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My Notes on the Personalized Learning Summit Day 2 Keynote: Virgil Hammonds

Virgil Hammonds, chief learning officer with Knowledgeworks, was the day 2 keynote at the 2018 Personalized Learning Summit. 

Changing the culture of education through personalized competency-based learning.

Knowledgeworks has 3 main focusses:

  • Forcasting the future of learning
  • Transforming policy
  • Growing Educator Impact
What is your spark? 
It is important for you to know yours as well as your colleagues.

Hammonds had us do a "Magic Number" sorting activity using the numbers 1-9 and trying to sort them between 2 jars, where no number could be created by adding other numbers in the same jar. We found that given those constraints, it isn't possible. His point is that sometimes we sort our students into jars in much the same way.

He shared how there is a movement nationally to get to proficiency based learning. 
There is a transformation from school districts to learning communities. 
By 2020, over 40% of the US workforce will be independent, short-term contractors. 
The 4th Industrial Revolution today:
  • Robotics and ARtificial Intelligence
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Nano & Bio Technologies
  • 3D Printing
What do our students need to be ready for in 2040? 

Three Core Social-Emotional Skills: Knowing what makes us tick and what ticks us off!
Social Awareness: Empathy and Perspective Taking
Self Discovery: Deep Self-Knowledge
Individual Awareness: Emotional Regulation

How do we help folks have a seat at the table when they currently don't have one? Will our learners be ready? Are WE ready to support these conditions?

Hammond's Story
When Hammonds was a High School principal in California, his very first day on the job, he went to work and a former student and his parents came in. He was excited to see him, but the student didn't respond. The student's dad, shows the article announcing Hammonds was the new principal, but the student didn't respond. The student, then complained to the dad, saying, "you know I don't know how to read." Hammonds was shocked, as he had the student for two years. The dad said, "I will take care of my son, but make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else." Unfortunately, because the student was a "good kid," people gave him the benefit of the doubt and moved him on. Hammonds put out a message on Facebook to learn more from recent alumni. Most talked about how supportive the staff were, but that the staff didn't prepare them for life beyond. 
There was a realization from staff that they needed to do something different. They needed to hold students up to a level of mastery. They needed to come up with a way to not move students on.
Students after a week said they would walk out, or come up with a solution. Staff and students spent three days to come up with a plan. 

At state testing time, the school found that they had made 72 pts. growth. They targeted readiness, held students to mastery, and they accelerated and grew over 20% each year. 

Teachers lead with purpose, with specific students in mind. Hammonds used this video to make this point. Know your why!

As you think about making learner centered, if you are crystal clear about your why and your purpose, the "how" will come naturally. You also need to know they why and purpose of your colleagues AND your community!

Hammonds ended with this thought....
“PCBL (Personalized, Competency-Based Learning) empowers us to make equity our pedagogy!”


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