During the ISTE 2019 convention, one of the interesting sessions that I attended was about the presentation on using visual design and learning as a vehicle in developing creative student voice. With Steve Wick's (@WickedEdTech) presentation, "Creative Student Voice: Visual Design and Learning", he explains the importance of providing essential activities that support students to explore and create visuals connected to creative student voice. Below are some resources shared during Wick's ISTE 2019 presentation. By clicking on each image, you will gain access to deeper and richer resources:
Visual Design and Learning Presentation
Creative Visual Design Challenges
Design Resources for Educators and Students
Creative Student Voice Resources
The added "bonus" in Wick's ISTE 2019 presentation is the connection he made with ISTE Standards for Students and Educators. As I am in still the process of completing my portfolio to obtain my ISTE certification with TCEA (@TCEA), I am motivated by fellow educators who believe in the significance of applying ISTE Standards in their everyday learning, as well as in teaching others to become innovative in their instructional practices. Below are some of the ISTE standards for Students and Educators that can be connected in developing creative student voice and choice as part of students' everyday learning and teachers' commitment in being lifelong learners.
ISTE Standards Targets
A Reflection on "What Principals Really Think About Tech" [Education Week article, April 17, 2018]
In the Education Week article, "What Principals Really Think About Tech" by Benjamin Herold, it is interesting to read about the way principals perceive about personalized learning environment, including who the principals think pushes personalized learning. As shown below, twenty-eight (28) percent of the principals surveyed in this article thinks that personalized learning is a transformational way to improve public education. In addition, Twenty-three (23) percent of the principals surveyed believes that personalized learning is a promising idea, while thirty-one (31) percent thinks that personalized learning is one of the many school improvement strategies available to them. The rest of the principals surveyed shared that personalized learning is not on their radar screen, is a passing fad, or a threat to public education.
With the question, "Who do principals think is pushing personalized learning?", fifty-five (55) percent of the principals surveyed responded that technology companies or vendors pushes personalized learning. On the other hand, forty-six (46) percent of the principals surveyed think that district leaders pushes personalized learning, while thirty-one (31) percent of the principals surveyed identified the students as an influencer.
My Personal Thoughts
This article was written on April 17, 2018 and from this date, there had been more articles, journals, and research papers that have explored into the different facets of personalized learning. This deep dive has resulted to additional findings, possibilities, and connections that paved ways for teachers, principals, and district administrators to gain information and knowledge about personalized learning. Some information have been useful that inspired some school leaders to take risks in adopting innovative best practices to develop student-centered learning environments. Even in this day and age, many school leaders are hesitant in implementing personalized learning as part of providing differentiation in student learning. It seems that one of the major reasons of their hesitancy is the expectation for students to perform well in state/federal-mandated assessments, which had been a huge challenge to many public school districts to sustain funding support and academic freedom. Assessments as we all know, such as in the state of Texas, is a well-known tool and strategy to identify and define campus or district performance. For this reason, the intense emphasis on performing well as a campus and as a district according to state/federal-mandated assessments has placed deep stress for all school community stakeholders.
Recently, I have immersed myself in further reading to understand personalized learning better and how this style of teaching and learning impacts my line of work as a seasoned educator. Personalized learning, in many ways, had been associated and connected with the use of web-based learning systems to deliver content, instruction, and support student engagement (Chen, 2008). This trend had led to the development of more e-learning systems with accompanying features that support individualized learning among potential learners through personalized learning paths. These learning paths provide choices that are attractive and relevant to the needs of the times. This approach in learning has helped individuals decide as to what career path they want to take and that will take them eventually closer to their professional and/or personal purpose.
As an educator, I am driven by what is truly meaningful in making a poignant difference in the lives of students. Today, young learners are driven by digital learning and the tablet (i.e. iPad, Android tablet, Kindle, etc.) is one of the many devices that are visible in the classrooms. With the presence of such a device in the hands of young children, many ebooks have been created as a means to develop literacy through personalized learning (Huang, Liang, Su, & Chen, 2012). This type of portable device has also provided opportunities for young learners to explore and use apps that can increase vocabulary and language development.
Other research identifies the use of personalized learning practices among students to be showing progress over time compared to those students who are catching up to meet expectations and perform at or above national averages (Hwang, Kuo, Yin, & Chuang, 2010). Student progress and instructional decisions are mostly determined through gathering and analyzing data. Likewise, data is used to identify individual academic support, which eventually influence the choice of technology to be used as part of personalization of learning. With the increased demand in addressing student academic performance in reading and mathematics, personalized learning experiences and best practices have been used for direct extensions of common student learning and teaching practices. However, the implementation of more challenging strategies was not as common and many. For this reason, I see the urgency and need to focus understanding of deeper learning on competency-based learning and use of technology for individualized/personalized learning.
ISTE Standards Targets for Personalized Teaching and Student Learning
Aurora Institute [iNACOL]: Disrupting Education - Designing Equitable Learning Spaces
Presenters: Karla Virgil, EduLeaders of Color RI, Emily Abedon, Equity Institute
Session Learning Outcomes:
I was asked to share an inspiring message to public school teachers as part of their final reflection and culminating after school activity at my district, aside from welcoming and introducing the VIPs and special guests that late afternoon. I thought about this for a while and I was not quite sure as to what to share for this special event where teachers, administrators, and district leaders will be part of the audience. So, I dug deep into my "inspiration toolkit" and selected one of my favorite poems where I draw inspiration from, especially when I want to encourage positive and meaningful change among teachers and campus leaders. This poem is called "Innovate Together" by Najwa Zebian who is a Canadian-Lebanese author, educator, and spokesperson. Please click on the title below to view this poem that is located at George Couros' blog site. I also provided a video of Najwa's poem reading and delivery from George Couros' YouTube channel.
How do you develop better student feedback? Better yet, what is student feedback? Where do you start?
During my first year of teaching, developing student feedback was one of my challenges as I dived into the complexities and high demands of the education profession. I chanced upon seeing in my PLN Twitter Community this wonderful image made by Lisa Westman (@lisa_westman) that captures very important and interesting information about feedback.
As you can see, feedback stems from these characteristics: consistent, specific, user-friendly, goal-referenced, time and on-going, tangible and transparent, and actionable. With these characteristics in mind, it is evident that feedback is not merely providing a simple, "yes, I agree", "this is awesome!", "i think you can do this better", and other similar statements. In order for feedback to be effective, it has to be clear, targeted, specific, detailed, with supporting evidences, including the characteristics that have been mentioned.
There are also other ways to deliver feedback for effective learning. Below is an example.
This visual representation of the article, 20 Ways To Provide Effective Feedback for Learning , provides the importance of having purposeful and meaningful feedback. For example, students are more encouraged when:
Below are more great resources on Effective Feedback:
My first experience to code was during my elementary years back in the 80s when my computer teacher taught my class basic programming using DOS and BASIC language. I am not sure if you all recall DOS, but it was pretty much a simple program that allows you to navigate folders, look up files and extension names, conduct software installations, etc. While BASIC provided additional programming features that included different and more refined actions that are not available in DOS. As years went by, the world of programming continued to change and evolve that led to the emergence of different programming languages such as C+, C++, Java, Python, etc.
Speaking of programming, below are some resources that are available to those who are interested to teach and learn programming languages to students and teachers. It is time to re-ignite coding again among learners!
02.04.2019 Reimagine Learning with Personalized PD
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., TCEA 2019, Room 214B
Presenter(s): Alysa Cozart, Karen Goble, Lindsay Yancey, Meaghan O’Hara
About: Klein ISD has shifted to a personalized approach to PD honoring teacher voice. What started as an idea to level up teachers’ technology use through a Google Roadmap has evolved into a multi-faceted approach to reimagine learning. We will share strategies to support our vision, our four tenets of personalized learning, and many PD examples.
This was one of my favorite sessions during #TCEA , which was presented by amazing women who are passionate with education, technology integration, teacher professional learning, and curriculum instruction! One of the many take-aways that I learned from this session is the importance of organized planning invested by Klein ISD to ensure the successful deployment of their 1:1 student laptop. This deployment also included the transformation of educator professional learning to a personalized approach where teachers and administrators get to select their learning paths.
So, if you ask me what is my take on personalized learning? Well, it is definitely the way to differentiate and scaffold adult learning especially when it comes to educational technology integration. The reason I say this is because there are adult learners who are either in the beginners level, intermediate level, or advanced level when it comes to understanding in-depth and implementing relevant and purposeful active and engaged learning using technology. It is not wise nor recommended to provide a "one-size fits all" professional learning approach. It is better to provide different opportunities where adult learners can choose the path they want to take that will lead to more meaningful experiences and sensible ownership. More often that it should, many district leaders and professional development specialists think that adult learners need to be micro-managed and held closely when it comes to their learning, to the point where the adult learners become too spoon-fed with their own growth and development.
In connection with this presentation, I dug upon this great resource that offers one of many definitions and explanations of Personalized Learning that is provided by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To download the PDF file of the images below, click on this link.
When I became an assistant principal, one of the challenging tasks that I have to fulfill with fidelity and consistency is to be an instructional coach/leader to my teachers. It was not an easy job, as some may think. Coaching teachers is more than just "talking" with adults. Coaching requires a great deal of dedication, hard work, patience, uninterrupted time (yes, that's right! ?) and building trusting, non-judgmental, professional relationships.
Some of the tools that I have used to develop my coaching skills included Cognitive Coaching, eGrowe Model with Active Learning Framework and Active Learning best practices, content-based pedagogy and innovative best practices, Differentiation and Scaffolding best practices for Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Instruction, and the like.
With the variety of tools, strategies, and resources available online and in face-to-face training sessions or workshops, it is important to identify the goals and expectations that you have in mind and have discussed and shared with your colleagues, especially with the teachers you are to coach. It is also valuable to get their feedback and constructive criticism and use the gathered data to make wiser and more meaningful decisions in choosing the coaching model that will be suit the needs and learning styles of your teachers.
One of the many resources that is quite universal and an be applied at different aspects of coaching is to identify "look fors". This list is only a suggestion, and not set in stone. This list can also serve as a starting point to provide you with an idea in solidifying what you would like to see and what your teachers would like to grow on with regard to providing rigorous and meaningful student learning environments.
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics
Shelley Vohra, Ph.D. shared her research on "Closing the Equity Gap Through the Use of Social Media" that focuses on the use of #twitter as the tool of choice where teachers are able to enhance their professional practice, reflect on their profession, obtain support from fellow educators across the globe, and provide students with opportunities to explore real world experiences and be more engaged in their own learning.
The study included an 8th grade Math class where social presence theory is identified as the methodology of practice. The purpose of the study is to explore social presence on #twitter, student engagement and learning, and to fill a gap/need in this particular area. Below are some of the ideas I have captured through my #sketchnotes.
This may sound very familiar, but don't we, as educators, always look forward to being part of an engaging and active Professional Learning Network (PLN), where we can communicate ideas, collaborate best practices, and exchange strategies that we can apply in each other's classrooms. This particular session gave a lot of inspiration in identifying different styles of PLNs and how it can benefit one's professional learning, growth and development. Sometimes, it is good to go out of the usual path and try digital PLNs and social media tools to navigate into the global world of sharing. My sketchnote was made possible from the ideas shared and presented by @dankrutka, @torreytrust and @jeffpcarpenter.
Director Active Learning El Paso ISD. Social, Economic & Cultural Awareness. Equity in Education. Student & Woman Empowerment