Using Gamification to Engage Your Audience [INFOGRAPHIC]

gamificationDid you know that 70% of Forbes’ Global 2000 have plans to use Gamification? Gamification has quickly become a super trend in marketing, customer engagement and employee retention. Demand Metric has created this new infographic to share what gamification is, how it works, facts, stats, benefits, and how to get started. View the original posting here.


Schlechty’s Levels of Classroom Engagement [INFOGRAPHIC]

engagementWhen we try to determine the level of engagement in our classrooms, we have to first define engagement. Although students may be “paying attention” to the teacher, are they engaged? Phillip Schlechty defines engagement as the level of attention and commitment students have in a lesson. Ritual compliance has been the goal inside of classrooms for many years.  That belief that if students appear to be working and are not disrupting the class they are learning is past its time. What does engagement look like in your classroom?  Are students compliant or truly engaged?

Microsoft’s “Classroom of the Future”


Reposted from the eBuyer Blog:

The last 20 years have arguably seen the biggest advances in education when it comes to technology in the classroom, with the introduction of computing and personal devices. As personal devices such as computers, laptops and tablets became cheaper, kids naturally became more familiar with the technology often surpassing the knowledge of their teachers or the curriculum.

Last week I was invited down to Microsoft’s “Classroom of the Future”, a concept space in central London where a team of technology and education experts display how modern tech and traditional teaching methods can be blended to create the most effective teaching environment. The modern open layout of the classroom is designed to replicate how any school could set out and embrace new styles of learning, with only minimal space and a range of funding.

So I suppose you’re asking what makes the classroom of the future so modern? Well it’s not quite as Jetsons-esque as one may predict, kids aren’t learning in self-contained education pods by robot lecturers….yet. The classroom of the future is driven by variation in learning. It’s not about simply copying text from a board anymore. Modern education, as the teachers out there will know, is about inclusivity, collaboration and getting kids actively involved.

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The Intrapersonal Intelligence in the Knowledge Economy Workplace [INFOGRAPHIC]

Intrapersonal Intelligence mrmck

In the knowledge economy workplace, the Intrapersonal Intelligence is critically important. Through evaluation, affective learning, growth mindset and professional capital, workers participate in their own self-efficacy and contribute new knowledge and new value to the profession and the global community. Today, the intelligence of feelings, values and attitudes is fueling the redefinition of what it means to be effective and successful. Caring drives and personalizes ethics, excellence, engagement and resilience.

Social Capital: Who We Are Together And How We Work


Reposted from Learning & Leading:

“Social capital is highly dependent upon nurturing trust at all levels of the organization. Trust doesn’t happen overnight and needs to be cultivated. While trust needs time to develop, it has to be developed with intentionality. Hargreaves put it best when he said, “Trust doesn’t come from micromanagement or leaving people alone. It comes from engaging with people about their work.” This engagement has to be intentional, thoughtfully planned, and monitored by all involved.

Each of us experience roadblocks to enhancing social capital within our teams.  In my current professional life, the size of the organization is a challenge.  The elementary school where I proudly serve as principal has nearly 140 staff members serving over 1,000 students.  In an international setting, we experience a lot of staff attrition.  Any time a new staff member joins, the whole dynamic of the team changes.

By team, I really mean teams – grade level teams, curricular teams, and the entire elementary school team.  Of course, time is a challenge.  How do you create opportunities to build trust at grade levels, between grade levels, horizontally and vertically?  How do you work to establish a culture of trust that, regardless of staff movement, permeates the building so that anyone who enters feels that trust is high, honored, revered, respected, and cultivated?  How do you help newcomers realize that trust is not just earned, but it’s given and supported?  How do you help everyone within the organization understand that levels of trust are constantly changing and that the only way to get trust moving in the right direction is to be vulnerable about practice and to communicate openly and professionally?”

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Teacher-Powered Public Education


Reposted from the Hechinger Report:

Much like high-performing organizations in other fields, such as law, medicine, architecture, accounting, and technology, teachers in teacher-powered schools work as partners and are trusted as professionals to produce results — results they can be held accountable for and measured against. At a time when teacher recruitment, retention and engagement are at record lows, thinking laterally should prompt us to reassess our ultimate reform goals as well as the pathways to reach these goals. Whether implementing a “bold” reform initiative or working with principals, district or charter leadership, teachers are our best resources. They are in the classroom every day. They have direct access to the inner workings of their classrooms and schools and are eager for opportunities to grow and lead within them.

In fact, recent research from Education|Evolving found that 78% of teachers would be interested in pursuing a professional partnership arrangement with their colleagues, and that 85% of Americans will support them when they do. This kind of teacher and public support means that a teacher-powered strategy can offer a solution to even the most divisive policy debates on how to support teachers, while still ensuring their effectiveness and balance reform within the system.

When students power their classrooms and teachers power their school, K-12 education thrives. Our education reforms should not only ensure that our students are learning from an “effective” teacher, but that they’re learning from an excellent and empowered teacher. We’ve seen that schools that are teacher-powered are capable of achieving just that. By investing in our teachers more and offering them autonomy, we’re ensuring we have the best teachers in every school.

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MIT: 16 Recommendations to Engage a New World


Reposted from MIT News:

“The MIT education of the future is likely to be more global in its orientation and engagement, more modular and flexible in its offerings, and more open to experiments with new modes of learning. Those are some themes of the 16 recommendations contained in the final report of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, convened 18 months ago by President L. Rafael Reif to envision the MIT of 2020 and beyond.

Among other priorities, the Task Force’s report urges the establishment of an MIT Initiative for Educational Innovation, to foster ongoing experimentation and research in teaching and learning, and recommends that MIT engage with teachers and learners worldwide to broadcast this educational innovation well beyond its own campus. The report also suggests that MIT consider offering different levels of certification through its online-learning ventures, MITx and edX, and recommends that the Institute redouble its commitment to access and affordability — possibly by increasing MIT’s undergraduate population, which has remained stable for decades despite increasing demand, or by providing flexibility to allow students to complete a traditional undergraduate degree in less than four years.

In its final report, the Task Force organizes its 16 recommendations around four themes:

  1. laying a foundation for the future, by creating a proposed Initiative for Educational Innovation;
  2. transforming pedagogy, largely through “bold experiments” sponsored by the proposed new initiative;
  3. extending MIT’s educational impact, to teachers and learners well beyond its own campus; and
  4. enabling the future of MIT education, by cultivating new revenue streams and envisioning new spaces to support learning at MIT.”

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Student Engagement Drops from Preschool to High School


Reposted from the Gallup Blog:

“Gallup research strongly suggests that the longer students stay in school, the less engaged they become. The Gallup Student Poll surveyed nearly 500,000 students in grades five through 12 from more than 1,700 public schools in 37 states in 2012. We found that nearly eight in 10 elementary students who participated in the poll are engaged with school. By middle school that falls to about six in 10 students. And by high school, only four in 10 students qualify as engaged. Our educational system sends students and our country’s future over the school cliff every year.

The drop in student engagement for each year students are in school is our monumental, collective national failure. There are several things that might help to explain why this is happening — ranging from our overzealous focus on standardized testing and curricula to our lack of experiential and project-based learning pathways for students — not to mention the lack of pathways for students who will not and do not want to go on to college.

Imagine what our economy would look like today if nearly eight in 10 of our high school graduates were engaged — just as they were in elementary school. Indeed, this is very possible; the best high schools in our dataset have as many as seven in 10 of their students engaged, akin to the engagement levels of our elementary schools. In fact, in qualitative interviews Gallup conducted with principals of these highly engaged high schools, we heard quotes such as, “Our high school feels like an elementary school,” when describing what they are doing differently.”

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Business and Education Leaders Can Do a Better Job Together


Reposted from the Ideas Lab:

“Today, business leaders support schools through efforts that are generous, well-intended, effective at alleviating the symptoms of a weak educational system, but fundamentally inadequate for helping to strengthen the system. Consequently, it’s time for America’s business leaders to reinvent how they partner with educators to support our students and improve our schools. That is the central message emerging from a year-long study by the faculty of Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Boston Consulting Group.

Business engagement—while broad—is not deep. Only 12 percent of superintendents characterized their business communities as deeply involved in their school districts. When asked how business engages, superintendents reported a lot of “checkbook philanthropy”: businesses donate goods, give money, and sponsor scholarships, but they rarely support more substantive efforts to develop teaching talent, improve curricula, or upgrade district management practices.

Business leaders can do better and fortunately, some are. Across the country, we see progressive business leaders partnering with educators in creative ways that promise to have greater, lasting impact on the nation’s education system and its students. The models fall into three categories…”

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The Shift in Parent-School Engagement


Reposted from Roots of Action:

“Instead of a closed, self-sufficient system, schools must see themselves as open systems that engage in learning at the boundaries between families and communities. Peter Senge (2000) said it well, “If I had one wish for all our institutions, and the institution called school in particular, it is that we dedicate ourselves to allowing them to be what they would naturally become, which is human communities, not machines. Living beings who continually ask the questions: Why am I here? What is going on in my world? How might I and we best contribute?”

When we think of schools as learning communities, parents and teachers have the capacity to shift the machine metaphor from the grassroots upward. This is the type of change than cannot be mandated from the top-down or through policies like No Child Left Behind.  In fact, research shows that partnerships based on relationships, connectedness, and flexibility hold the keys to understanding how to increase student learning and motivation.

What does this paradigm shift mean to families and schools?  While parents and teachers have unique skills and expertise, no one is a single expert. We are all learners. We come together for the shared goal of educating the whole child. In many ways, we are what Etienne Wenger (2002) calls communities of practice, “groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their understanding and knowledge of this area by interacting on an ongoing basis.” What brings families and schools together is a passion for children and education.”

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