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Blast to the Future

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Blog, Featured | 2 comments

Blast to the Future

What would Marty McFly and Doc Brown say about education and schools in 2015?   Are we being as innovative as the flying car? As daring as the hover board? As efficient as the Master-cook? As cool as the auto-adjusting, auto-drying jacket?   Or are we stuck in Hill Valley, 1985? Or, even worse, Hill Valley in 1955?   As we think about education in 2015, the year that Marty McFly traveled to the future, let’s continue to push the envelope and think outside the box. Let’s continue to innovate, be creative, and explore new...

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What if Students Made a School?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Blog, Featured | 3 comments

What if Students Made a School?

What would happen if we trusted students to design their schools? Student voice and choice are core principles of a personalized learning movement that is empowering today’s youth to take responsibility for the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to thrive in college, careers and life.   As new education models grow to support this movement, are we ready to take the next step: asking students to help us customize the staff, space, curriculum, tools, and time they need for deeper learning?   To answer this question, the...

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The Paper Bullet: Making the Digital World Tangible

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Blog, Featured, Matchbook Learning | 0 comments

The Paper Bullet: Making the Digital World Tangible

In this rapidly growing space of personalized learning, there is a digital solution for each and every component that is needed to shift traditional schools to student-centric. We can wax poetic on which platform is best suited to meet students’ needs, and we can get excited about the robust and rigorous playlists we have procured using open source content. Employing an innovative use of space or developing clever strategies for leveraging instructional talent can even further tip the scales. But I have to wonder, with all of these powerful...

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Final Reflections on a Transformative Year: 5 Characteristics of an Innovative Educator

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Blog, Education Innovation Fellowship, Featured | 1 comment

Final Reflections on a Transformative Year: 5 Characteristics of an Innovative Educator

These past twelve months in the Education Innovation Fellowship have been a transformative journey, stirring in me a desire to rethink not only our centuries-old understanding of school and classroom design, but also what it means to be a truly innovative educator.   My journey culminated on Saturday at the second annual Education Innovation Summit here in D.C.—a daylong conference convening more than 150 teachers, school and industry leaders, and policy experts on the state of education innovation both in and beyond Washington. Thanks...

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Lebanon High School: Lighting the Path to Personalized Learning

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Blog, Featured, Getting Smart | 0 comments

Lebanon High School: Lighting the Path to Personalized Learning

The Getting Smart team spent the last year exploring next gen schools. With support from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), Tom, Caroline, Carri and Megan set off to learn more about the forward-leaning leaders who are building and inspiring new models of teaching and learning. Our report, Lighting the Path to Personalized Learning: Inspiring Stories from Next Gen Schools, highlights three attributes of personalized learning through the stories of the schools they visited and learned from: High Expectations for College...

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Have You Been Tapped?

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog, Featured, Matchbook Learning | 1 comment

Have You Been Tapped?

Recently I have been conducting research on the human capital framework to refine the core competencies, behaviors, and personality traits that are most relevant to predict success in the Blended Learning environment. During this process I uncovered many bodies of work leading to a framework that has continued to be developed to the point where several core competencies have risen to the top as key look-fors to be considered when hiring educators in the Blended Learning environment (to be discussed in a future blog post). I mention this...

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The Plight of the First-Generation Scholar: Can personalized learning better prepare students who are unfamiliar with the college experience?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Blog, Education Innovation Fellowship, Featured | 0 comments

The Plight of the First-Generation Scholar: Can personalized learning better prepare students who are unfamiliar with the college experience?

“First-generation” is a term that generates great pride within many college graduates who hold the title. This pride stems from recognizing the tenacity you had to develop in order to navigate a path unfamiliar to many, if not all, of your family and friends. It stems from understanding how you have to create and protect the vision of success you hold onto, despite the misconceptions society has of what those who look like or come from the same place as you may have. It stems from the acknowledgement of those who took special interest in...

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The Wild Wild West: My California Gold Rush Experience

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Blog, Education Innovation Fellowship, Featured | 0 comments

The Wild Wild West: My California Gold Rush Experience

Earlier this year, as a member of CityBridge Foundation’s 2014 Education Innovation Fellowship, I was afforded the opportunity to visit a number of schools in California and Detroit that are implementing different models of personalized and blended learning. All of the schools had important takeaways, but two of them—Rocketship and Summit Denali—stood out because of their instructional practices and overall models.   At Rocketship, I took away so many little golden nuggets, but none larger than the idea of implementing a flex model...

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