Monday, February 08, 2016

Notes from the Innovations High Presentation



I recently attended a presentation on the "Innovations High" school model. Ken Grover (Salt Lake City, Utah) and George Philhower (Wayne County, Indiana)  led the program, a 1-day overview held in Little Rock.

NOTE: These are my notes and may not reflect completeness of the program and/or may contain my own personal opinions. Likewise, these notes reflect the speakers' views and not my own in some cases. This post serves to merely regurgitate what was covered during the program.

Personalize Learning Network
  • We limit ourselves to thinking inside the box.
    • Pacing Guides, etc
  • Pillars of personalized learning
    • Pace
    • Time
    • Place
    • Path 
Ask STUDENTS what they want. How many people do that? Your "customers" are your students - not teachers, not parents, etc.

Ask your TEACHERS what they want.

What do your ADMINISTRATORS want?

What is stopping you from transforming your school? - Barriers
  • Seat Time
  • "Mastery-based"
  • Sharing teachers across multiple grades
  • Sports participation
  • FEAR - "No one else is doing it"
  • MINDSET - "We've never done it like that before"
  • TRADITION - "We've always done it this way, and it has worked just fine"
Real (and perceived) barriers
  • Money - How much will it cost to implement? Where do we get the money?
  • Politics/Laws
  • Students not wanting it/Students that DO want it
  • Labor force - Teachers, staff, etc.
Know your barriers - Know what you know, know what you don't know
Sometimes we put up our own barriers
Some barriers are not on "paper"
  • Bell schedules
  • School calendars
  • Length of school days
Create a culture
  • Why are we looking to change/transform?
  • Why aren't we doing things differently?
  • Why are we doing the things "we've always done?"
Parents expect effective education; students hope for it.

Technology is key where possible to make the job of teacher easier - replace mundane, easy, repetitive tasks with technology.

TERMINOLOGY
  • Personalized learning = Student-Centered Learning
  • Competency-based instruction = Mastery-based instruction
  •  Online learning = Virtual learning
  • Blended Learning (FLEX)
    • Not easy to blend certain classes:
      • Athletics
      • Auto Shop, Wood Shop
      • World Languages
  • Flipped Classroom
  • "Technology" - Anything that makes the job easier
  • LMS
  • Digital content/Digital Textbooks
  • "Transformation" vs "Change" - "Change" implies could be changed back; "Transformation" implies permanency - not going back. 
  • Time/Seat-time
  • Path
  • Student control
  • Pace
  • Place
Use technology EFFECTIVELY - Does not replace the teacher

Essential Technology:
  • Bandwidth
  • Devices
  • LMS
  • SIS
  • Digital content
  • BYOD
  • Other
Check-out computers to students but do not let students use the same computer over and over - prevents personalization and feeling of ownership. [I wonder if they do the same to their teachers... Do they swap out teacher devices so the teachers don't/can't make those devices personal!? I would bet not.]

Implementation
  • Transformation support
  • Powerful technologies
  • Curriculum resources - do *NOT* have your teachers create/build curriculum!
  • Professional learning and coaching - Help teachers come together. [Perhaps a #twitchat!?]
Vision + Action Plan + Resources + Skills + Incentives = Sustainable Change/Transformation
  • w/o Vision = Confusion
  • w/o Action Plan = False Starts
  • w/o Resources = Frustration
  • w/o Skills = Anxiety
  • w/o Altruistic Incentives = Resistance (Do *NOT* use monetary incentives!)
Vision, Partnership, Multi-year commitment


Imagine, create, innovate


Instructional levels replaced curriculum maps


Students progress via mastery instead of scope/sequence. Ex: 9 levels of mastery per "grade" (K.1, K.2, K.3, etc)


Students are grouped by readiness not by date-of-birth


Parents get continuous feedback

No letter grades in elementary school (in the Indiana program)

At High School, they have "School w/in School"
  • Students applied to be in personalized learning program
  • 4 periods (periods 2-5 during 8 period day)
  • 4-5 classrooms available per period in a centralized location (students aren't roaming around)
  • All teachers in program do personalized learning AND traditional teaching classes
  • All teachers serve as mentors to students
  • Students control: 
    • PACE - cannot fail
    • PLACE - with help sometimes
    • OWN LEARNING - use a learner profile to keep on course
  • Increased valuable time w/teacher - small group, 1-to-1 w/teacher, etc
  • Students talk about their path - they own it
  • Teachers build relationships with the students (Same mentor throughout h.s. career)
 WHY DO THIS?
  • Higher graduation rate
  • Achievement
  • Enrollment
  • Budget
  • Wanted to give STUDENTS an unfair advantage
Other Info:
  • 7a-5p school day - not all students at school at the same time
  • No class periods, no bells w/in program (bells for transfer to trad. classes)
  • Students are ENGAGED in learning all the time w/in program
  • How/when they learn
  • Seat time no longer matters
  • Teachers
    • Flexibility and freedom - working together to set hours, create lessons
    • Mentoring/Correcting
    • Meet individual student needs
    • 1-to-1 and small group instruction
      • may have large group discussions, though that is exception not rule
  • Work toward college and/or career
    • Personalized Education Plan (PEP) for students
    • LMS is essential
    • Graduate with college credit and/or industry certifications (CCNA, Welding, etc)
OUTCOMES:
  • 95% graduation rate
  • 49% enrolled in college courses/448 credits passed
  • (Other stats given in slides, but I did not take notes on them)

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