common questions we often are asked about personalized learning is, "Am I doing 'it' right?" To personalize a lesson or personalize an assignment is grounded in a mindset shift — how are we elevating the role of the student to have a larger stake in the design, ownership, and responsibility of his or her learning? And if we are encouraging this increased level of self-direction...

Interview with Giselle Martin-Kniep

We interviewed Giselle Martin-Kniep, president of the Learner Centered Initiative. As always, Giselle is a very thoughtful educator. We explored her work with civic engagement paying attention to how she provides opportunities for students, teachers, administrators, and community members to voice their perspectives on key issues. They co-create ideas, inform their opinions as they socially construct greater understanding of an issue. As they learn, they take action and experiment with the impact of their ideas...

Clarity on What it Means to Put Students at the Center — Inspired by an Opinion Piece by Richard Ullman

The piece "No, Teachers Should Not Put Students in the Driver’s Seat," immediately captured our attention because of its either/or polarizing title and because the article proceeds to limit thinking to whether you mean to put students at the center or not. Most importantly, it does not offer a definition for what "students at the center" means. We suggest that Ullman, as well as most educators, consider that our main purpose for education is to...

The Grief of Leaving Public Education

This post was first published on Pam Moran's Medium page and is republished with her permission. I’ve been in deep reflection on the grief of leaving after 43 years my work as a public educator inside schools and learning. I’ve seen the best and worst of what education can be from diminishing and even hurtful behaviors to those that are exhilarating and filled with joy. Children depend upon adults to create the conditions of their...

Helping Students Find Their V.O.I.C.E.

Instructional practices, like the physical formats of music, have evolved in response to technological developments. Vinyl records made way for 8-tracks as primers became textbooks. Cassette tapes were swapped for CDs, like chalkboards for SmartBoards. The shift to online music mirrors the emergence of today’s virtual courses. Paradoxically, the way we consume music has become more impersonal even as its accessibility grows increasingly personalized. As teachers and students are inundated with new software and apps,...

Empowering Others to “Pull the Andon Cord”

When my wife was seven months pregnant with our first child, we moved into my parents’ spare bedroom. We had just rented out our house, and we were six weeks away from closing escrow on our new home where we would go on to raise our little family. While we were living in the spare bedroom, we had to quickly adopt some survival skills. This was a great adventure, mainly because of me. I am...

Personalized Learning Perspective from a High School Student

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of being a voice of 42,000 students in my school district of Henry County. Each year, Henry County Schools offer a Teacher Induction Program the week before pre-planning that allows new educators to the district to receive more training, professional development, and networking opportunities to be successful for the upcoming school year. On Personalized Learning Day of this annual event, I had the opportunity of being the opening keynote...