We can all agree 2020 was a difficult year. But it did bring many opportunities for change, and KnowledgeWorks has been here to offer a guiding hand. We hope you’ve found at least one thing to help you build a more resilient, equitable future for your learning communities, and, by the looks of it, many of you found more than one future-ready tool. Here are your top 10 posts, which were some of the most inspiring and helpful posts from KnowledgeWorks this year.
Whether learning occurs in brick-and-mortar schools or in virtual environments, student engagement drives an impressive array of student outcomes. Explore an overview of the research on engagement alongside actionable practices that are appropriate, effective and equitable.
The Futures Triangle is a simple tool that allows deeper thinking and conversations. How can we apply futures thinking tools, such as the Futures Triangle, to help us look at possible futures in times of crises? Don’t forget to watch the video in the sidebar to see the use in action!
Nothing beat a feel-good story in 2020. Working with KnowledgeWorks learning communities, we see the difference personalized, competency-based learning makes in learners, educators and education systems. And kindness and caring, key elements of social-emotional learning, were necessary in adapting to distance learning, placing “connection over content,” creating a support system and reinforcing the concept that learning happens outside of school.
At KnowledgeWorks, we partner with states, school districts and educators to create learning communities and systems that can truly ensure each student graduates ready for what’s next for them. This work is all about people and community creating the future of learning, together. It’s about helping individuals lead change in pursuit of equitable and meaningful personalized learning. It’s about supporting each learner – students and educators – to own their learning. So we created a fellowship of educators to just that. See number nine for the fellowship members.
Early during COVID-19, we were surrounded by uncertainty, from daily life to what a year from now could look like. Futurist tools can help guide the smallest decisions to the largest decisions and consider options you maybe haven’t before. See how the cone of plausibility can help you cope with anxieties in the present and prepare for the future.
We know that learning is not meant to be one-size-fits-all. Every student learns in different ways, at different rates and has different interests. But there tends to be a gap between knowing and doing. According to the South Carolina Framework for Personalized Learning, there are four components to personalized learning: student ownership, learner profiles, flexible learning environments and learning pathways. Read more from our guest author Kristen Logan, a personalized learning coach with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) Office of Personalized Learning.
When so much is uncertain, it’s even harder than usual to imagine future possibilities, and what counts as “future” might be next month instead of the next decade. Even when we have forecast disruption or specific events such as a pandemic, those possibilities might not have been communicated in a meaningful or actionable way. Even if they were, long-term thinking is not always valued, and individuals and organizations may struggle to prepare for future possibilities. See how futurists employ a variety of techniques to wrangle future possibilities into communicable forms.
Many schools, districts and states are doing magnificent work to continue learning and address equity issues. They are implementing strategies that allow students to continue to learn, while being mindful of equity challenges that may arise in the process. We highlighted what learning communities were doing at the state and local levels across the country.
Through the Personalized Learning Community Fellowship, these 13 leaders are working together with KnowledgeWorks to design a peer-to-peer learning community for instructional coaches, building leaders and educators working to scale personalized, competency-based learning. See who they are.
Dealing with change can be daunting. Whether it involves thinking through the implications of a decision, considering possible outcomes of an event such as COVID-19 or ideating on the impacts of a trend, facing change means grappling with a certain level of uncertainty. No one can know the future, and it is impossible to think through the full range of implications of a change. However, using Futures Wheels can help.