empowered

Empowered or Engaged?

During a recent reading of Innovator’s Mindset  by George Couros, I came across a quote that really got me thinking.  He wrote, “Students need to be empowered, not engaged”. All year I have been focusing on the many ways that we could “engage” students so that learning could be more personal. This quote really made me consider the value of …

Creating Self-Directed Learners

One of the obstacles I hear from teachers is that students aren’t self-directed enough to manage their own learning.  This makes sense to me because for years we have been training them to be passive and compliant.  So, this is a real obstacle.  It can seem overwhelming. But what if we addressed this issue using the same skills we have …

trust pitbull

What Does Trust Look Like?

What Does Trust Look Like? Is student motivation as simple as trust? Recently, a history teacher reflected on the success of a very self-directed, project-based learning exhibition saying, “I just trusted them…” and several days later on a podcast about how to get started with #geniushour, I heard this again as a first step in seeing students productively use independent time …

Transforming Faculty Meetings

I have written about the irony of our teacher professional learning system in this country that is so inconsistent with what we know about how people learn and best teaching practices.  Recently, I combined the idea of competency based learning, genius hour and personal learning to develop an innovation around traditional faculty meetings. Proficiencies Vermont’s educational Quality Standards (EQS) outline …

Individual Learning Versus Personal Learning

What is the connection between personal learning and transferable skills like collaboration and groupwork? Since I just taught a class on groupwork and Vermont is working towards more personal learning, I have been getting this question from many educators.  There seems to be a misconception that personal learning is somehow individual learning.  There are many images of “personalized” learning where …