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Jan 5, 2017

Clifford Maxwell

4 answers

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  • Sam J. Brooks, Jan 6, 2017

    Many teachers feel threatened when discussing the onset of blended or personalized learning for students.  Allowing them to get involved at their own pace is key to success along the way.  We are entertaining digital natives in the classroom now and teachers have to be given time to "catch up" with the students.  An attitude of "productive failure" is important and teachers must have the opportunity to try new things out, even if they fail at first.  The one thing for certain is most students know more about technology than our teachers, but it is OK to learn from our students along the way.  A more engaged classroom is the goal! This will give more time for teachers to work with students and differentiate the learning.  Teachers who personalize classrooms must have room to try new things, even if they fail sometimes along the way.

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  • Sherre Vernon, Jan 10, 2017

    Teachers, as much as students, benefit from a personalized approach. The key is figuring out why they aren't motivated -- and their reasons do differ.  Some, as Sam mentioned, have little or no experience with technology and are intimidated by it; others are successful teachers who don't see the need to fix what's not broken (these teachers often discover that blended learning fits in well with their already personalized approach int he classroom); some fear the impact of difficult-to-regulate screen time; some love to be front-and-center in their classrooms and blended learning shifts that; some don't want to do the data analysis and re-teaching that blended learning often highlights as necessary; I'm sure there are other motivations that aren't coming to mind right now.   The point is, each of these motivations for resistance needs a different type of response from school leadership to "de-mystify" what happens in blended learning.  Simulated blended learning experiences in the proposed digital platform, if done well, can help with this. There's also a need for capacity building (around data; student accountability; class routines) depending on where the teacher's resistance is coming from. 

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  • Rebekah Kim, Jan 19, 2017

    Make the structures, resources and content relevant to what teachers want and need to help make students successful. In today's mad search for high quality CCSS aligned resources, we are in need of game changing approaches to teaching. Unpacking of standards, identifying resources and knowing that it is aligned to student achievement measurements is a priority in education. If we listen, name it and help our teaching staff in this journey, it could lead to better buy in. 

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  • Denis Zaff, Jan 20, 2017

    We come from a slightly different angle as most of our instructors focus on corporate training.
    The most successful and efficient instructors who use Rukuku.com to deliver blended training programs got there by what we internally call a "snow ball approach". These instructors grow into their roles by:

    • starting a small, simple program
    • then building on that program by taking many incremental steps
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Jan 5, 2017

Ashley Bryan
Key Contributor

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  • Sam J. Brooks, Jan 5, 2017

    Our district (Putnam County Schools TN) is very lucky to have the Putnam County VITAL program as the lead for all personalized learning in our district. The VITAL program also has the lead for all Professional Learning for teachers and is moving toward PD Credentialing as time moves on.  The VITAL program also pushes out trainings that can be both "traditional" and "virtual" in delivery.  We feel confident that if teachers can experience the benefits of being in a personalized learning delivery of teacher professional learning, they will understand the student experience and outcomes much better.  I hope this helps!

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  • Kenneth Grover, Jan 12, 2017

    As I work with teachers and staff from around the country, we begin by focusing on the core beliefs the group has about student learning how we take those beliefs and meet them through blended learning and personalized learning.

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  • Barbara Treacy, Jan 19, 2017

    One of the most effective (including cost-effective) ways to on-board new staff, is to provide opportunities for teachers to visit the classrooms of other teachers who have started to transition to blended learning. Through classroom visits, teachers can learn from what other teachers are doing, and the visits can also increase collaboration and dialogue within the school around blended learning.

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Jan 5, 2017

Sam J. Brooks
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  • Bailey Thomson, Jan 7, 2017

    At SPARK Schools, we made the deliberate choice not to implement a 1:1 in either our foundation phase (K-3) or intermediate phase (4-7) blended learning models.  In the lower grades, we use a lab rotation model and generally keep technology out of the classroom, up to and including smart boards.  Our students spend the majority of their time in relationship with their peers and teachers via guided work and collaborative work in the classroom and use Chromebooks in our Learning Lab for about an hour a day.  In our intermediate phase, we employ a flex/individual rotation and find that a 1:1 is a poor choice for both capacity utilization of assets, because there are huge swaths of time when students are working together or with a teacher and do not need a device, and that it limits their social-emotional development with peers and with teachers.  

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  • Kenneth Grover, Jan 13, 2017

    While 1:1 initiatives provide the necessary tools to personalize the learning environment, computers are still just a tool.  We decided to provide computers as needed for students to check them out and we also encourage students bring their own computers (if they have them). 

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Jan 7, 2017

Bailey Thomson
Key Contributor

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  • Kenneth Grover, Jan 14, 2017

    We have found that using multiple positive behavioral approaches the recognize student responsible use of the time, path, pace, and place of their learning has yielded greater student responsibility.

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Jan 8, 2017

Anonymous

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  • Kenneth Grover, Jan 13, 2017

    Focus on the core belief about student learning and then incorporate multiple instructional practices as needed to support personalized learning.

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  • Kevin Wenzel, Jan 14, 2017In a more formal way, we provided our district's teacher evaluation team(s) with a set of blended learning look-fors for each of our instructional practice standards they observe. This allowed for teachers to try innovative practices in blended learning, while still grounding their instruction in existing evaluative frameworks. Read more...
  • Thomas Arnett, Jan 15, 2017

    From my experience, the key is to focus on best instructional practices and then determine from there which aspects of personalized learning will help in implementing those practices.

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Jan 5, 2017

Clifford Maxwell

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  • Bailey Thomson, Jan 8, 2017

    At SPARK, we see blended learning and the use of technology as a tool to leverage, not as an ultimate outcome.  As such, we measure the effectiveness of our blended learning model by taking a look at student achievement results and satisfaction/engagement surveys from parents, staff, and students.  We aren't willing to subject some students to blended learning and leave others aside, so I doubt we will ever be able to make meaningful comparisons between achievement with and without technology.  However, that's all well and good, because blended learning is a whole greater than the sum of its parts.  Our models are not just about technology implementation, but also include culture-setting, behaviour management, social-emotional development, peer and teacher relationship-building and so much other soft "glue" that makes the whole model effective.

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  • Clifford Hong, Jan 15, 2017

    For me, it starts with selecting the right data points.  For example, if your blended program is designed to improve students' reading skills, perhaps you would use iReady, SRI, or NWEA Maps.  You would do a diagnostic, then run your blended program, and then run the assessment again, perhaps a month later to see if the data has improved.  The tricky part is selecting the right data points, because you need to be able to efficiently collect the data and have it reported in a usable form.

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  • Rebekah Kim, Jan 19, 2017

    Identify the key factors in implementing the program with fidelity and the specific skills/standards the program is marketing itself to support students in. Hold staff accountable in implementing programs with fidelity. This includes administration master scheduling to allow appropriate blocks of content time. 

    Then, align an external pre, mid and post assessment measurements to monitor progress. This will help to determine if the skills being worked on in a program are being generalized and mastered outside of the program. 

    If progress is not being made, then adjusting time or a program change is necessary in personalizing the learning pathway for each child. This can happen using an MTSS structure that looks at a variety of measurements, which includes, formative, benchmark and summative assessments. Of these assessments, it can be technology or non-technology based. 

    I have never been shy to ask program vendors and strategists how they can help us to determine if progress is being made by using our own external data measurements to determine the effectiveness of a program. When we have not seen effectiveness based on external measurements, we have discontinued the program. 

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Jan 11, 2017

Clifford Hong
Key Contributor

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  • Beth Rabbitt, Jan 19, 2017

    This is something we've looked at pretty closely in our Blended and Personalized Practices work. I particularly like Root's approach, where they collect data on social and emotional skills alongside academic growth scores, and provide really actionable reports back to parents that shows progress as well as shows goals for the future and outlines key areas parents can work on at home. Definitely recommend you check it out!  http://practices.learningaccelerator.org/strategies/mastery-based-reporting

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