Spotlight on Competency Based Education from iNACOL

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

iNACOL SUMMER SPOTLIGHT  COMPETENCY EDUCATION

Frequently, competency education is described as simply flexibility in awarding credit or defined as an alternative to the Carnegie unit. Yet, this does not capture the depth of the transformation of our education system from a time-based system to a learning-based system. Competency education also holds promise as districts explore new ways to expand and enrich support to students, challenging the assumption that learning takes place within the classroom. Competency-based approaches are being used at all ages from elementary school to graduate school level, focusing the attention of teachers, students, parents, and the broader community on students mastering measurable learning topics.

- CompetencyWorks

CompetencyWorks - Puzzle

As part of iNACOL’s Summer Spotlight Series, we’ve gathered together some of our favorite learning materials to help you explore competency education more deeply as you consider the upcoming school year and the ongoing transformation toward personalized learning:

READING…

Understanding Competency Education

Making Mastery Work: A Close-Up View of Competency Education – Nellie Mae Education Foundation >> download

Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended and Competency Education – iNACOL >> download

When Success is the Only Option: Designing Competency-based Pathways for Next Generation Learning – iNACOL >> download

The Shift from Cohorts to Competency – Digital Learning Now & Getting Smart >> download

Implementing Competency Education

Progress and Proficiency: Redesigning Grading for Competency Education – CompetencyWorks >> download

The Art and Science of Designing Competencies – CompetencyWorks >> download

Re-Engineering Information Technology: Design Considerations for Competency Education – CompetencyWorks >> download

Policy Considerations

A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change – CompetencyWorks >> download

Necessary for Success: A State Policymakers Guide to Competency Education -CompetencyWorks >> download

Competency Education Series: Policy Brief One – KnowledgeWorks >> download

From Policy to Practice: How Competency-Based Education Is Evolving in New Hampshire – Christensen Institute >> download

VIDEOS…

Learner-Centered Instruction in Action – Maine Department of Education >> watch

What Is Competency-Based Education? – Nellie Mae Education Foundation >> watch

Transforming Education – Lindsay Unified School District >> watch

Iowa BIG – Animation Overview – Cedar Rapids Community School District >> watch

MCL: Lori Schedules Her Learning Plan – Mass Customized Learning >> watch

MORE…

Find more publications, videos and archived webinars focused on competency education at www.inacol.org and www.competencyworks.org.Sign up to receive monthly updates from CompetencyWorks with information about new resources, emerging innovations and upcoming events focused on competency education.

Subscribe to Plugged In, iNACOL’s daily email sharing media coverage of education innovation, new learning models, research, policy and trends from the field.For a dedicated conference track exploring competency education and deep dive into the ways personalized learning is transforming schools across the country and around the world, register to attend the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium in Palm Springs, CA – November 4-7, 2014.

2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium

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Transformational Teaching from Edutopia

Edutopia News. What Works in Education.

How to Be a Transformational Teacher


What Does Transformational Teaching Look Like?


 DOWNLOAD   4 Big Things Transformational Teachers Do See how you can change students’ lives with a little preparation.


5 Ways to Ease Back into School

Discover strategies to focus on the possibilities, and get back into the rhythm of teaching.

 


 DOWNLOAD   9 Ways to Plan Transformational Lessons

Ready to “up your game” this fall? Start planning now with these practical tips.


VIDEO SPOTLIGHT


Watch this VideoPartnering with Local Arts OrganizationsCheck out these low-cost ways to find arts resources that boost creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. (2:54 mins.)

MOST POPULAR BLOG POSTS


Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

 


Mastering the Teaching Game

 


Homework, Sleep, and the Student Brain

 


Believing in Students: The Power to Make a Difference

 


Inventing Infographics: Visual Literacy Meets Written Content

10 TRAITS OF AN ENCOURAGING CLASSROOM


School is a Place for Educators, Families, and the Community, too!What does it take to make a classroom an inspiring place to learn? Check out these 10 traits and see how you match up.

WEEKLY GIVEAWAY


GRANTS & RESOURCES


Music Education Grants from the D’Addario Foundation

The Foundation provides product donations of instruments and other musical supplies, as well as grant funding to help sustain music learning programs.

Prize: Funding and product donations are available.

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Check out the big list of Educational Grants and Resources, updated weekly.

EVENTS


 WEBINAR  Middle Level Leaders: How to Start the Year Strong!

Hosted by: Association for Middle Level Education

Date: August 13, 2014, 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT

See more Educational Webinars, Unconferences, and Conferences, also updated weekly.

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Edutopia is produced by The George Lucas Educational Foundation, a nonprofit operating foundation established in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas. Edutopia is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process by documenting, disseminating, and advocating innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives. This free e-newsletter is published weekly and available to anyone interested in improving education. You can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

As a subscriber to Edutopia News, you may receive special offers and updates from our sponsors and supporters, sent by Edutopia.org. For details on how we protect your privacy, please read our Privacy Policy. Email info@edutopia.org with any questions.

Edutopia  |  WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION

© 2014 The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Edutopia®, Schools That Work™, Lucas Learning™, and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of The George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries.
PO Box 3494, San Rafael, CA 94912

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3 Ways to Speed Up Education Technology Policy Changes

Richard Culatta

Education technology policy may not change at the speed of light. But it can change faster if policymakers work through regulatory options, act on data and keep abreast of what’s going on with technology.

That said, making changes faster doesn’t solve the problem. Instead, the right changes need to happen faster, said Richard Culatta, director of the Office of Educational Technology in the U.S. Department of Education.

He shared his thoughts on policy changes along with others at the Tech in Policy Briefing put on by The Hill on Wednesday, July 23.

1. Work through regulatory options

By taking advantage of regulatory options, policymakers can advance policy changes, Culatta said. For example, the Education Department required grant applicants to take specific actions such as installing student data systems and raising student standards and assessments in the inaugural Race to the Top competition. Many of the departments’ grants tie education technology policy changes to funding, a powerful incentive to change for many states and schools.

2. Encourage open standards

Along with regulatory options, open technology standards are also an important step.

“Standards are like toothbrushes,” Culatta said. “Everyone thinks they’re a good idea, but no one wants to use someone else’s.”

Education data is one area where open standards could help. The Education Department incentivized the education field to act on data and build tools that help students make informed choices about where to go to college, such as the College Navigator.

3. Learn about recent technology innovations

Because technology changes so rapidly, it’s often hard to keep up with. But taking the time to do homework on what’s going on in the education technology field will pay off in the long run for policymakers.

Innovative technology and disruptive models will tell policymakers what could happen over the next five to 15 years so they can be prepared to tackle these issues when they come up, said Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776, a major initiative that convenes and accelerates startups from around the world. She suggested that policymakers engage with entrepreneurs, and mentioned that more than 5,000 startups are working to improve a regulatory industry, with many of them doing business in the education sector.

Understanding new tools and disruptive models will bring policymakers to a place where they can pass the right sets of guidelines, said Liz Simon, director of public policy and associate general counsel at General Assembly, a global network of campuses for technology, business and design. By taking a proactive interest in learning about current innovations, policymakers can keep up with what’s happening and make more informed decisions.

The article by Tanya Roscorla was originally posted on the Center for Digital Education at http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/3-Ways-to-Speed-Up-Education-Technology-Policy-Changes.html

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A Critical Look at Blended Learning

With all the hype about blended learning, higher education leaders are taking a closer look at how effective this learning method really is.

In the process, they’re exposing a number of issues that need to be addressed, including how blended learning is defined and which core attributes matter. And they’re trying to figure out where higher education needs to go from here, particularly when it comes to researching the impact of blended learning.

4 Issues with Blended Learning

1. Definitions differ

So many definitions exist for blended learning that it makes research on its effectiveness difficult, said Chuck Dziuban, director of the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Central Florida. In a 2005 article Can ‘Blended Learning’ Be Redeemed?, Martin Oliver and Keith Trigwell concluded that “the term ‘blended learning’ is ill-defined and inconsistently used. Whilst its popularity is increasing, its clarity is not.”

2. Model descriptions are incomplete

Car models come with complete descriptions, including physical features, engine specs and estimated miles per gallon. But blended learning models frequently come with just physical feature descriptions and don’t include the pedagogical features, said Charles R. Graham, professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University.

In the report Classifying K-12 Blended Learning, Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker categorize four blended learning models by physical features such as how students spend their time and where they spend it. The flexible model includes a customized, fluid schedule with mostly online learning and a face-to-face teacher, while the rotation model includes a fixed schedule of different learning modalities, which include online learning.

3. Transformative change does not happen

Blended learning is not disrupting the education process, so it’s attractive and comfortable for administrators, Brown said. Many of them are paying lip service to the popular idea of blended learning, but aren’t making real changes or asking what purpose blended learning serves.

4. This concept is not new

Back in 1935, a professor had a blackboard, TV and transmitter to teach students outside the classroom. While the technology may be different, blended learning is not a new concept, even though it’s being treated like one, Brown said.
Where blended learning goes from here

While these issues make research on the impact of blended learning more difficult, research should still be valued on campus, said Patsy Moskal, faculty research associate for the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Central Florida. Ongoing research for nearly two decades and an executive-level commitment to it has allowed Moskal and Dziuban to analyze trends on campus and provide insight to faculty development staff on a shoestring budget.

One of the areas that higher education can research and study is how technology such as online and blended learning can help more students earn their degrees quickly, said Anthony Picciano, professor and executive officer in the Ph.D. Program in Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. It will take creative technology use to alleviate some of these problems in higher education.

“Whatever you do, evaluate what it is that worked or didn’t work, and you learn as much from what doesn’t work as what did work.”

Read the entire article by Tanya Roscorla on the Center for Digital Education at http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/A-Critical-Look-at-Blended-Learning.html

See also, The Dimensions of Online and Blended Learning from iNACOL at

http://www.onlineprogramhowto.org/decisions/what-does-online-and-blended-learning-look-like/the-dimensions-of-online-and-blended-learning/

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Jordan Goes to Washington

Jordan with First Lady Michelle Obama

by Talley C. Westerberg

On Friday June 20th, I received an email from my State Homeless Education Director, Dr. Lynda Thistle-Elliott, regarding an opportunity for a student that had experienced homelessness who had “beaten the odds”. The criteria for student selection were that they had to be high achieving, and headed to a four year post-secondary school, and had overcome the barriers homelessness can cause. One particular student immediately came to mind.

Jordan had just graduated from a seacoast area high school this past June. As the Homeless Liaison for the school district and the School Social Worker, I had been working with this young man since he entered high school as a freshman and had been profoundly impacted by his courage, work ethic, and perseverance. Truly the embodiment of the power of McKinney-Vento legislation, Jordan experienced multiple bouts of being doubled up and inadequately housed during middle and high school because of financial hardship, but had maintained his enrollment in the local schools. Despite these difficult circumstances, his persistence and character earned him the respect of all he encountered in high school and acceptance to Keene State College for the fall of 2014. Though the vetting process was significant, Jordan was chosen among a national group of candidates.

The purpose of this event was to provide young scholars that had faced challenges such as homelessness, foster care, or other high risk life situations, an opportunity to speak to federal policy makers and First Lady Michelle Obama to help them understand the barriers that disadvantaged youth face in high school and in accessing highereducation opportunities. Ten students were selected.  The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) sponsored Jordan’s and my travel to Washington DC. NAEHCY wanted to highlight the strength and perseverance of these students and the importance of a caring adult and strong school connections such as a homeless liaison, guidance counselor, or teacher.

Jordan and I flew into Washington DC on the afternoon of Monday July 7th and met Barbara Duffield, Policy Director for the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), for a quick dinner, which was followed by a whirlwind tour of the Washington and Lincoln monuments and a quick stop at the New Hampshire tower of the reflection pools.

Tuesday morning arrived and Jordan and I donned our best and headed to the US Department of Education to meet with Secretary Arne Duncan. After a brief introduction from Secretary Duncan’s staff, we settled in to his conference room with the students gathered around the table and their supporting adults in chairs lining the back of the room. One by one, these brave students began to pour out the stories of their lives. Homelessness, gang violence, eviction from housing projects, parental loss, substance use, foster care, PTSD of parents in military service and many other risk factors one would expect were mentioned. However, the resilience and power of the students gathered was profound. Many students mentioned sports (specifically basketball, as a motivator, but time and time again, the students mentioned that the caring and consistency of a specific adult kept them working to their potential and focused on achievement in school–a grandparent, a coach, a teacher, a foster parent, or a school counselor. As one student put it so well, “nobody makes it alone.”

The students traveled by taxi to Pennsylvania Avenue and spent 90 minutes with the First Lady, again sharing their stories of resilience and triumph. Ms. Obama was her warm, friendly self and Jordan was able to go into more detail about his 13 moves between birth and high school graduation, being bullied due to always being the new kid in school, and the impact of having a connection with his homeless liaison that was always there in school supporting him. Not only were the students able to make a connection with the First Lady, but they also made connections with each other that will be an ongoing support to them as they move forward with their college careers.

This kind of an opportunity is a once in a lifetime.  It was an incredible honor to represent Winnacunnet High School and the State of New Hampshire and share in the amazing stories of student accomplishments with these powerful decision makers. Most importantly, this was a wonderful opportunity for a most deserving and special young man, Jordan. We all congratulate you on your accomplishments and wish you the best as you head off to college!

Story submitted to the NHDOE  by: Talley C. Westerberg, LICSW Homeless Liaison/School Social Worker Winnacunnet High School.

The story is featured on the DOE Home page at http://www.education.nh.gov/

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Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries

FCC Modernizes E-Rate Program To Expand Robust Wi-Fi Networks In The Nation’s Schools and Libraries. Reforms to Expand Wi-Fi to 10 Million More Students, Thousands of Libraries Nationwide Next Year

The following updates to the E-rate program were aimed at furthering each of those goals:

  • To ensure affordable access to high-speed broadband sufficient to support digital learning in schools and robust connectivity for all libraries, we:
    • set an annual funding target of $1 billion for funding for internal connections needed to support high-speed broadband within schools and libraries;
    • test a more equitable approach to funding internal connections for applicants who seek support in funding years 2015 and 2016; and
    • reorient the E-rate program to focus on supporting high-speed broadband by phasing down support for voice services and eliminating support for other legacy services.
  •  To maximize the cost-effectiveness of spending for E-rate supported purchases, we:
    • adopt transparency measures to encourage sharing of cost and connectivity data;
    • encourage consortia purchasing; and
    • emphasize that providers must offer the lowest corresponding price.
  • To make the E-rate application process and other E-rate processes fast, simple and efficient, we:
    •   streamline the application process by:
      • simplifying the application process for multi-year contracts;
      • exempting low-cost, high-speed business-class broadband Internet access services from the competitive bidding requirements;
      • easing the signed contract requirement;
      • removing the technology plan requirement;
      • requiring electronic filings; and
      • enabling direct connections between schools and libraries.
    • simplify discount rate calculations by:
      • requiring a district-wide discount rate;
      • modifying the definition of urban and rural;
      • addressing changes to the national school lunch program (NSLP); and
      • modifying the requirements for applicants using surveys.
    • simplify the invoicing and disbursement process by:
      • allowing direct invoicing by schools and libraries; and
      • adopting an invoicing deadline.
    • create a Tribal consultation, training and outreach program.
    • require the filing of all universal service appeals initially with USAC.
    • direct USAC to adopt additional measures to improve the administration of the program by:
      • speeding review of applications, commitment decisions and disbursements;
      • modernizing USAC’s information technology systems;
      • adopting open data policies;
      • improving communications with E-rate applicants and providers.
    • protect against waste, fraud, and abuse by:
      • extending the document retention deadline; and
      • ensuring auditors and investigators access to an applicant’s premises upon request.

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    Acrobat : FCC-14-99A1.pdf    FCC-14-99A2.pdf    FCC-14-99A3.pdf    FCC-14-99A4.pdf    FCC-14-99A5.pdf    FCC-14-99A6.pdf

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The Maver Movement Features on Edutopia

Edutopia News. What Works in Education.

Making the Future


A Maker Values the Process as well as the Product


Project-Based Learning Through a Maker’s LensSee how making can create life-long learners through exciting, real-world projects.


6 Strategies for Funding a Makerspace

Discover some clever ways of creating a space without breaking the bank.


Top Tools for the Maker Classroom

So you’ve got a makerspace — now what tools should you include?


VIDEO SPOTLIGHT


Watch this VideoHow the Maker Movement Connects Students to Engineering and TechEighth-grader Quin created a makerspace at his school, using his passion for electronics to teach fellow students. (6:29 mins.)

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Myth-Busting Differentiated Instruction: 3 Myths and 3 Truths

 


Coding for Kindergarteners

 


Using Humor in the Classroom

 


Teaching Adolescents How to Evaluate the Quality of Online Information

 


The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher-Order Competencies

TRENDING ON FACEBOOK


Improve Your SkillsetCan you be a storyteller and a teacher? See why 350,000 people have engaged with this inspiring (and practical!) blog post.Like This

11 HABITS OF AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER


Who's That Teacher that Kid Remembers Forever?How passionate are you about your work? See how you can up your game with some new habits.

WEEKLY GIVEAWAY


I'm One Great Summer Getaway!Prize: $300 Corwin Gift CertificateDeadline:  July 27, 2014

Enter the Giveaway

GRANTS & RESOURCES


Summer of Service: Service-Learning Grants from YSA

The awards provide project grants for youth-led, ongoing service projects that are being conducted through a school or community organization. Grants are for K-12 student leaders and already established projects.

Prize: Grants are available up to $1,000

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Check out the big list of Educational Grants and Resources, updated weekly.

EVENTS


 WEBINAR  Summer Boot Camp: Digital Learning Strategies

Hosted by: ASCD

Date: July 31, 2014, 12:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT

See more Educational Webinars, Unconferences, and Conferences, also updated weekly.

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Edutopia is produced by The George Lucas Educational Foundation, a nonprofit operating foundation established in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas. Edutopia is dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process by documenting, disseminating, and advocating innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives. This free e-newsletter is published weekly and available to anyone interested in improving education. If you received this message from ET News, you can sign up for the e-newsletter here.

Edutopia |  WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION

© 2014 The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Edutopia®, Schools That Work™, Lucas Learning™, and Lucas Education Research™

are trademarks or registered trademarks of
The George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries.
PO Box 3494, San Rafael, CA 94912

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