By: Japneet Kaur on December 19th, 2018
The Top 10 Blog Posts from Education Elements - What We Talked About in 2018
Personalized Learning | School Districts | Curriculum Strategy & Adoption | Classrooms | Innovative Leadership
Over the past year, we published 71 posts, and we’ll probably manage to sneak in a couple more before the year is done! Here at the Bring Your Own Thoughts blog, it’s always been our goal to create space for a wide range of perspectives and experiences so that as many educators as possible can find content which is useful and relatable to their own challenges and goals. We’re proud to say that every year, the B.Y.O.T. blog includes diverse voices – from teachers to administrators to coaches and consultants – and this year was no different. With thought leaders from schools, districts, and education organizations across the country, as well as our own team, we talked about everything from PL to equity to curriculum to leadership to organizational practices and beyond, in the form of blog posts and multiple new blog series, podcast episodes, downloadable tools and resources, and comments from our readers! You can learn more about our work over the past year in our reflection on 2018, and today, we’re sharing this year’s most popular posts on the blog.
We’re grateful for all of the thought partners and collaborators who develop and share content on B.Y.O.T., and to all of the inspiring educators and leaders who shape the work and ask the questions we try to answer here. Every year, it’s interesting to see which ideas have resonated most with our readers - check out this year’s top 10 below!
1. The Core Four Continuum - a New Framework for Personalized Learning Implementation
By Kelly Freiheit, Megan Huneck, and Natalie Woods
Over the past 8 years, our team has watched the Core Four Elements of Personalized Learning be put to use by educators across the nation to transform their classrooms and teaching practices. Often, on the journey of PL implementation, we accomplish a step only to stop and wonder - what next? The team at EE developed a framework, or a rubric, to guide PL implementation at every step of the Core Four.
2. How to Make the Most of the First 20 Days of Personalized Learning
By Megan Huneck
The beginning of the school year sets the tone for what's to come, establishing a pace, rules, or routines that the class will follow through to the end of the year. Despite our best efforts, teachers often enter the classroom on the first day to meet situations which call for adjusting all of the planning and preparation done beforehand. This plan for the first 20 days of a school year is set up with concrete, actionable tactics, no matter if you're just beginning your PL journey, or knee-deep in implementation.
3. 8 Elements for Improving Teacher Retention
By Keara Mascareñaz
Teachers are the backbone of the education system, but many school administrators struggle with providing teachers the kind of support and empowerment they need in their day-to-day. This year, we created a guide – based on stories from the frontlines and curated best practices from cutting-edge companies – for providing teachers with the kind of support they need to thrive and be effective. Check out the first post in this ongoing series.
4. Innovative School Leaders Part 1: How to Become an Innovative School Leader
By Andrea Goetchius
This year saw the beginning of multiple blog series here at B.Y.O.T., one of which is this one by Andrea about the key competencies which make innovative school leaders. Explore the series as it takes you through each competency with multiple resources, and works as an introduction to identifying and internalizing the qualities of effective school leadership.
5. How to Pick the Right Instructional Model for Your Classroom
By Brittany Griffin
With many resources for identifying high-level strategy and guiding educators through the process of implementing personalized learning and other educational and organizational practices, teachers still need to figure out what works for their classrooms and students - isn't that what personalized learning is all about? This post by Brittany breaks down multiple instructional models with a guide for which models best address which needs, as well as ideas on how to implement them.
6. Strange Bedfellows: The Marriage of Personalized Learning and High-Quality Curriculum
By Noah Dougherty
A curriculum that may standardize objectives, assessments – with room for personalization and flexibility? While at first glance, it may not seem obvious how the two belong together, the fact is that a high-quality curriculum provides content and lessons to leave teachers time and energy to focus on personalizing learning experiences rather than collect or even develop their own content.
7. How Can Personalized Learning Support Educational Equity?
By Noah Dougherty
What is the relationship between personalized learning and educational equity? Equity is not inherently a part of personalized learning - that is, implementing PL tactics in a class or school will not bring about educational equity on its own. Rather, educators must apply an equity lens to the work that they do, including implementing personalized learning.
8. Breaking the Mold: Understanding and Developing New School Models - White Paper
By Mike Wolking
School model design is something which most of us have taken for granted - whether as teachers, students, administrators, or families. Most of us attended schools with the same format, one which is a result of years and decades of policy decisions in education layering on top of one another. This blog post and white paper explore the implications of reconsidering existing school models and bringing school model design into the 21st century.
9. Coaching for Innovation: 10 Competencies to Maximize the Impact of a Coach
By Maggie Hodge
Like the series on Innovative School Leaders, this post introduces the core competencies of an effective and innovative coach. Whether you're a personalized learning coach or working with another educational ideology, this framework will guide you in developing and strengthening your skills.
10. Is Marketing Your School or District a Thing? Part 1: Branding
By Yosr Najjar
This post explores the idea of schools and districts engaging in marketing for themselves. With competition for resources, for attendance, and the need to build trust in and win support from your community, it's more important than ever to talk about your school and district. This post, as well as part 2 about storytelling, share practical tactics to marketing your school or district, including why you should, which platforms to use, what to talk about, and more.
Thank you for following along with our blog, and engaging with us both through social media and in the comments. If you haven't already, subscribe to B.Y.O.T., and join us in conversation on Twitter @EdElements.
Have a favorite blog post that didn't get included in the roundup? Sound off in the comments and let us know your favorite reads, as well as what you're looking forward to seeing on the blog next year!
And lastly – join us in real life at the Personalized Learning Summit 2019, where we talk about all these things and more, with transformative workshops, inspiring keynotes, tours of innovative workplaces, and a lot of networking opportunities. See you in Atlanta, Georgia, May 14-16!
About Japneet Kaur
Japneet is a community organizer, artist, communications specialist, and Associate Marketing Manager at Education Elements. Japneet has worked with non-profits as well as grassroots organizations to head marketing, brand management, and communications. With a keen interest in serving organizations that fight for social justice and equity, Japneet has spent more than a decade collaborating with youth organizations.