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Designing Academic Systems for Lifelong Learning


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Current academic structures do not foster lifelong learning dispositions. For the last 19 years and through 115+ iterative design cycles, we’ve broken with past precedent to build 8 interacting systems—content, instruction, assessment, Sustainable OER, literacy, hands-on laboratory work, digital technologies, and PD—that re-engineer formal science class to support natural neural development for learners aged 13-20. This hands-on workshop explores the rule-breaking designs of all 8 systems.

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Designing Academic Systems for Lifelong Learning

  1. 1. SXSW EDU Panel Picker ~Workshop~ Designing Academic Systems for Lifelong Learning Catherine Saldutti President & Founder, EduChange, Inc. August 2019 Voting Period
  2. 2. Quick Preview • This SlideShare complements, and does not replace, the SXSW workshop proposal. • This SlideShare highlights key drivers of our lifelong learning designs. • There are 8 subsystems that build our comprehensive model for formal science class, Grades 8- 14. All 8 will be explored during the workshop. • The systems interface, not merely each system alone, cues lifelong learning. Participants will chart interfacing systems during the workshop in small groups. • Hands-on experience with materials that exemplify the design drivers is a key part of the workshop. • Many design drivers, decisions and directions are content-agnostic and can apply across subject areas, ages and learning levels.
  3. 3. The Content System • Breaks down silos within a single secondary core curricular area, like science  sets the stage for a more equitable assessment system  closely maps to the Information Age  mimics real-world STEM and problem solving • Interleaves the same concepts, in different combinations, through multiple contexts, over multiple years  maps to the neuroscience of learning, working memory & retention
  4. 4. The Assessment System • Builds 64+ competencies over multiple years, decoupling mastery from end-of- unit timelines  shows learners that both deep understanding and skill proficiency require time & multiple tries  highlights different pathways to expertise • Provides sufficient data to build personal learning profiles, with many different profiles exemplifying an “A, B, C” grade (if grades are needed)  demonstrates that diverse combinations of knowledge and skills are valuable, and the best collaborations combine people with different strengths & weaknesses
  5. 5. The Instructional System • Trains learners in project- , problem- and place-based strategies  equips learners to initiate and manage their own authentic projects • Looks, sounds and feels more like a workout, a rehearsal, or a practice than a passive consumption experience  helps learners experience & chart growth over time, interfacing with the assessment system that values chronic positive patterns over one-shot summative tests • Always leverages disciplinary practices to learn concepts  explicates the transference of practices across concepts
  6. 6. The Sustainable OER System • Learner co-created content invites personalization of & accountability for course materials  interfaces with disciplinary literacy strategies that apprentice learners into the professional world • Honors student-centered classrooms via removal of teacher-only lesson plans  forges positive, collaborative relationships with leaders & mentors • Maintains and updates materials as the Information Age evolves  presents content as dynamic rather than static
  7. 7. The Literacy System • Trains learners to produce knowledge in the field, to equip them for critique  makes peer review, feedback exchange, and revision a constructive & necessary part of the learning process • Taps OER and digital technologies to expose learners to multiple genres of primary & secondary ‘texts’  relies on multiple representations to build understanding of complex concepts • Highlights disciplinary reading, writing, speaking & listening  combines strong communication skills with digital literacies
  8. 8. The Hands-on Laboratory System • Emphasizes the power & limitations of measurement & data  strengthens self- reliance in data analysis to avoid reliance on popular media (disciplinary literacy interface) • Balances materials & methods as two forms of technology  forges connections to computational thinking • Prepares students to lead their own STEM-fueled projects  moves students beyond activism toward solutions-focused community engagement
  9. 9. The Professional Development System • Provides in-classroom, on-the-job immersion supported by coaching  learning by doing is for teachers, too! • Builds incremental change over time  eliminates the need for “giant leaps” that cause undue stress in too-short time frames • Permits individual teacher agency within the same school  coherence, not standardization, guides the experience
  10. 10. The System of Digital Technologies • Situates digital technologies in role supporting the other systems  prioritizes the learning purpose or task over “using the app” • Trainers learners to wield productivity, creativity, educational & authentic STEM technologies  maps tech type to task/purpose • Empowers digital citizenship through legal, ethical, responsible and  moves students beyond activism toward solutions-focused community engagement
  11. 11. Learning Systems Design is Essential EdTech
  12. 12. I would love the opportunity to present at SXSW EDU 2020! @EduChange