Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 Edina Learning Institute Monday Keynote: Pernille Ripp: The Tenets of Personalized Learning

Pernille Ripp, educator and author of Empowered Schools, Empowered Students, was the opening keynote at the Edina Learning Institute

She started by inviting the participants to connect with her, as she 

If we were in school right now...

  • Don't choose who we sit with
  • Don't have food and/or drink
  • Don't use the tools you might want to
She fell in love with the building, staff and school that she works in. Teaching 7th graders has been her greatest challenge, but also most rewarding. Her students are the reason she is here, and why she advocates for changing education.

Growing up in Denmark, her first english words were "yes, no, and bathroom!" 

"I used to think that when students were disengaged, it was their own fault!"

Then someone told her, "You cannot change the students, but you CAN change the way you teach!!"

Would you want to be a student in your own classroom?

Her daughter on the 5th day of Kindergarten said, "I hate school..." The teacher, said, "I've never had that issue, so it must not be true. 

Whether it was true or not didn't matter! What matters is the perception that students have. We need to acknowledge this and get to the root of the problem as to why they perceive that.

"I wish all teachers knew that we don't think like them."  
7th grader

When 2/12 high schoolers say they are bored in every class, there is a problem!
A Gallup poll showed that student engagement dropped from 76% in elementary school to 44% in high school.

If kids continue to be bored with school, they will grow up to have children and instill that attitude.

She quoted from Hacking Leadership

"The problem: we set schools up for adults, not for kids."
Ida, one of her twins took her first steps at 11 months. Her son Oscar took much longer.

Kids learn at different rates, and we seem to keep forgetting that!

Ripp reminded us that WE have control over our classrooms and how much control students can have over their learning!

Your district is asking you to try something new. How lucky you are! As teachers, you have the right to fail, as long as you pick yourself up!

Ripp then talked about the three pillars of Personalized Learning

Community-The foundation of it all
We cannot personalize if our students don't trust us!!
Teachers should do more activities that cause students get up, move around and bond with each other. -Emily A
We need to be co-learners with our students. This can be exhausting!

Teachers; Do your students trust you?
Administrators; Does your staff trust you?

How do you know? 
When they start sharing their truths!

Students feel protected, cared for, challenged, respected, and that they matter!

Choice: A pillar of personalization
Student: "We need to be able to know how we learn best and then apply that to all of our school things."
Choice includes:
Choice in engagement
Choice in product
Choice in setting
Choice in timeline
Choice in assessment

Students need to have choice in at least one of these at any one time.

Student Voice
What is the biggest barrier? Teachers speak 60-75% of the time!
If you're going to lecture, tell them why!
Students should talk more than the teacher on the first day of school!  

Ultimately, she was able to open enroll her child in a different school, and she ended the year loving school. But what about the students that don't have that option....

Ask your kids, "Is this a good class for you?"
Be prepared for an honest response, and grow from it.

We can be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution, but not both.

You only fail when you stop trying. Some days you will recognize that you wouldn't want to be a student in your classroom. 

When you start on the Personalized Learning journey, think only of the first step YOU must take, don't compare yourself with others.

We need to create a classroom that can help kids be successful no matter what a student's start in life is, nor what their life is like outside of the classroom! Teach the child in front of us, not the child we hoped would show up!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

ISTE 2016 Closing Keynote: Michelle Cordy: Show Up and Refuse to Leave!

Michelle Cordy, a Third Grade educator from Ontario, Canada, blogger of "Hack the Classroom," was the closing keynote at ISTE 2016. 

She got jumped right in, and challenged the audience to think about who we are and our place in the world.
It is her school's last day, and she'd rather be there, but chose to come speak to us!

In 2012, she got her, "Magic Schoolbus!" a grant for 1:1 iPads. She was considered a "rougue" teacher, as her classroom was the only one.
She sought out ideas online and found Howard Reingold, author of Netsmart.
She tweeted to him, he commented on her blog, and she was shocked. He noted:
"That's how it works, Michelle!"

She wants her students to be seen and heard, in her classroom and beyond. She needed to connect with a PLN, because there was nobody in her district to help. 
Here is what she has learned from the community

Be a Connected Educator.
  • Coming to ISTE is like an oxygen mask. 
  • Going home can be tough. #ISTEsadselfie
  • Christakis in Connected: The shape of the network matters, we shape our networks, and our networks shape us. Carbon forms graphite as well as a diamond. It's the shape of the bond that determines its structure.
  • What if there are connected educators who introduce friends to other friends. When you connect your colleagues, you are better connected!
  • Once you have 3 degrees of separation, it becomes "contagion!"
  • Focusing on the connections and the good work will create diamond networks!
Engage and Empower the Network 
  • When we engage our network and our students it empowers us
  • BreakoutEDU is a great way to do that
Engage and Empower the kids
  • She had the kids build bridges so that spheros could get between the desks. Her kids said, "We want to build a marble run for the spheros! She said, "ok!"
  • When you engage and empower, kids see themselves in the curriculum.
GoPro Hero of the Day to Document Learning
Assigned a student to go around and ask kids what there plan was.

Once you take care of the "must do's" you open up space to make stuff and make stuff up!

Power Pose Time
Cordy notes that when people powerpose they are more successful
Amy Cuddy- There is a connection between the devices we use and powerposing. Larger devicdes the better. 
1st Graders thought the power pose was of male gender and closed pose female.

Mindfulness Research
SAM Self Assessment Manikan  
A 10 minute intervention per day can have a huge impact!

Flipping the "Eye Chart" from Top Down to Bottom Up showed a difference in the ablility of people to read lines!

Real but not true. You are what you decide you are!! She wanted to teach, and do research, so she started calling her self an "applied researcher." Now she has 10 publications to her name! Believe your dreams into reality!

Falling in and out of sync and in and out of love with our ideas.
Hacking the Classroom-sounds a bit adversarial..."When someone says you're "in the trenches," who are you at war with?"

Move from Disruption to Stewardship!

Fundamentally all of the things eduation needs exist righ now, we just need to organize them differently!
We need to play a long game on a short track. Recommit to that place where you can make your greatest contribution! Show up at the place you can make your greatest contribution and refuse to leave!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Notes from ISTE2016: Tuesday Keynote-Ruha Benjamin-"Set Phasers to Love Me" Reimagining the Default Settings of Technology & Society

Dr. Ruha Benjamin, assistant professor of African American Studies at Princeton University was the Tuesday Keynote at the ISTE 2016 Conference
Her talk centered on the question, "How can we harness science and technology for greater equality?"

What is the purpose of education? She is hoping to stretch our thinking on education and equity. 

Big Picture
There is little doubt we are living in social crisis. Most can't look to Hospitals for health, police for safety, politicians for leadership or even schools for imparting knowledge.
The world is at war with itself. All manner of social struggle over material and social resources. 
At the same time, the very idea of a society where we care and sacrifice for one another is undermined. In this context, the question is how do we make our schools laboratories of democratic participation? Where the potential for each individual child is realized, and we experiment with technologies of love, reciprocity and justice! We need to incubate a better world in the eyes of our students!

The teaching profession is under attack because teachers if actually unified and empowered, can change the direction of history! 

The next generation will come alive with possibility or will be crushed by the weight of our problems.
Adopting technology without wrestling with our current gap is to choose to not make a difference.


She shared 5 "Provocations" that defined her talk.

Why is it that we can imagine growing heart cells in a lab, but unable to imagine growing empathy for our fellow human beings?
We imagine shiny new technologies but we don't invest in our social reality and personal relationships.
Our classrooms must become laboratories for social change.
Most predictions for bio technology assume that change will be for the better.
Imagination is critical in the design of technology. 
Her experience in the Marshall Islands, gave her a real life look at the effects of technology on the world. Eybeye has chronic health issues due to the nuclear testing that occured there. But other islands did not have the same testing. Whose version of the good life is being ignored?
The battle over real power tomorrow begins with the struggle over who gets to dream today. Alex Rivera

Google's online advertising has been shown to be sexist and cost is higher based on race or zip code. Algorithmic discrimination, COULD be designed to be aware of these biases. We as consumers need to demand more socially concious tech development!
We need to develop socio-technical literacy so that all peoples interests are part of the design process.
She gave the illustration of benches to deter people experiencing homlessness to illustrate how techology is used for nefarious purposes. 

How often do we design things to deter the "problem student?

The common understanding of what counts toward technology is too limited. What about the "default settings" and social codes, like race, class, gender?

  • Michael Robinson quote: Science tells us men and women are biologically different, including their brains and skills...
  • "Don't be nervous, you're hot, no one expects you to do well...
IBM-Hack a hair dryer advertismenet campaign
Sexism, racism and classism are coded into the fabric of our society. We need to work overtime to overcome this! We can't just prepare our students to succeed as it is, we need to help them transform these social constructs as well.

Code Switching tends to hide the fact that not all codes are created equal.
Chris Emdin-Hip Hop to teach science. The classroom changes to meet the students where they are.
She used Gamergate as an example of how technology has a problem with codes.
HEre are 2 ways for our students to approach life more broadly
Recreation, competition and consumption need to change to Mastery, collaboration and 
Re-wrote codes rather than code switch!
Stretch out rather than lean in!
She shared data from Fair Play-Violence Gender and Race in Video Games

Unless we become proactive to address racist messages in and out of the classroom, white good/black bad will persist.
5 Ways to restrict our imagination for students

  1. Ahistorical Fallacy- just because some people broke the glass ceiling, doesn't mean others are guaranteed the opportunity to move forward
  2. Legalistic Fallacy- Just because workplace rules have changed doesn't mean sexism doesn't still exist.
  3. Individualistic Falacy- Recognize that some code authority as being "aggressive." 5 ways Men in Tech Can Combat Sexism!
  4. Fixed Fallacy- What should our measure of progress be? Our aims should evolve. Nettrice Gaskins has done much to contribute to culturally situated education.
  5. Tokenistic Fallacy-One bright bulb does not an enlightenment make! Black Girls Code is great, but it is a drop in the bucket.
She ended by noting that "The Clock is Ticking" Be vigilant in keeping technology from increasing social divide!

Her final thought: 
Children are the most precious treasure a community can posess. The bear the seeds of the character of future society.They are a trust no community can neglect with impunity.or leave them entirely to their own "devices'The belogn to the community to share in it's purpose!Baha'i Writings

LOVE is the most powerful technology at our disposal! Turn it on often!

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Take on Personalized Learning


Disclaimer; These thoughts are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer. This post has been ruminating for a few months. Glad to finally get all my thoughts down.

What is Personalized Learning?

Last December, Pernille Ripp, educator and author of “Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Inspire Your Students,” posted on her blog about 5 Tenets of Personalized Learning. This post resonated with me, as I believe she really hit on a key aspect: Start with the STUDENT! Here are the 5:

  1. Student Voice
  2. Student Choice
  3. Student Planning
  4. Student Reflection
  5. Student Action
My Take
Giving students voice, and REALLY getting to know the students, fits in perfectly with our district’s embrace of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction, along with Doug Fischer’s work on “really getting to KNOW your students!
Student Choice does NOT mean everything is a free-for-all. The idea is to give them choice in What they learn, How they learn, When they learn, and how they will be assessed. 
Remember: We still have standards, so students won’t have choice in everything they learn!
Students help plan the lesson of how to get where we want them to go. By allowing students to plan, they can become truly engaged in the learning process, not just compliant!
Student reflection is an important component to make learning “sticky.” Students should self reflect through blogs or other tools, experience meta-cognition and self-assess their learning.
Having students take action on their learning allows for rich, authentic learning experiences. This ties in very well with service learning, where students are required to take an action step.
My Definition

Our district has been exploring personalized learning for the last 9 years. This initiative has the goal of giving students ownership of their learning, making it more authentic and helping them reach our Next Generation Educational Competencies:

There are many, many examples of teachers doing great things in this regard, with many examples of concepts Ripp mentions above, but for some reason, being able to clearly define “what” personalized learning is has been a struggle. I believe this struggle has been due to trying to define personalized learning, without putting the student first.
Earlier this year, I sat down and wrote my own "Personalized Learning Manifesto" to share MY philosophy of personalized learning. I firmly believe that learning is defined by what the STUDENT is doing, NOT what the teacher is doing in the learning process. Here was what I wrote down, with some minor edits along the way.

I believe that Personalized Learning means that students, with the support of teachers as activators, have agency in:
  • What they learn, based on recommendations of the instructor
  • When they learn it
  • How they learn it
  • How they demonstrate that they have learned it
Students take ownership of their learning, and understand WHY they are learning particular subject matter.
Note: Students will not have agency in all aspects of personalized learning all of the time, but should have choice in some aspect all the time.

The teacher as "activator" is something I learned from Michael Fullan in his talk at COSN last year. He utilized some of the work of John Hattie, on effect sizes of influences on student learning and acheivement. Fullan defined “activator” behaviors as:
  • Reciprocal Teaching
  • Feedback
  • Teacher-Student Self-Verbalization
  • Meta-Cognition

While Hattie has now updated his list, and these particular activities are not as high on his “effect size,” I like the term to describe the teacher’s role. Activator signifies action! “Guide on the side,” just doesn’t cut it!

Too often, when people think about personalized learning, they feel as though it is "All or Nothing." They assume that  ALL components need to be in place ALL THE TIME, requiring huge data dashboards and management systems to deal with it. Not only do most people find this overwhelming and unattainable, I have yet to see a data system that can do everything that people want/expect it to do!  By focusing on these “systems” as a way to define personalized learning, it also takes the focus off of the learner, which is counterproductive.

Some might argue that personalized learning requires:
    • A Competency Based Progression
    • Learner Profile
    • Personalized Pathways and Plans
    • Flexible Learning Environments

To me, these are management and infrastructure components that a district may need to support personalized learning, but are NOT REQUIRED components of personalized learning. These are the “tools” that as I said earlier, don’t fully exist in one system, but are advocated for by corporate education reform movement as a way to “sell” something to districts and be relevant.

This is why Will Richardson wrote the other day "This is Why Personalized Learning Will Fail." Richardson argues that the term “personalized” has been “co-opted by billionaires and Silicon Valley startups” that are part of the corporate education reform movement, and that it is too late to get it back. Instead, perhaps we should call it “personal learning.” Even Barbara Bray, who wrote the book, “Making Learning Personal,” mentioned to me at ISTE that she is moving more towards Project Based Learning to achieve the goal, because “personalized” means it is being done to students, rather than the students doing it for themselves.

I’m really excited that we will be diving deeper into “The How of Personalized Learning” at our Edina Learning Institute this August, and that Pernille Ripp will be our opening day keynote!! In addition, we will have a three day tstrand on Inquiry led by Diana Laufenberg, where staff can come together and collaborate to create a inquiry based unit, as well as keynotes and sessions on service learning from Jim Toole and Learning Spaces and design from David Jakes.
My hope is that as our staff and others explore “how,” they will define it through the student lens! Join Us!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

My Notes on the ISTE 2016 Opening Keynote: Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku was the opening keynote speaker at ISTE 2016. Kaku, author of "The Future of the Mind" is currently the professor of Theoretical Physics at City College of New York and a popularizer of science. 
 He noted that he was listed among the smartest people in New York, but also noted Madonna made the list!

Physicists developed the laser, the World Wide Web, radio, the microwave, the X-Ray, and the space program and GPS! They kind of have a leg up on what the future might look like!

One physicist predicted that the Internet would become a place of high culture! 

Kaku's talk was on a "world tour" of current thought on the future.

He has interviewed 300 of the world's top scientists for his BBC program asking their thoughts on the future. 

Is there intelligent life on earth? NO! Just look at the presidential election!

His book on the future of the mind, he asks the question, "Why do we have income inequality?"
First we need to ask, Where does wealth come from? 
His answer? From science.

Life expectancy 200 years ago was only 45 years. Something happened that changed everything! Science and Technology gave us the Industrial Revolution. We needed to educate people to run the mills and industry.
Then the second wave came with electricity. So much wealth was created that there was a bubble in 1929.
Then the third wave of high tech came. What will the 4th Wave be?
Kaku argues that they will be the following:
  • Telecommunications
  • Biotechnology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Nanotechnolgoy and Quantum Era

He argues that the top 30% have done fairly well in today's economy, due to going to college and learning science.

We don't live in 1950 anymore. We have to change our educational system.

Just like electricity is everywhere and is virtually invisible in today's world, chips will be everywhere as well. They will cost a penny! Thus computers will become invisible in the near future.

In the future, your glasses or contact lenses will tell you who the person you're looking at is. You'll also know who to "suck up to" at any cocktail party!
Already this is happening in the operating room with doctors using internet glasses to see MRI scans as they operate.
You'll be able to walk through any property you're interested in right in the real estate office. 

Augmented Reality
If students have information right on their contact lens, by blinking, you'll be able to pull up any information. What does this mean for educators?

(This is where I wish he would have stopped and gone more in depth. If teachers today take cell phones away on test day, in the near future, will they need to collect contact lenses? Some might argue that teachers "just" need to ask better questions, that can't be Googled. Unfortunately, in today's world, most common assessments are not created with this in mind. The reality is that most current common formative or sumative assessments involve bubble sheets and answers that are Googleable. We need to find a way to prepare for this future, not just because augmented reality on contact lenses is coming, but because higher level, non-Googleable assessments are much richer and more authentic.)

Kaku notes that
"concepts and principals will need to be emphasized rather that the drudgery of memorizing information."

Augmented reality is already being used by military. "Land Warrior."

Flexible screens will become the future of wallpaper and other surfaces as well as what people can use to create and access content.
Robo-Doc-An animated intelligent medical assistent will be available.
Robo-Lawyer for legal questions that can currently be answered by paralegals.
The job market will be turned upside down....

Stock brokers will no longer be needed. In the future, blinking will allow you to buy stock, So stock brokers will need to have intellectual capital. Robots only do repetitive tasks faster than we do.

This is the digitization of capitalism. Children demanded music on the Internet and revolutionized the music industry. Today, other media is being digitized. 
Next: Transportation, Medicine and Education will be digitized.

Even Christmas will be digitized. "Smart Barbie Dolls," "Military Intelligence, "Microsoft Works! are all contradictions of terms!

3D Leticular technology will allow 3D images to be viewed without glasses. Glasses are why 3D never took off. 
Driverless cars are another aspect of this change towards the future.
What does this mean for Driver's Education? Students will not only have to know how to drive a "regular" car, but also know how to troubleshoot when driving a driverless vehicle.
This is a seamless transfer of information from the internet of things to our brains.

3D print for machinists and architects, as well as "shopping" at Christmas, will allow you to pay for the code, and then you'd print your present at home.

"Perfect Capitalism!" Everyone knows everytinng about the product and the consumer. This is coming, and business and consumers need to understand it!

Cyber Education
Kaku argues that given the drop out rate (90%) of Massive Open Online Course's at Stanford and other places, because students have no mentor or person to share ideas and information, these courses will only be an "aid" to education, it will not replace it. There will be a balance between e-instruction and mentoring. You can't get mentoring on the Internet! This is where educators are necessary. (Again, I wish Kaku had gone into more detail here, as he was speaking to a room primarily made up of educators.)

The biggest source of jobs will be medicine! Smart pills will replace the colonoscopy! This gives new meaning to the term, "Intel inside!" 
Smart toilets will monitor your health 3 times per week. DNA chips will scan and let you know that there are cancer cells in your body. (Alan November was talking about this 15 years ago!)
The MRI is really a "tricorder." With supercomputers, we are getting closer to smaller MRI's that are closer to cell phone in size. You will have more computing power in your medicine cabinet than what currently exists in university hospitals.

Genomics will allow us to grow new parts. "The Human Body Shop!"
The first bladder was grown for a young woman 2 years ago. The next organ to be grown is the liver! Drink up!

The brain is the next major organ to be digitized. This will allow us to rule in or out old wives tales! We know that teenagers brains are not fully developed!
Peer pressure is more important than what they know! Kids aren't stupid!

Connecting mind and machine
This is allowing people who have injuries to have their brain connected to exoskeletons, where they can now do what they could not.

MIT is working on "Brain Pace-makers" that will help people with alzheimers know who they are and where they are going.

Upload Education?
Small memories are being recorded and uploaded-the Matrix isn't as far off as we may think! Is life an illusion?! Dreams and Thoughts are being "photographed" at Cal-Berkley. Lucid dreaming-you're awake but you know you are dreaming in the middle of a dream. MRI scans can show this. 
(Again, what are the implications for educators here. I wish Kaku had gone deeper here.)

Library of Souls and Immortality
The Connectome Project is working to map the entire brain. The library of tomorrow will have digitized information about a person's personality and history, with the ability of "interaction!" Imagine interacting with Churchill about World War II, or other famous people. Kaku conjectures that this may render people immortal in a way.

Kaku showed this video to illustrate what is coming in the next 50 years in medicine:

Kaku concluded that the most important thing we as educators can impart to our students is to find a role model! 

Final Thoughts
Dr. Kaku gave an entertaining and thought provoking talk to kick off ISTE 2016. Perhaps through the next few days, there will be deeper conversations on the implications of the glimpse of the future he shared with us. Ultimately, our goal as educators will be to prepare our students for a future and professions that don't exist yet. It was helpful to have the curtain peeled back a bit to get a glimpse into what that future might look like!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Top 10 Take-Aways from the Solution Tree Standards & Assessment Conference

Last week, I attended the Solution Tree Standards & Assessment Conference in Phoenix. As I reflect back on the three days of learning, I decided to put together my top 10 take-aways. Here they are:

10. On Retakes-Do you want to be a school that picks the winners, or one that creates the winners? Tim Brown

 In her talk, Cassie Erkins echoed the theme stating:
 We have a moral obligation to set students up for success!

9. "Grading is not essential to the instructional process. Teachers can teach and students can learn without grades!" -Thomas Guskey

Guskey identified three keys to moving toward standards based assessment:

  1. Begin with a clear statement of purpose.
  2. Provide accurate and meaningful descriptions of student learning.
  3. Use grading and reporting to enhance teaching and learning. Get rid of % grading and you get rid of problem w/ 0's!!

8. Phases of Professional Development from Eric Twadell

Twadell, the Superintendent at Adlai Stevenson High School in Illinois uses these phases to talk about where staff are at in the assessment process. He gave us examples of assessments teachers in his building have used, and had us rank them as to which phase the assessment represented. Very helpful. Examples can be found here.
  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Insight
  4. Evaluation
  5. Elaboration
These phases come from the book, Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

7. Where ever you are in the process is where you need to be-Angela Freese

This quote was very helpful, as it recognizes that we are all at different places in the process of assessment, and focuses on the idea that where you are at is ok, as long as you have a "growth mindset."

6. Most Common Grading Errors-Eric Twadell

  • Use of 0's
  • Use of Average
  • Use of punishment/reward
  • Use of weighting
What would it look like if grades were based on learning rather than teaching? Twadell challenged the audience to defend these "errors" that many of us have incorporated in our careers.
Twadell also showed this video of "Mr. D," and his grading practices as an example of what NOT to do!

5. Ranking and explaining Drills Deeper than Recall-Twadell

Twadell gave a great example of an AP Economics teacher, who was very knowledge based, and hand created questions like:
List the four factors of production and give examples of each.
Moving to more proficiency based assessment, the teacher modified the question to the following:
Rank the four factors of production, (Land, Labor, Entrepreneurship, Capital) in order of their importance in an economy. Provide a short explanation for your ranking.
What they found, was that by giving the original "answers," and having the students rank them, the students actually "learned" the material at a deeper level, and did better on the AP exam!


There were several times at the conference that the audience was put into a state of cognitive dissonance, where we really were forced to question our beliefs and defend our practices. This is a good thing! Look at your own policies and ask, "What research supports this?"

3. Thomas Guskey-Professional judgement is better than mathematical algorithms.

To prove this, Guskey showed this example:

                            Learning Target
Student Name    E 1    E 2    E 3    E 4    E 5    E 6    Summary Score
Greg                     1        1       1        1        4        4

What is Greg's level of proficiency for that learning target? In the hall of 500 teachers, there was a unanimous answer of "4," as Greg had shown in his last two assessments that he understood the material at that level.
If the scores were averaged, the answer would be 2. Both the Median and Mode would be a 1. Professional Judgement seems to trump mathematical algorithm's. Guskey showed several other examples that proved this point.

2. #1 Behavior Strategy: Knowing Your Students-Doug Fisher

Have a 2 minute conversation each day for 10 days on a topic other than school to foster positive relationship. If you or the student misses a day, start over! John Hattie's research shows a .72 effect size across a year based on the teacher-student relationship!

Fisher also showed this great video on feedback that showed not all feedback is good! 

 1. Tom Schimmer's Keynote

Schimmer, an educator from Vancouver, British Columbia and author of Grading From the Inside Out, was the keynote on Wednesday morning of the conference, and it really struck a chord with me.

"True North" 

He uses these two guiding questions as his compass in regards to assessing students:

  1. Do my assessments accurately reflect student learning?
  2. Does my grading practice increase or decrease student confidence?

Standards Based Mindset

Schimmer also noted that students don't come to school with a "point accumulation" mindset. They learn that after entering the system. It reminds me that some of our practices "suck the love of learning" out of our students. I can see a change of mindset around assessment as a way to bring that love back.

By changing mindset in these three areas, a teacher can still use a traditional grade-book, but they will be setting themselves up to transition to assessment by standards, once the department, school or district is ready.

I was inspired by my three days in Phoenix, and it will be interesting to see how these principles resonate in Edina and if/how they get implemented.