Personalized learning pathways meet college and career readiness: “Rebundling” in Colorado

Elementary school girl writing in her workbook while her teacher is talking to her

For nearly two decades, The Donnell-Kay Foundation of Colorado has invested in efforts to improve the current education system, from state level policy to early-stage seed funding for innovative organizations and new learning models. While bright lights exist within our current system we believe we can better leverage the rapid changes in our culture and breakthrough innovations in personalized learning to address the gaps in opportunity for the many learners who are uninspired by school and ill-prepared for life beyond it.

This belief is the inspiration for ReSchool Colorado, a key project by the DK Foundation that we hope will also inspire new conversations about “college and career readiness” far beyond our state.  

It isn’t our intent to replace the existing system, but to provide a new choice for those learners and families who desire it—a parallel system designed more purposefully around the learner. Entering our fourth year, our mission is to design and launch an inspirational education system for learners from birth to career that coordinates people and resources in new, dynamic ways, ensuring an experience that reflects the best of personalized learning—welcoming, empowering, and world class.

Unbundling and Rebundling

Ultimately, we envision learning that is unbundled as we know it and rebundled to serve purposeful groupings of students through an array of talented educators and providers. Supported by a learner advocate and an advocate network aligning to a competency-based framework communicating clear outcomes, each student will have access to a unique learning pathway that values not only the individual’s academic trajectory but also the importance of a vibrant learning community, rich with social and emotional support.

Our strategy for the design of this new system is based on two key ideas: take the time to learn from, and with, others and continuously fold the learning into the design. To date, we have partnered with individuals, organizations, families, and young learners to explore different components of the system. These partnerships have sharpened our thinking around the learner advocate and the advocate network, the competency-based Framework for the Future of Learning, a new governance model, and tools to support families and learners in the decision-making process for personalized learning opportunities. Now, we look forward to partnering with Pearson for a webinar of student voices on this topic:  My Learning Is “Rebundled” and My Future Is Bright: Students Talk About How They’re Blazing Their Own New Routes to College & Career Readiness on May 3 at 4:15 p.m. ET.

Imagining a New System Together

Like other students across the nation, we know that Colorado kids and young adults are already learning in many places and in many ways beyond the formal school environment.  We also know that often these experiences are not coordinated or valued in the same way as school-based programs. It is through an intentional bundling of quality opportunities that we see great potential in ensuring high quality college and career readiness for all learners to attain their potential. Imagine a system like Katrina’s where a student’s personalized learning pathway begins early and blends together a rich partnership of advocates, mentors, community organizations, rigorous content, and authentic opportunities, resulting in the quality choices every learner deserves and a future every learner can achieve. That’s what we’re asking our co-designers at ReSchool Colorado to imagine, and we invite you to join us by tuning in for the May 3 webinar with Pearson.

Beyond the Webinar

Here’s a preview of other exciting work ReSchool Colorado has lined up for 2016. Feel free to contact us at reschoolcolorado@dkfoundation.org for additional information.

 

Prototype: Design a workshop experience that builds engagement with the ReSchool mission through an interactive empathy building game.

PartnershipGreater Good Studio and a variety of users (learners, families, educators, and thought leaders)

System Components: Equity and Access, Communication and Advocacy

 

Prototype: Explore a framework to measure quality and value in the new system by engaging learning providers in the design and delivery of summer learning opportunities for young adults.

Partnership: Michael Horn and the team at Entangled Solutions, 5-7 existing Colorado learning providers and the students (ages 15-21) they serve.

System Components: Quality and Accountability, Future of Learning Framework, Expanded Ecosystem of Learning Providers

 

Project: Launch ReSchool Colorado’s own website

PartnershipAnabliss

System Components: Communication and Advocacy

 

Project: Host “Learning Rebundled: Education for a New Era” in Denver, CO on May 3. The goal of the convening is to bring together a diverse group of thought partners to imagine education for a new era

PartnershipKnowledgeWorks

System Components: Future of Learning Framework, Expanded Ecosystem of Learning Providers, Quality and Accountability, Equity and Access, Policy Path

 

About the Author

Colleen Broderick is the chief learning designer of ReSchool Colorado.  Prior to serving in this role, Colleen spent more than 20 years as a teacher, instructional coach, administrator, and leader of staff development across Colorado and in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Brazil. Most recently, she served as the director of Online Professional Development for Expeditionary Learning. As the chief learning designer for ReSchool Colorado, Colleen spends much of her time re-imagining the act of learning.

She designed ReSchool’s Framework for the Future of Learning for a competency-based system focused on success in the educational, economic, social and civic tasks of adulthood. More than just a way to list student outcomes, it is a systemic mechanism designed to facilitate connections and make transparent the learning that unfolds over time. Based on a large body of scientific research, Colleen’s goal is to ensure that all learners have access to a multitude of rich developmental experiences that lead to agency, a clear sense of self and a core set of transferable competencies.