Albert Einstein’s discovery of E = mc2 is without a doubt one of the world’s most famous equations. When Keith Wilson and Monte Westfall, successful administrators of the Lawrence Virtual School, and I began working on our workshop about equity for Education Elements’ Personalized Learning Summit (May 10-12, 2017), we chose this very equation as the title but added a new twist. For our purposes E = mc2 is transformed to Equity = Meaningful Change for Children.”
Four years ago the team at EE had an idea...what if we brought together groups of personalized learning leaders in regional Blended Learning Leadership Academies (BLLA) to help spread innovation and best practices? We hosted these BLLAs for two years across the country, from Chicago to Washington DC and San Francisco. We facilitated collaboration time, hosted choice workshops, shared out highlights from the past year, and hosted silly photo booths.
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I was blessed to become a Personalized Learning Lexington Education Leadership Award Fellow (2nd Class) back in December of 2015. Education Elements not only influenced my personal work, but it motivated me to make learning meaningful for my students (all 4,970) in an exceptional way. My work in personalized learning has been inspirational in my district. Every district educational leader will always answer yes to certain questions. So, if you ask leaders if they use data to drive instruction, the answer will be yes. If you ask if leaders embed small group learning into their districts, the answer will be yes. If you ask if leaders utilize digital tools to help students make educational learning gains, the answer will be yes.
What comes to mind when you hear the word, superhero: Batman or Superman? Merriam-Webster defines a superhero as an exceptionally skillful or successful person and that is exactly what West Fork High School is producing in our Personalized Learning Academy (PLA)! When brainstorming ideas to write about, I immediately thought “the real superheroes are the students and skills they gain throughout PLA.” Now don’t get me wrong, I AM a superhero too. Designing and implementing personalized learning (PL) in my classroom is intense and I would love to increase my superpowers by attending the PL Summit. So below, are several reasons why I feel my ability to empower my students is my superhero power!
Earlier this year, Digital Promise and the Center for Teaching Quality co-authored a paper on how micro-credentials help drive teacher learning and leadership. In it, we discuss the challenges teachers face in the classroom to ensure that all students’ learning needs are met. To do so, educators must engage in ongoing professional growth. However, evidence suggests that current professional development does not meet educators’ needs. Enter micro-credentials
“At RUSD it all starts with a conversation.” When we were asked to present at the Education Elements Personalized Learning Summit in San Francisco this past May, we were honored to have an opportunity to bring others on this amazing journey and to include them in on this conversation of personalized learning at Riverside Unified. Our students live in a world today in which 21st Century skills are crucial to their success and their ability to contribute globally in a positive manner. We recognize that, although the four core elements of learner profile, flexible environments, learning plans and competency based advancement are important to create a culture of personalized learning, students also need