The entire VHS staff had the opportunity to spend the day with Allison Zmuda yesterday. The focus was on getting some consensus around why the move to personal learning is necessary, how critical it is to develop ‘Habits of Mind‘ in our students, and in ourselves, that support the move toward personal learning.

We addressed the holy grail of Student Engagement, as most people in the room agreed that engagement is a critical component to successful implementation of personal learning. And in pursuit of that engagement, we discussed the 4 attributes of personal learning, which include:

  1. Voice
    • What students say matters, and must be taken into consideration.
  2. Co-Creation
    • Students must have a seat at the design table, helping to create their learning experience.
  3. Social Construction
    • Students need to be given the opportunity to make connections both within and beyond the classroom to people and experiences that enrich their movement through their learning challenges.
  4. Self-Discovery
    • Students and teachers come to understand themselves better as learners.

Breakout Sessions

In the morning, we had breakout sessions devoted to looking at specific assignments/projects through the lens of the above 4 attributes of personal learning. In the afternoon, we got into our department groupings and began developing long-term outcomes that we’d like to facilitate in our students. These outcomes were guided by 5 key criteria (which should continue to serve as guides for our work as we progress)…

  1. Long-term in nature (programatic level)
  2. Emphasize independent application when facing new challenges
  3. Establish purpose and relevance for students
  4. Words that trigger fresh thinking for contemporary learning
  5. Relevant for students and staff

While we did record the large-group sessions, the video quality is a bit rough due to the layout of the room. Nonetheless, these videos are embedded below.