A few months ago Education Elements launched an online tool called Touchpoint. Touchpoint was designed for the districts we support. As our design & implementation consultants work with districts to support their personalized learning (PL) initiatives, the tool helps organize the project members, workshop schedules, related resources and action items in one place. If you’ve ever spent more than 5 minutes digging through your inbox and said something like, “What was the title of the email that had the meeting agenda attached?” you can bet your pretty penny that Touchpoint will be a lifesaver for you. All of your project stuff in one place -- heaven!
When I first began working at a start-up cyber charter school, I had so many questions about what my day would look like and what my students’ day would look like. What I have found is that after two years, our school is still molding the answers to those questions. Our school design is one that meets students’ individual needs and learning style, leading to the many wonderful strengths and opportunities of our program, but with that come many challenges. It is not easy to develop a sound blended learning model that works for students’ needs. Education Elements’ summer design workshop and continuing support this year has greatly helped us move our model forward to support these needs. From choosing the appropriate platform menu to ideal weekly scheduling, these exciting challenges will continue to take shape as we dive deeper into our students’ needs.
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My Education Elements’ journeys this past month were quite enjoyable! Not only did I get to meet some amazing teachers and school leaders, but I got the opportunity to visit some new places across the country. What strikes me the most is that despite where my travels have taken me, the educators that I meet continue to reinforce the fact that the passion for learning and teaching in the K-12 space has never been greater than it is today. My journeys took me first to Horry County Schools in South Carolina and from there I was fortunate enough to visit Wayne, Pennsylvania to collaborate with the Agora Cyber Charter School. I continued my road trip (literally - no flights for these two visits) to Columbus, Ohio to meet with some pretty progressive folks at the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and the Ohio Blended Learning Network. I finished up my month’s travels with an amazing trip to Idaho to conduct some Personalized Learning Tours with Idahoans in Boise and Moscow! A huge thank you to NNU and the University of ID for hosting and bringing together a great group of leaders to learn about personalized learning! (Want a PL Tour in your district? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!)
School and district leaders that are thinking about personalizing education tell us one of their top concerns is how to train, support, and develop teachers effectively to teach in ways that may feel new and unfamiliar. As former educators we agree that this is crucial, and are happy that they recognize the challenge and are ready to take it on.
I have spent my life teaching, designing, training, building and innovating in the field of education. I have been a teacher, a union president, a charter school administrator, an educational software designer, an executive for a school management company and an entrepreneur. I have been politically correct, politically incorrect, offensive, defensive and in my opinion - a very likeable character. But until now...I have not been a blogger!