Ed Elements: March 2016 Newsletter

March 2016 Newsletter

On Our Minds:


Changing Workplaces Require A New Definition of College and Career Readiness

While districts choose to do personalized learning for a variety of reasons, one of the primary drivers we often see for moving ahead with changes to teaching and learning is better preparing students for college and career. The challenge for many within school districts, however, is that the world of work is changing quickly and that definition of work is evolving too. We found this set of videos great food for thought for educators thinking about how to create classroom environments that will prepare students for the workplaces of the future where problem-solving, agility, responsiveness, collaboration and communication will be even more important than they are today.  Attending our PL Summit?  You are in luck - you will get to visit some of San Francisco's hottest companies and see for yourself!

Coast to Coast: New Work with New Clients Corcoran, CA and Charleston, SC

We are excited to announce two new partnerships, both focused on building a strong foundation for personalized learning. Corcoran, a high poverty rural school district, was in the first cohort of LELA fellows and is taking the next step to roll out personalized learning by working with Education Elements to build on the work they have done so far in personalized leaning and develop a baseline understanding across the district. Education Elements will also support work in Charleston, a much larger, more urban school district, with a focus on building capacity and assessing readiness across their schools.

A Newsletter for Personalized Learning Leaders

This month we launched our quarterly newsletter for district leaders.  Each issue will have only three articles - longer than a blog, shorter than a magazine - focusing on issues of interest to leaders thinking about or supporting personalized learning.  Interested?  Email yosr@edelements.com to subscribe or follow us on Medium.

Content Providers Get a Newsletter Too

We also launched a bi-monthly newsletter for our Content Provider partners.  Each issue will include information about personalized learning, our district partners, our product plans, and more, in a format designed to help our Platform Partners make the most of being a part of Ed Elements ecosystem.  If you’re an EdTech company, you can sign up for the Partner Newsletter here.

Healthy & Colorful

At Education Elements one of things we are most proud of is our team. We have an amazing group of smart people who are incredibly talented and the secret to our success. We have recently hired new Design and Implementation Consultants, new members of our Client and Partner Services Team, a new member on our Marketing Team and a few Engineers.  And we are still growing.  We are committed to achieving a diverse workforce and are building an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone can express himself / herself and find his or her passions and personal fulfillment. Our new open roles vary from District Development Associate to Engineer to Bookkeeper. Check out our open positions, and don’t hesitate to share with your friends and families.


Design Spotlight:

One of the most important things any district can do in order to successfully implement personalized learning is to define what it is, and what it means, for their district. Having a proverbial north star is important for getting buy-in and for aligning initiatives. Districts call their north star anything from their vision to their belief to their motto and beyond, but in the end - the goal is the same - to have a memorable statement that is their stake in the ground; to have a rallying cry for why PL matters. All districts need something they can use to inspire as well as to make decisions about what to do and what not to do.

We believe that creating your vision is an iterative process. It’s a bit messy, and complicated by the fact that the more voices in the room the louder (and better) it gets. We start most of our projects with some elements of visioning and through exercises ranging from identifying key words and ideas to silent reflection to “speed dating” to seeking and implementing feedback, we help districts to develop something they believe in that can guide them. We have just completed 10 sessions with the 2nd Cohort of LELA fellows, geared at supporting their visioning process and are once again excited by the progress they are making, and humbled by how hard it is.

So what does a good vision or belief look like? Many organizations have really short ones (this list has some great ones) and while school districts' visions are sometimes longer, we think they are pretty great. Check out just a few of them below:

  • We are all learners who deserve personalized learning experiences to become leaders who have the skills to be successful in life and create solutions for a better tomorrow. (Warren, IN)
  • Empower every student and educator to utilize digital tools for high achievement and innovative excellence (Yuma, AZ)
  • All students at Ecorse Public Schools engage in a high quality, personalized education and leave the district as lifelong learners (Ecorse, MI)
  • Every classroom, school, and district is a dynamic learning community (Education Elements Design and Implementation Team

Have a vision you’d like to share? Tweet it to us @edelements #vision for #personalizedlearning. Want support in creating one?  Let us know!



Places to Meet Up

Connect with us! 

  • SXSWEdu: March 7th-10th, Austin, Texas. Once again Anthony Kim will take the stage in a great debate - this time against Alex Hernandez of the Charter School Growth Fund with Julia Freeland Fisher of the Christensen Institute moderating. Trust us, you don't want to miss it, or miss the Personalized Learning Playbook book signing by Anthony right after the debate.
  • Carolina Blends by Horry County Schools, March 21-23, 2016 Myrtle Beach, SC. Join Anthony Kim and Mike Wolking for 2 days in South Carolina filled with school visits, breakout sessions and a keynote by Anthony.
  • ASCD, April 2nd-4th, Atlanta, GA. Scott Johns and Angela Chubb will join Jaruan Denis of Uinta School District#1 to talk about how to select digital content in an interactive workshop. Feel like you got that covered but wouldn’t mind meeting up for a steak dinner? Email amy@edelements.com to get info about how to join dinner with Jaraun, Scott and Angie!
  • PL Summit 2016: May 19th - 20th. Save the date for the Personalized Learning Summit 2016, in San Francisco, CA. Join us for a two-day event focused on guiding your personalized learning journey. If you got an invite, hurry up and save your spot now, space is  limited. Can’t make it? Follow us on twitter using @edelements and #plsummit and get to learn with us!

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

Education Elements in The News

People are talking about us...and you!

Worth a Read

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

Ready to Start Personalized Learning on the Right Foot? 

Download the Personalized Learning District Framework.    Education Elements Personalized Learning District Framework  

What Have Other Districts Done That You Should Avoid?

Check out the 6 Personalized Learning Risks That Districts Should Avoid:

Personalized Learning Playbook, by Anthony Kim

Download the Personalized Learning Playbook from our website for FREE, enjoy the graphics from the book, and join our Personalized Learning Community to discuss the playbook, ask questions and share thoughts.  You can also buy it from Amazon here!