Resource: Highlander Institute’s Personalized Learning Framework

Personalized Learning

Resource: Highlander Institute’s Personalized Learning Framework

Oct 28, 2017

Resource: Highlander Institute’s Personalized Learning Framework

This article is part of the guide: The Personalized Learning Toolkit.

After years of research, the Rhode Island-based Highlander Institute believes that school leadership teams, which include teachers, are the main catalyst of change in scaling personalized learning from pilot classrooms to entire schools, districts and states. Leadership, educator competencies and infrastructure are key to successful scaling, according to Highlander, a nonprofit, which provides technical assistance and professional development to support the integration of personalized and blended learning models.

Highlander’s framework lets districts know where to start, what process to follow, what investments to make and how to define and measure success. The guide, School District 2.0: Redesigning Districts to Support Blended Learning, lays out the framework and the philosophy. A database of district level “look-fors” is the base of the District Competencies Framework, which helps school leaders self-assess and quantify progress. School District 2.0 also includes a classroom walkthrough tool that allows districts to analyze where or how they can assist in and improve instructional processes. For instance, the walkthrough tool may show teachers at specific schools struggling with how to use technology; this provides them information to decide how to step in, for instance with specific professional development in the technology teachers are using. Or perhaps the analysis shows teachers using a certain edtech product across the district struggling; the district can link the issue to the product. It is designed to help administrators connect their roles to the classroom.

In the summer of 2014, the Highlander Institute kicked off Fuse RI, its project to model its system. Fuse brings educators and administrators together during two-year long fellowships to prepare them to spread blended-learning education across Rhode Island. And Highlander through Fuse is providing more applied data, about training educators and what works in classrooms and offices, as it redesigns the Rhode Island education landscape.

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