Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hacking PBL to Make Learning Personal

According to Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy, authors of Hacking Project Based Learning, "Despite the hype surrounding PBL, it is seldom made a reality in our schools and classrooms." We were very lucky that Ross @rosscoops31 and Erin @murphysmusings5 joined us as co-hosts on our 4/17/17 #plearnchat with the topic Hacking PBL to Make Learning PersonalRoss and Erin's book guides teachers through 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom. They worked with us to come up with the big question:

How can PBL create an environment and opportunities where learning is personal for all learners?

Ross and Erin came up with the six questions for the chat that we used and Pam put in a graphic below. We use the Q1, A1 format:

Educators from all over the world joined #plearnchat for the topic Hacking PBL and PL on April 17th with our great co-hosts. The tweets were going by so fast that we noticed our chat was trending the whole time. Wonderful conversations!

Here's a few quotes from #plearnchat:

Carol Reinagel @MrsReinagel
"Learners should have a say in their PBL direction. Listen to them, know their strengths. It should fit in the way all our PL does."

Paul O'Neill @PaulONeill1972
"The buzz of explosive curiosity followed by learners taking ownership and making transferable sense of the learning"

Yvette Rosario-Perez @yvetterp2
"If we get students curious and excited to learn more, then we connect the next project to student interest and the real world and repeat."

Christine McCartney @mrscmacc
"Debriefing and reflection stage of PBL is critical...even when projects don't come to fruition. So much learning happens there."

Michael Vose Ed.D @KHS_AP
"PBL is where we can learn from artists and musicians. When it's right it's in the groove."

Tamara Letter @HCPSTinyTech
"PBL is successful when one question is answered and another question begins. Learning doesn't stop ---projects do!"
Lenette, M.Ed. @lmhawkhill
"We know PBL is successful when students can EXPLAIN the process. When students are EXCITED to discuss it with others. When students make connections to previous/future learning."

Carol Varsalona @cvarsalona
"Essential questions have lasting effects - build thought process - lets students inquire deeper into studies."

Nancy White @NancyW
"Backwards planning. Standards are required, but curriculum is more flexible. Also, standards are the floor -- not the ceiling."

d ryer @dryer83
"My favorite parts of PBL hiding all the curriculum behind big topics/ideas with my students but following through all the PBL parts."

Susan Zanti @SusZanti5
"Teachers must reflect on the teaching and learning --- ensure that formative data drives instruction so that assessment is authentic."

Mike Mohammad @Mo_physics
"Curriculum outcomes need to be written to provide space for learners to make connections between content and interests." 

Noa Daniel @noasbobs
"The curriculum is the vehicle, but students build the road and drive the inquiry. The journey can take them beyond the expectations."

Mark Levine @LevineWrites
"Inquiry is learning. You can't have students show thinking without it. Inquiry is the opposite of teacher on a stage."

There were so many more we wanted to add but ran out of room. Make sure you check out the archived storify below for all the fantastic resources and graphics shared in the chat.

Congratulations to V. Ellen Burdge, @eburdge, who won our book, How to Personalize Learning

Ellen Burdge is Director of Teaching and Learning at the French American International School in San Francisco, CA. She is an Organizational Coach trained by the Center for Right Relationships. Ellen is blending her background and experience of more than 20 years in education as a teacher/professor, facilitator and team leader with the innovative skills of Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC) in her role at FAIS in San Francisco. With varied experiences in International schools around the world, Ellen is passionate about tapping into the potential of relationship to build more collaborative partnerships and teams to improve student learning. 

Follow Ellen on Twitter and LinkedIn
Twitter: @eburdge

The tips in this book truly demystifies what PBL is all about with 10 hacks that construct a simple path educators and students can easily follow to achieve success.

"Start by building trust. Provide time for conversations. Ask rather than tell. Allow for dissonance. Model the practice."  
 Erin Murphy @murphysmusings5

"When we talk about process over product, it's important to realize what this actually means, rather than using it as a buzzphrase!" 
Ross Cooper @rosscoops31   

How to Personalize Learning is your practical guide to getting started and going deeper with personalized learning. Corwin has offered our followers a 20% discount code. Go to Corwin Press and use the discount code N169O6 for your own copy.

Save the Dates for our next #plearnchats

Mondays: 4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, and 7pm EST

May 15th (4 weeks)

Topic: Passionate Learners
Hosted by Kathleen McClaskey @khmmc and Pam Lowe @prlowe91 with guest host Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp, author of Passionate Learners and Passionate Readers

May 22nd (1 week later)

Topic: Global Collaborative Projects
Hosted by Barbara Bray @bbray27 and Pam Lowe @prlowe91 with guest hosts Julie Lindsay, author of The Global Educator and Linda Ullah, world traveler and coach.

We archived the entire #plearnchat about Hacking PBL and Personalized Learning below for your convenience and as a resource.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Micro-credentials as Personal Professional Learning

Don’t you think that now is the time to change traditional “sit and get” professional development and move to personal professional learning opportunities? Teachers are learners, too. The “one size fits all” has got to go and micro-credentials provide a process that supports teachers and impacts teaching practice.

Digital Promise has built an innovative system for educators to be recognized for the work they already do with their kids. Educators are embracing this process of micro-credentialing. They are documenting and showcasing learning and then getting credit for it or revising what they are doing and submitting again. [excerpts above from Barbara's post Personal Professional Learning through Micro-credentials]

We were very lucky that Odelia Young and Hashim Pipkin from Digital Promise co-hosted the April 3rd, 2017 #plearnchat along with Pam Lowe who created the graphics and moderated the conversations. We came up with this driving question to frame the discussions:

"How can micro-credentials develop a sustaining professional learning system ready to adapt to the evolving needs of today's classrooms?"

We used the Q1, A1 format and asked the following six questions:

Educators from all over the world joined #plearnchat on the topic of Micro-credentials on April 3rd. The conversations encouraged deeper learning from all of us. There were a few who joined us who just wanted to learn about micro-credentials. Then they found the chat easy to join so they jumped in asking questions and sharing ideas. Wonderful conversations!

Here's a few quotes from #plearnchat:

Pam Hubler @specialtechie
"Got it! So the badge is the visual. Micro-credentials describe the process to get the badge."

Odelia Younge @Odelia_DP
"Micro-credentials require a submission of evidence of learning in the classroom, but then can be displayed as a digital badge."

Shannon Ziegler @sziggy9
"I do also think teachers need to be a part of helping to develop the school culture and goals to really have ownership."

Susan Zanti @SusZanti5
"Micro-credentials offer teachers voice and choice in their PD. As they acquire skills, they get credit for their new learning."

Hashim Khalil Pipkin @hkpipkin
"Micro-credentials attest to the presence of research-backed skills in teachers to make learning visible. Digital badges are the form that MCs take when awarded."

Nicole Fuerst @nfuerst2
"Offering an array of options, flexible time schedules, ability to make own learning path and more."

Noal Geisel @SenorG
"Micro-credentials can fill the gaps in the narrative of who I am as a learner/achiever, offering richer narrative than grades."

Congratulations to Sue Thotz, @SueThotz, who won our book, How to Personalize Learning

Sue Thotz is the Los Angeles Education Program Manager for Common Sense Education. Since 2011, Sue has been providing professional development and partnering with educators and parents to help them create a culture where students use technology in a meaningful, thoughtful, and respectful way.

She works with districts to create a foundation of digital citizenship that fits with their vision. Sue's background ranges from classroom and after-school teaching to education and cell biology research. She managed a longitudinal study on the effects of an early literacy curriculum, as well as qualitative and quantitative studies on food security issues in Chicago. 

Sue has taught research methodology to teachers and students interested in understanding issues in their own communities. She has also created primary cell cultures from human and bovine eyes. Sue holds a Master’s in Public Health and an undergraduate degree in zoology and chemistry. She currently lives in a small house with a 12 year-old reader, 10 year-old gamer and a most clever musician.

Follow her on Twitter @suethotz

Some resources Sue wants to share with you:

How to Personalize Learning is your practical guide to getting started and going deeper with personalized learning. Corwin has offered our followers a 20% discount code. Go to Corwin Press and use the discount code N169O6 for your own copy.

Save the Date, Monday, April 17th (2 weeks) for our next #plearnchat

4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, and 7pm EST

Topic: Hacking PBL and PL

Hosted by Barbara Bray @bbray27 and Pam Lowe @prlowe91 with guest hosts Ross Cooper @rosscoops31 and Erin Murphy @MurphysMusings5,  authors of Hacking PBL

We archived the entire #plearnchat about Micro-credentials and Personal Professional Learning below for your convenience and as a resource.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ESSA, UDL and Personalized Competency-Based Education

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December 2015, federal K-12 law now defines and endorses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a scientifically-based approach to personalize learning. But how can we use UDL to support personalized competency-based education practice? The KnowledgeWorks team joined us as our guest hosts in this compelling discussion on this topic. Thank you to Virgel Hammonds, Robin Kanaan, Lori Philips, Laura Hilger and Abbie Forbus!

The questions proposed in #plearnchat on March 13th were intended to discover how Universal Design for Learning that is defined in ESSA could impact personalized, competency-based education practice. We asked these six questions in the Q1, A1 format:

We had a wonderful group of educators that shared their insights to these questions along with graphics, video and personal quotes about the topic of ESSA, UDL and personalized, competency-based education. Check out the complete Storify of the #plearnchat below.


  Robin Kanaan @Robin Kanaan

"UDL arms kids with the knowledge of who they are as a learner, building toward student agency."

In response:

Lausanne Learning @LausanneLearning

"Absolutely...nothing more powerful than a curious learner. Future beware!"

Jessica Webster @jgroteweb

"UDL promotes choice & voice Ss make decisions abt their lrng."

Lori Philips @loriphilips1026

"Educational opportunities are enhanced when Learners understand their needs and can advocate for themselves."

 Laura Hilger @hilgerl

"Learning=Vulnerability so if Ss/Ts don't create the culture, how can we expect Ss to take real risks required for agency?"

Susan Zanti @SusZanti5

"Know and meet Ss where they are socially-emotionally-academically-facilitate self efficacy and awareness."

Meredith Johnson @mjjohnson1216

"Being strategic and planning for schools on the lowest 5% (continuation of SIG) could help the equity issue."

Lillian Pace @lillianpace

"Imagine if we brought #personalizedlearning to the lowest 5% of schools!"

Congratulations to Seth Burgess from Lausanne Learning, @LausanneLearning, who won our book, How to Personalize Learning.

Seth Burgess is the director of the Lausanne Learning Institute, a professional development non-profit that organizes teacher conferences on student-centered learning strategies. He has been a journalist, a Web 1.0 dot-commer, and English teacher from Pre-K to University. He loves traveling with his wife and two daughters and loves the amazing number of teachers out there who are striving to bring students back to the center of education.

Website: http://www.lausannelearning.com/


How to Personalize Learning is your practical guide to getting started and going deeper with personalized learning. Corwin has offered our followers a 20% discount code. Go to Corwin Press N169O6 for your own copy and use the discount code.

Save the Date, Monday, April 3rd (3 weeks) for our next #plearnchat

4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, and 7pm EST

Topic: Micro-credentials and Personal Professional Learning

Hosted by Barbara Bray @bbray27; co-hosted by Digital Promise

We archived the entire #plearnchat about ESSA, UDL and Personalized Competency-Based Education below for your convenience and as a resource.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Digital Literacy and Digital Citizenship

"Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills" from the American Library Association's digital-literacy task force. It is not just about reading text online; it  also refers to content creation. That includes writing in digital formats such as email, blogs, and Tweets, as well as creating other forms of media, such as videos and podcasts.

Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. We decided to focus on digital literacy and citizenship in our February 13, 2017 #plearnchat, because of how important these skills are for all learners and their future.  We asked six questions using the Q1, A1 format:

We had an amazing group of educators who not only shared their expertise around digital literacy and citizenship, they shared graphic, infographics, videos and stories. 

Mike Mohammad ‏@Mo_physics 

"As we allow learners to find sources not prescribed, they need to be able to evaluate the reliability of sources."

Angela Peery ‏@drangelapeery

"Lead them to respected sources, not just anyone's blog or slanted 'news' sources."

Michala Cardwell@CardwellTeachMe

"I want students to seek and read multiple sources, compare, contrast, & synthesize what they glean. Learners need to conceptualize."

Jeremy Bond ‏@JeremyDBond 

"Whether you're responsible or not may forever be online for everyone to see. Be civil, express appropriately, share wisely."

Kami for Schools ‏@KamiSchools

"Can be very tough, but IMO just takes practice. Kids will learn to identify fake news + help by using fact checkers (snopes)."

Michael Weinraub ‏@mweinraub87

"So much depends on developmental level, but educators should stress creativity & learning as much as safety & security."

Pam Hubler ‏@specialtechie

"I like telling real stories about how bad online decisions & consequences. Students discuss what they should have done."

Kathy Renfrew @KRScienceLady

"Learners need to know how to speak online, very different that being face to face where you can smile, see body language."

LemarrTreadwell M.Ed ‏@LemarrTreadwell

"What do learners need to know about responsible digital citizenship? Ss/Ps need to understand about their Digital Footprint."

Meredith Johnson ‏@mjjohnson1216

"As educators, with frequent use of Twitter, do you ever think about the digital footprint you are leaving?"

Congratulations to Arina Bokas, @arinabokas, who won our book, How to Personalize Learning

Arina Bokas is the author of Building Powerful Learning Environments: From Schools to Communities (2017) and dozens of education- related publications for #ASCD, Education Week, Huffington Post, Getting Smart, and other entities. She offers educational consulting and works as the editor of Kids’ Standard Magazine and a faculty member at Mott Community College, Flint, MI, along with serving on Michigan PTA Leadership Development Committee. In the last two years, she produced education television series, The Future of Learning, and moderated #MichEd and #HackLearning chats on partnering with families.
Website: cultureofpartnerships.com 

"I compare plagiarism to intelligence theft. Students tend to understand the concept better."
"Students need to understand complexity of truth. There are many true sides. Much depends on perspectives. Consider a few of them."

How to Personalize Learning is your practical guide to getting started and going deeper with personalized learning. Corwin has offered our followers a 20% discount code. Go to Corwin Press and use the discount code N169O6 for your own copy.

Save the Date, Monday, March 13th (4 weeks) for our next #plearnchat

4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, and 7pm EST

Topic: ESSA, UDL, and Personalized, Competency-Based Education

Hosted by Kathleen McClaskey, @khmmc

We archived the entire #plearnchat about Digital Literacy and Citizenship below for your convenience and as a resource.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Equity and Social Justice

Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday held on the third Monday of January, celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically." 

We decided to discuss social justice and how educators encourage equity and provide every learner a safe, caring  environment. The conversations were deep and heartfelt from so many educators from around the world. The big question around equity and social justice was:

 "How can learners develop the skills necessary to foster a better society?"

We used the Q1, A1 format with the following questions:

The questions encouraged participants to push the conversations deeper. We found ourselves wanting to reply or retweet many of the responses to the questions. First few questions were on classroom culture and activities teachers can provide that encourages a safe learning environment and then we delved deeper into discussions on issues that affect them, bullying, and turning social justice into community service.

Renee White @RaRaPenguin

"By finding a way as role model in classroom to afford each learner the same fair opportunity. Make playing field as level as can."

Caroline Wray @wray_cj

"First defining equity is a must. I think the classroom must focus on creating a learner led culture."

Rachel Salvatore @RachSal44

"Build relationships and provide safe spaces for our learners; let them know they are valued, cared for and respected."

Jeremy Bond @JeremyDBond 

"Take responsibility for building relationships with families and the community. Build your schools as community centers."

Mark Levine @LevineWrites

"We use authentic inquiry to learn history. Then we examine their world and make decisions on social justice today."

Lynn Spady @lynnspady

"I have found current events on @Newsela to be a great starting point. Learners pick the articles that they find interesting."

sbuhner @sbuhner

"Social justice should be embedded in units. History is a great place to start especially if connected to history of community. #authenticlessons"

Kathy Renfrew @KRScienceLady

"Digging deeper, Learning as an educator, bringing equity conversations to the forefront of the work with colleagues."

Mrs. Cheri Authement @mrsa_sci

"Discuss with class how to handle group work issues. Use humor in moments where students 'caught' to model how to talk it out if appropriate."

Meredith Johnson @mjjohnson1216

"Important to include different ethnic groups in order for more students to feel engaged in the conversation." 

Paul O'Neill @PaulONeill1972

"By removing artificial boundaries like classroom walls and schedules. Create situations where we can all learn together."

Todd Russo @MrRussoRH

"Ask students what they want to discuss and how. I always liked having students thinking and writing first, then talking with others."

Barbara Gruener @BarbaraGruener

"Encourage students to walk in another's shoes; perspective-taking #empathy is a great catalyst for mobilizing #compassion, #growth."

Michael Vose @KHS_AP

"True acceptance of diversity means accepting those with opinions and lifestyles contrary to our own. Hard message these days."

We tried to include at least one tweet from everyone who joined us. But the topic seemed to resonate with many educators some new to #plearnchat. There were so many great ideas that we had to choose just a few. Make sure you read the archive below so you don't miss any of the tweets and resources shared.

Congratulations to Lemarr Treadwell M.Ed @lemarrtreadwell who won our book, How to Personalize Learning.

Lemarr Treadwell @leamarrtreadwell is a 4th grade teacher at Pyle Elementary School in Fresno Unified School District in California. He facilitates the use of technology in a 1:1 Asus classroom, a MIE Trainer, and a Flipgrid Ambassador. Lemarr believes in building his Personal Learning Network (PLN) and is active in many Twitter chats. Here's a few of the tweets and a chart from Lemarr during #plearnchat:

"Teach students to "Stand Up" for what they feel is unjust. 
We provide the authentic resources and learning connections."

"Relevancy: Meaningful Work + Authentic Resources + Learning Connections = Equity
Add: Universal Learning Design (UDL)"

How to Personalize Learning is your practical guide to getting started and going deeper with personalized learning. Corwin has offered our followers a 20% discount code. Go to Corwin Press and use the discount code N169O6 for your own copy.

Save the Date, Monday, February 13th (4 weeks) for our next #plearnchat

4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, and 7pm EST

Topic: Digital Literacy

We archived the entire #plearnchat about Equity and Social Justice below for your convenience and as a resource.