Friday, May 20, 2016

Start at the Center!

In October, 2015 I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Personalized Learning Institute sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and School Improvement Network (SINET).  The event was filled with opportunities to discuss personalizing education for all students.  Several superintendents throughout the country were in attendance to learn from experts and to share their stories of personalized education.

From May 9th through May 11th I experienced the second Personalized Learning Institute.  This opportunity deepened my understanding of personalized learning and developed further ideas in terms of what this may look like at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton. In an effort to provide stakeholders a view of this experience, I created stories via my Storify account.  You can view these experiences via the following links:

Day 1 -
Day 2 -
Day 3 -

During my time at the Institute I had the opportunity to chat with Roger Cook, Superintendent of Taylor County Schools in Kentucky. His district has been practicing personalized learning for the past 11 years.  With all of that said, we will be taking a crew of 12 stakeholders to Taylor County to experience their Personalized Learning Institute in June. The following individuals will be making the trip:

Bill Adams - Superintendent
Jeremy Erler - Principal
Kevin Babcock - Principal
Mike Skinner - Teacher
Eric Kehoe - Teacher
Jessica Keech - Teacher
Sharyn Miller - Teacher
Melanie Morrow - Teacher
Tim Oelke - School Board Member
Kelly Eustice - School Board Member
Laura Seys - School Board Member
Dan Hoehn - School Board Member

To learn more about this trip, please click here.

To gain a further understanding of personalized learning our administrative team has completed reading an outstanding book entitled, Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning by Dr. James Rickabaugh.  This book provided excellent resources for the development of the personalized learning philosophy.  There were outstanding reflective questions provided accompanied by suggestions for action plans.

The "Honeycomb Approach" was something that struck a chord with me.  Through this approach, there is a focus placed on the learner through learner profiles, customized learning paths, and proficiency-based progress.  The next ring of the honeycomb is that of teaching and learning followed by relationships and roles and capped off with structures and policies.  It is important to begin in the center and work our way towards the outer rings as opposed to working from the outside in.  When all put together, an extraordinary learning opportunity occurs for all students.

Please stay tuned to future blog posts regarding our personalized learning discussions.