Bloomboard Collections: Leading Off With Student Agency

Leading teacher development platform Bloomboard recently launched Collections of teacher resources. Collections are bite-sized resources that help educators learn how to put theory into practice.
The new resource makes it easy for educators to learn, share and discuss solutions to classroom challenges. Collections extend the ability of educators to share useful resources and signals an important shift in professional learning.
Last fall, Digital Promise announced a system of micro-credentials using the Bloomboard platform (listen to a podcast on micro-credentials). Teachers demonstrate new skills and earn micro-credentials which can be translated into credit hours. It’s the foundation for a blended, personalized, competency-based approach to professional learning (as discussed in Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning and Preparing Leaders for Deeper Learning).
Many of the new Bloomboard Collections are curated learning resources linked to micro-credentials, making the platform a great place to learn and demonstrate professional growth.
Collections include a variety of resources–videos, rubrics, research abstracts, tips and tools– curated by experienced educators. Categories of collections will support communities of like-minded educators facing similar challenges.
School districts will find the combination of collections and micro-credentials to be a useful new framework for professional development.
My initial contributions is a collection on strategies for promoting student agency.

Student agency

Developing agency, a student’s sense of ownership of their own learning and behavior, may be the most important but least discussed and understood outcome of education. Agency is a product of teaching, culture, structures and supports in a formal learning environment as well as many home, family and community factors. This collection of recent Getting Smart blogs and podcasts summarize recent studies and best practices.
Check out the collection Bloomboard: Promoting Student Agency
The collection includes these resources: 

  1. 10 Tips for Developing Student Agency. A summary of a Harvard report: The Influence of Teaching Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets, and Agency, A Study of 16,000 Sixth through Ninth Grade Classrooms.
  2. Elements of High Agency School Environments. In this Google Hangout with Marie Bjerede, we discussed factors contributing to student agency including instructional strategies and school model features like advisories that are key to boosting agency.
  3. 5 Ways to Build Student Agency in the Digital Age. Arina Bokas, editor of Kids’ Standard Magazine, and Rod Rock, Superintendent of Clarkston Community Schools in Clarkston, Michigan, explore the role of the arts, maker and tinkering, and projects in boosting student agency.
  4. Success Takes Agency, Identity, and Competency. A review of a Wallace Foundation sponsored report by The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research: Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework.
  5. Are You Ready to Be a Change-Agent for Agency? We need to teach (and let) students be in charge of their own learning. Susan Lucille Davis, a middle school teacher in Hawaii, offers 11 tips.
  6. 10 Simple Lesson Plans for Scaffolding Student-Led Projects. One of the best ways to boost student agency is to allow them to define a project. Bonnie Lathram learned about student-defined work at Big Picture Learning, where she served as a teacher and trainer. She offers 10 tips (and an infographic) for initiating student-led projects.

Throughout the month of February, over 20 education bloggers will be sharing Collections of learning resources on their blog and writing about how that Collection powers their practice. The Collections will either be ones the bloggers have curated themselves around a topic of interest or expertise, or just a favorite of theirs from the new BloomBoard. Readers can check back into the BloomBoard Blog every Monday in February for the week’s schedule of bloggers. Dan Ryder from Wicked Decent Learning and moderator of #dtk12chat and #edchatme will be sharing a featured collection on the BloomBoard Blog next.  Follow along daily on BloomBoard’s Facebook and Twitter.
For more, see:

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Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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