If we could sum up this year’s back-to-school season in two words, they would be ‘initiative fatigue.’ This webinar explores change management troubleshooting and blended learning strategies, adapted for the current moment. Check out our previous webinars below:
- How to Assemble Your Distance Learning Toolkit (Webinar Recap)
- How Can Educators Deliver Equity in a Digital Environment? (Webinar Recap)
- How Kiddom Schools & Districts are Preparing for the Fall (Webinar Recap)
- Building Authentic Connections with Students in Kiddom (Webinar Recap)
Whether it’s coordinating your masks to match your outfits, or adopting a completely virtual model of learning for the 2020-21 school year, it’s safe to say that educators everywhere are learning how to adapt. But did you know that there’s a framework for implementing successful, sustainable change, and diagnosing what your community may be lacking?
This week, open educational researcher Jennifer Wolfe joined Kiddom CAO Abbas Manjee for a discussion on the Knoster Model for Managing Complex Change. Pictured below, it shows 6 necessary elements for successful, sustainable change. When read from left to right, the model shows, in red boxes on the right side of the image, the outcomes if one of the 6 elements is missing. In our webinar discussion, our two presenters identified two areas where teachers and school leaders may need the most support for the current moment. Keep reading to find out which ones, and to gain 3 blended learning strategies adapted for the current moment.
Defining Change Management
After introducing themselves and Kiddom, Jennifer and Abbas set the audience up with a working definition of change management, which comes down to preparing, supporting, and helping individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change and helping people to adapt to change.
So why is change management so important? “My goodness, at this particular moment in history we are all experiencing so much change, that it can be so overwhelming,” Jennifer says. How might we use change management strategies to help teachers, families, and students engage with innovative learning models that have become critical in the COVID-19 era?
Watch the clip below to understand the motivation behind this webinar, and gain a sneak peek at what’s to come.
Skills and Resources for the Current Moment
From educators in our network, we’ve been hearing a lot of anxiety and frustration about the new learning models that have been put in place as a result of COVID-19. In the Knoster framework, these two symptoms point to a lack of ‘Skills’ or ‘Resources,’ as you’ll see in the image below:
“If your community is going to make learning happen during a pandemic, then everyone involved needs to have the skills to make this work.” Let’s be clear—very few educators out there were trained to teach online, so a lot of this skill building has had to happen on the fly. As more and more schools & districts invest in ed tech solutions, teachers are having to learn to be fluent in the new resources that their community has invested in. How do we make sure educators are working smarter, not harder? Keep reading to find out.
Blended Learning Strategy #1: Flipped Classroom
The first blended learning strategy that Jennifer presented was to flip your classroom to work smarter, not harder. “It can be easier than you think to record your instruction. You can use Kiddom’s new communication center, or there’s lots of other tools out there as well,” Jennifer says.
A flipped classroom with recorded instruction gives students more autonomy over their learning. With a video of a lesson readily available to them at any time, they can review it as many times as necessary for the concept to sink in, or revisit it later in the year as it becomes relevant to future instruction.
Teachers also gain flexibility as they can cater to both an in-person and a virtual population. Teachers can use videos with their in-person students to free up some time for their virtual students. By distributing the video online before a synchronous lesson, the virtual group can then maximize that time together by having a discussion of the material. “Regardless of how it was implemented in the past, this is a strategy that you can truly employ to save some time,” Abbas notes.
In Kiddom, it’s easy to embed videos from other platforms like Loom, Screencastify, and YouTube, but you can also record your own within the platform. Embedded videos keep students within the Kiddom platform, where they can’t be distracted by other video content.
Students can use Kiddom’s communication tools to respond to any part of an assignment—using text, images, audio, or a video of their own. Find out how it’s done in this clip:
Blended Learning Strategy #2: Station Rotation
If students are broken up into smaller groups for instruction, teachers have more face time with individual students and can more readily offer them the attention they need. Teachers can organize the class into 3-4 small group activities: one group with the teacher, one doing an online activity, one doing an offline activity, and a group doing a partner or collaborative activity. “Students can participate in each of these activities at home or at school, creating a more cohesive classroom experience that engages all learners, where they still feel like they are part of one unit even if they are in different locations.”
Kiddom allows teachers to keep all assignments AND data in one place. With station rotation, data is an essential way to identify which students might belong in each small group. Kiddom Reports makes these decisions seamless. “Not only do you get a holistic view of your class over time,” Abbas says, “but you also get your class broken up into groups that are already updated in real time.
If mastery data alongside learning management wasn’t enough, you can also attach standards and skills to assignments to receive a breakdown of how your students are performing against each one. Discover what Kiddom Reports look like in this clip:
Blended Learning Strategy #3: Teaching Playlists
One of the best ways to manage work in person and at home is to create self-paced assignments that students can complete on and offline, using a Playlist structure. This gives teachers the most flexibility in how and when they work with students, and allows teachers to more directly target the individual needs of their students throughout the day.
“This,” says Abbas, “is one of my favorite components of Kiddom: the ability to build sequential, comprehensive lesson plans within one artifact, share it with students, and have them work through it at their own pace.” In Kiddom, Abbas demonstrated building an assignment with 3 video lessons nested within it, with questions to assess understanding in between them. Students can work independently and at their own pace while teachers use Reports to understand how students are performing.
The Knoster framework can be used to diagnose what your community may be missing in your pursuit of change. Speaking of change, you may love it or you may hate it—but it’s essentially guaranteed for the 2020-21 school year. We’ve covered 3 ways to iterate on classic blended learning models using Kiddom, but don’t embark on a new initiative without having the skills and resources in place. You’ll only end up with anxious or frustrated teachers, with these sentiments trickling down to students.
“There are some students who are actually thriving right now, because they get to work at their own pace and they’re not held under the same conditions of a traditional school day,” Abbas notes. “Let’s lean into that and give students the affordances they need to succeed, because that’s who we’re doing this for.”
Kiddom seamlessly connects the most critical aspects of teaching and learning on one platform.
For the first time, educators can share and manage digital curriculum, differentiate instruction, and assess student work in one place. Learners can take assessments online, see student performance data with the click of a button, and teachers have the insight and tools they need to create individual learning paths.
Are you thinking about bringing digital curriculum to your school or district?
Connect with us in a 15-minute meeting to learn more about available pre-packaged curriculum, and how the Kiddom education platform can support your learning community.