Ed Elements' January 2015 Newsletter

January 2015 Newsletter

EE News & Updates:

Save the Date: PL Summit May 7-8, 2015 in Silicon Valley

Join the Education Elements design team, personalized learning leaders, and digital content partners for the 2015 PL Summit to share and develop effective practices for designing, launching, scaling, and supporting personalized learning.

EE Winter Webinar Series 2015 (January - April)

Our seasonal webinar series is back! Starting in mid-January and going through mid-April, we’ll be offering informative webinars on topics ranging from how to secure funding to how to select digital content to designing instructional models. No matter where you are on your personalized learning journey, there is a webinar (or several!) for you. Can't make the webinars, but don't want to miss out? Sign up, and we’ll send you the slides.

Winter Webinar Series Education Elements

Design Spotlight:

For most of our clients, winter is a time to pause and reflect on personalized learning implementations.  If not regularly scheduled, it’s difficult to find time to reflect, measure progress, and iterate your model.  Here are some ideas for reflection:

  • Dust off your original design:
    • You’ve probably made several changes.  Now is the time to capture the changes you've made to see how much you’ve progressed.

  • Look at your original goals for your implementation:
    • Have you met your goals? Do your goals feel aspirational still? Is some aspect of it based on a quantifiable measurement? Are you measuring your implementation regularly? If not, make a hypothesis about an action you’ll take in the next three weeks and a predicted outcome.  

  • Check in with your students via surveys or interviews:
    • Do they understand why teaching and learning has changed in the classroom this year?
    • Do they feel like their learning is more personalized?
    • Do they feel more successful?
    • Share your goals and ask for feedback

  • Collaborate with peers:
    • Find a cohort of personalized learning teachers and run a consultancy protocol in which you all reflect on your fall implementation. You may explore how to you want to refocus or iterate and ask for other’s input.

  • Ask for feedback from a coach or a trusted teacher:
    • Ask a specific question that you are curious about and ask a coach, admin, or trusted teacher to come and observe and take notes. You may ask them to randomly ask students how they know how they are doing in online content or to review their individual goals with the observer. Sometimes having another set of eyes and ears can give you a new perspective.

  • Make new goals and share:
    • Don’t be afraid to set sights high and share your goals with peers and with your students. Taking risks with students is setting the bar high and modeling good learning along with them.

Partner Spotlight:

QISA:  http://www.qisa.org

MAAP:  https://www.mymaap.org

My Aspirations Action Plan (MAAP), developed by The Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering student voice and aspirations in schools, is an interactive and engaging online platform that helps students reach their personal, social, and academic potential. MAAP provides each student with the opportunity to take responsibility for the development of his or her self-worth, engagement in learning, and sense of purpose.

To start creating their personalized MAAPs, students answer questions about their current school experiences and their future hopes and dreams. A series of statements allows students to reflect on their learning. This highlights causes for celebration, identifies areas in need of improvement, and helps students establish goals. Teachers and students are able to communicate within the MAAP platform to ensure ongoing dialogue that supports students’ progress. Students submit evidence in the MAAP portfolio to demonstrate the growth they have made. Through MAAP, teachers are able to better understand their students' personal and academic aspirations, and guide their progress toward their goals. To further support students, parents and mentors may be invited to view a student’s MAAP.

A MAAP for teachers is also available, providing teachers with a professional portfolio that allows them to establish goals around self-worth, engagement, and purpose, and track their own growth. The teacher MAAP helps guide educators to develop specific action plans to improve the teaching and learning environment.

MAAP's integrated approach:

  • Personalizes learning inside and outside of school
  • Engages students as leaders of their own development and learning
  • Enhances adult-student relationships by allowing teachers to quickly get to know all of their students, and by allowing parents to easily view their child's progress
  • Provides a 21st century platform for one-to-one student mentoring
  • Allows access to year-over-year data to monitor trends in student behavior and identify concerns before they become problems

MAAP helps students think about their overall life goals instead of just academic. They think about skills they have and need to develop to manage situations in all facets of life, not just school.



Events We're Attending

Connect with us!

  • NGLC and CEE Trust Regional Convening, Bay Area, CA: 1/13/15 - 1/15/15
  • LearnLaunch @ Harvard, Cambridge, MA: 1/23/15 - 1/24/15
  • National Title 1 Conference, Salt Lake City, UT: 2/5/15 - 2/8/15
  • AASA, San Diego, CA: 2/26/15 - 2/28/15
  • ASCD, Houston, TX: 3/21/15 - 3/23/15 (Don't miss out on our lunchtime panel with Amy Creeden from Middletown, NY!)

Want to meet up at an event? Email info@edelements.com and tell us where you will be! 

Want to join us for dinner? Email amy@edelements.com for details.


Articles We Read

Check out a few articles we have gotten excited about over the past month:


Follow our Blog

Keep in touch!  We would love to keep sharing our thoughts with you from our blog.

Recent Posts from our blog, BYOT (Bring Your Own Thoughts):

  • 10 New Year's Resolutions from 6 Blended Learning Experts When asked to describe what Education Elements does I typically say, “Education Elements helps school districts design and implement personalized learning.”  And its true.  That’s what we do.  But what I should *really* say, if I am being completely honest, is “The amazing consulting team at Education Elements works tirelessly to help school districts design and implement personalized learning.” (Read more)
  • What I Want: Truly Personalized Learning [...] So I quelled the urge to write another list about *all* the things I want this holiday season (my family doesn’t really read my blog posts anyway) and instead decided to talk about the *one* thing that I really want this holiday season. I want every student, every day, to feel like the people who educate them, get them... (Read more)

  • 5 Tips for Infusing Student Reflection into Blended Classrooms Schools around the country are leveraging the integration of online digital content and offline curriculum to allow for increased student flexibility over path and pace. However, implementing digital content and targeted instruction without structured processes for student reflection can make for hollow implementations... (Read more)

  • 6 Holiday Gifts That’ll Make You Feel More Warm & Tingly Than Grandma’s Egg Nog As the holiday season erupts into full swing, I’m thinking a lot about what to give my loved ones. [...] This year I wanted to see if I could give gifts that would more directly connect with what I care about: making a positive difference in the lives of students and teachers. (Read more)

  • An Adaptive Diagnostic Will Rock Your World Take a look at your smartphone. You can’t live without it, right? In two years, not having an adaptive assessment tied to individualized instruction for children will be as ridiculous as not having a smartphone... (Read more)

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