A Sea of Humanity

When we look out and see our community gathered: students, parents, teachers, and leaders; I hope we see folks coming together. A sea filled with diverse and essential life, unwilling to be denied. Because we are not a crowd, we are a community.

Aurora Public Schools is making a comeback of sorts – and this pilot school is leading the charge

Not sure I would call it a comeback, but I do think Personalized Learning cohort member, William Smith HS, has been doing innovative and awesome things for and with kids for years.

Micro-credentials for Teachers: What Three Early Adopters Have Learned So Far

Adult Digital Badges, or Micro-credentials, are receiving more and more attention and resources. As we look to implement in APS, it is always good to learn from those who have come before.

Reaching Out and In

We are not the only ones engaged in teaching and learning. Far from it. But, knowing when we should reach out to others and when should we reach to each other for resources/advice is difficult. I tend to use this: Reach out often. Reach in daily.

Three Schools On Three Paths to Personalized Learning Success

A closer look at three schools who have been engaged in Personalized Learning work for the last few years. Lots to learn from!

Present like a pro: these new updates in Slides are designed to make you look good

An absolutely massive update to Google Slides that allows for the integration of student response tools like Pear Deck and creating linked slides that can change content across multiple decks automatically.

Blankets

When the days get cold, my kids bring out their blankets from bedrooms. They carry them around for warmth, but they tend to leave them behind whenever they get excited or want to fully engage in an activity. I wonder if I’m carrying around blankets too

Where Does Personalized Learning End and Special Education Begin? – EdSurge News

A deep reflection from an educator who sees personalization as one of the core concepts of special education.

Our Untold Stories

Jennie Magiera, a veteran educator, gave in inspiring talk at Google not too long ago. It makes me question, “What stories are we leaving untold in APS?”

Launch Tour Builder Tours in Google Earth with One Click

Now that Google earth is web based, building tours to deepen understanding for places and historical significance is super easy. Students and teachers can create amazing “tours” to explore cultural connections or simply engage more fully with content.

The Other Side

Yesterday, I spoke with a superintendent in Singapore via video conference alongside many other APS educators. He was on the other side of the world, and we were learning from him.

It made me think: “When did Singapore get so close to Aurora, CO?”

Creating a Learning Orientation Versus a Performance Orientation

This fits really well with our Cultures of Thinking work. What kinds of questions are your kids asking most often: Performance questions or Learning questions?

Reflection Facilitated by QR Codes

Reflection is such a huge part of learning, and yet we often find ourselves skipping it because of time constraints. This tech-infused suggestion provides for quick access to reflection questions for kids on their work.

7 Strategies for Personal Professional Learning

Barbara Bray has been writing about how to make learning personal for over a decade and she just keeps digging in deeper. This time she is looking at ways of making Professional Learning more personal, starting with “Teachers are learners too.”

Patterns

We are pattern recognition machines. We look for them to avoid threats and to embrace opportunities. Sometimes, though, the single unexplainable outlier is far more informative. Why did one child struggle or excel when others did not? It tells a lot.

Bringing digital citizenship into the school curriculum

Digital citizenship is something that must be explicitly taught, but it doesn’t have to be boring, for teachers or for students. Google has new curriculum and a new gamified experience to support both!

5 Common Teaching Practices I’m Kicking to the Curb

In a move of courageous reflective practice, one teacher takes a look at her previous classroom practices and sees which ones will stay and which ones will have to go.

Their Eyes Light Up

When a child is passionate about her learning, it isn’t a secret. In fact, it is contagious. The fire in the eyes of one learner communicates to all that it is okay to get excited, and you start to see the light spread from one set of eyes to the next.

Case Study: Personalized Learning in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

One of the strongest proof points for personalized learning has been Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The latest case study from their work is an in-depth look at the many ways that personalization looks at different schools that have taken it up. Worth the read!

Not Short and Sweet: A Conversation with Students of America (V)

Listening to students about what they want school to be is an essential part of Personalized Learning. The StuVoice movement is a great start!

Future

We can’t predict what will happen this year or next. However, everything we do today will make a difference. The words we say and actions we take will lead to what happens next, like making hundreds of tiny bets on the future. What are your bets?

What Personalized Learning Is Not – EdSurge News

A great summary of Personalized Learning that helps to reclaim the term from those trying to use it for anything other than empowering kids and teachers

Misinterpreting the Growth Mindset: Why We’re Doing Students a Disservice

Growth mindset is a powerful idea to help students stretch themselves and learn more than they ever thought possible. However, this is only if the idea is fully understood and utilized.

Don’t Sell Your Soul or Students to an Edtech Brand

A strong educator reflection about how we think critically about the tools we utilize and promote in our classrooms and schools.

Ownership

Just questions today: Who “owns” the learning in your school? And, how do you know? Is it those doing the most work? Is it those that are learning the fastest or with the most depth? Is it those who write the lessons/assessments or those who take them.

‘Where We Went Wrong’ Atlanta Educators Reflect on ‘Failed’ Tech Implementation – EdSurge News

Some great thinking here about how teachers have moved from believing Personalized Learning is a tech initiative to one about student ownership of learning. This transition took 5 years in Atlanta!

Flipgrid and HyperDocs: Amplifying student voice in purposeful digital lesson design.

I love tools that let us listen better to learners. Their needs are on display in our classrooms, but only if we are looking for and listening to them.

Learning In Houston

I was in Houston for a school visit 3 weeks ago. That school is closed, along with hundreds of others. But, the kids of Houston are still learning a lot this week, about themselves and each other. I will be thinking of and supporting them any way I can.

Google and 826 Valencia invite you to a ‘planet ruled by love’

A great story for how writing, technology, and equity can work together to create deeper learning.

How Pineapple Charts Revolutionize Professional Development

This is a great overview for Pineapple charts, the practice of publicly sharing what you are doing within you classrooms to allow for informal observations by peers.

Create

I am happiest when I create. But, only when that creation is in the service of solving for an identified need or answering authentic questions. Creating things that no one asked for brings no satisfaction. Are we listening to needs or creating to create?

Using Technology Doesn’t Make You Innovative

Is the technology in your school helping you do things you couldn’t do before, or is it replacing paper and pencil to do the same tasks? This post helps us consider this question and a few other important ones too.

3 Chrome Extensions that Make Google Classroom Even More Awesome!

Google classroom already does so much to support student learning, but here are three important ways of making that process easier and more effective.

My Classroom Charts Blog: How to make your own

Never underestimate the power of sharing your classroom with others. The simple act of taking pictures of your chart paper and making them available online can inspire fellow teachers and engage your students. Here is a great example of doing just that!