7 Personalized Learning Highlights

Really passionate and talented people work in education. Every time we leave a conference, event, school visit or meeting we are reminded of how hard people are working to ensure that all students have access to a great education. This notion was once again reinforced when our team attended the Education Elements Personalized Learning Summit (#PLSummit) at the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA last week. Here’s what edleaders and organizations dedicated to bringing personalized learning to classrooms around the country reminded us this week.

1. The role of technology is to enable learning, not lead it. We will always need teachers to facilitate, coach and mentor students along their learning journey. Technology will enable personalized learning to take place, but as Jaime Casap (@jcasap) pointed out, it will never replace the critical role teachers play.

2. We need prepare students for jobs that don’t exist. We know the future will be different, we just don’t know exactly what that is yet said Adam Pisoni (@adampisoni) in his keynote. As we often say, schools today need to prepare students for careers that do not even exist. Our students will need to be able to problem solve, foster a growth mindset and be extremely creative when beginning their careers.

3. Learning is the catalyst of change. We learn new information every day said Pisoni. We have created feedback loops that allow the world to iterate and learn all the time.

4. To solve problems, engage the frontline. Whether its schools or large food chains, true change and innovation will occur when frontline team members are included in the decision making process. We can not expect radical change in our classrooms if we do not include teachers and school leaders in the discussion.

5. Organizations need responsive leadership. The way we work is constantly changing and leadership that appreciates that and adapts will be most successful.

6. Just try it! Iteration and constant learning were powerful themes of the #PLSummit. In almost every session we heard discussions about pilot projects, continuous improvement, and ability to create and test new initiatives in our organizations. Leaders suggested focusing on things we can learn quickly in a short time frame. Do not be afraid to fail, but remember to learn from failures and adjust.

7. Schools can tell their own stories. During a session on storytelling through social media we appreciated discussions about promoting our organizations, our work and accomplishments. School leaders, teachers, parents and community members should be comfortable sharing school and student stories and using social media as a marketing and communication tool.

Stay tuned for a feature post on updates to EdElements platform Highlight, a hub that is making it easier for teachers to use data to drive instruction.

Images courtesy of EdElements.com.

Caroline Vander Ark

Caroline is President of Getting Smart.

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