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Aurora Institute

Have You Made Plans for the iNACOL Symposium Yet?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

AirplaneAs you may know, the only place to network with all your competency education colleagues from across the nation is at the iNACOL Symposium on Online and Blended Learning coming up on November 8-11 in Orlando, FL. iNACOL organizes an entire strand on competency education, highlighting approaches and issues for districts and schools that are already moving towards blended learning as well as those that are making the conversion without the help of technology.

I’ll be highlighting the competency education strand in the next couple of weeks. However, we wanted to let you know that there are two pre-conference workshops on November 8th just in case you are thinking about your travel plans.

In the morning on the 8th, you can find an advanced session on Expert Seminar on Standards (Data, Content Metadata, Technology) for Competency Education starring Liz Glowa, iNACOL; Jim Goodell, Quality Information Partners, Inc.; and Brandt Redd, SmarterBalance. The description is below:

Competency Education operates at the crossroads between achievement standards, student information standards, technical standards, systems of assessments and content metadata. An understanding of the landscape of education data and technology standards will help organizations select and build technology solutions to support their competency initiatives. CEDS, system integration and data transfer options and challenges, interoperability and the role of metadata in relating learning content to learning maps will be discussed.

This workshop will bring together leaders in designing and delivering competency education to discuss the ecosystem of technology needed to support competency education and how the parts fit together to make a successful whole. To deliver competency education, we need:

  1. information about content,
  2. information about learners, and
  3. information about learner interactions… with content (e.g. assessments/activities) and with other people (teachers/peers)

NOTE: This session is for participants who have an advanced understanding of education data and technology standards.

In the afternoon, Linda Pittenger, Center for Innovation in Education; Virgel Hammands, KnowledgeWorks; and yours truly will be facilitating the session Implementing Competency Education: Insights from Local Leaders. We have an unbelievably great team of folks from leading districts to describe their experience in much more detail than we could go in the report (here is the link to the report). Brian Blake, Ellen Hume-Howard, Brian Stack, and Jonathon Vander Els from Sanborn Regional School District, John Freeman and Tobi Chassie from Pittsfield School District, and Bill Zima, who has recently become superintendent at RSU2 in Maine, will all be there. Here is the description of the session:

Across the country, states, districts and schools are transforming how we educate students to be more personalized. Competency-based education refers to systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and academic reporting that are based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn as they progress through their education.

In these learning environments, the structure needs to enable personalization while keeping the focus on equity. Participants will be able to hear from district and school leaders that have been implementing competency education for over three years in this workshop. They will also be able to have deeper discussions with the leaders in small groups, gaining insights and advice that they can bring back to their districts to begin implementing competency education.

More coming soon on the Symposium competency education strand!