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Guest posts are provided by teachers, coaches, administrators and students working in or attending "World of Learning" schools. They are the unsung heroes of school change, our "boots on the ground" making 21st century learning happen every day.

Building Change Through Public Education

Guest Post by Nick Donohue, President and CEO of Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
At Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF), we envision a system driven by learning, and not constrained by the traditional school calendar or even the classroom.  We envision transforming today’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to school design into an approach that targets the skills and knowledge students need while connecting learning to their experiences, strengths and interests.
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Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem

States must set conditions that enable competency-based, personalized, anytime-anywhere learning to re-shape the student experience – essentially “regenerating the learning ecosystem,” to borrow from the lingo of the day. New relationships among system levels; new roles for educators; new experiences and pathways for students; new metrics, data, business models, and investment strategies: these are the kinds of elements of change discussed at the meeting that states face as they seek to transform their education systems. Continue reading

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(Re)Mapping the Learning Ecosystem

A proposition: let’s remap our understanding of our learning ecosystem to include the nation’s more than 140,000 museums and libraries. These highly trusted institutions, representing almost every academic discipline and present in almost every community, are too often absent from our conversations about the future of learning. Yet many of them provide those meaningful, personalized, and accessible lifelong learning experiences that fit the bill—often even better than the classroom—for what John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas describe as “a new culture for learning,” one that cultivates “the imagination for a world of constant change.” Continue reading

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Obama visit to Manor shows important link between education, economy

When President Barack Obama visited Manor New Technology High School near Austin, Texas, earlier this month, he saw the successful offspring of pedagogy, public policy, and free enterprise.

He saw students excited and engaged in their learning, teachers creatively developing real-world projects, and technology seamlessly incorporated in the classroom. Schools like Manor New Tech fuse student learning to the local workforce system to create relevance and linkages to economic drivers as well as alignment to institutions of higher education to provide college credit for students while they are still in high school. Continue reading

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Focus Imagination

It is clear from the disruptions identified by KnowledgeWorks that community resources will combine in new ways. Educators will no longer have to shoulder the entire burden for learning, but they will have to formulate the vision that will draw communities together. KnowledgeWorks’ Forecast 3.0 provides an essential view of critical trends giving all readers/participants knowledge of the challenges, a common framework and language, and a concise understanding of expected outcomes. Continue reading

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Every Day is Digital Learning Day at New Tech West

Such is a typical day at New Tech West High School, located in Cleveland, Ohio’s Near 
West Side. One of the few schools in Cleveland with one-to-one technology, NTW uses digital learning to connect student learning to the real world, and by expanding student choice in developing products and solutions to project problems.
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Early colleges demystify college experience for first-generation college goers

This is Early College High School Week, when communities all over America celebrate educational achievements that defy conventional wisdom: high school students, many of them economically disadvantaged or the first in their family to go to college, earning significant college credits – some even obtaining associate degrees.
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