This week’s podcast focuses on our goals for having families think about their learners’ needs for next year, and how filling out the Learner Needs Form will help everyone here. We also go into more detail about Gardner’s Multiple intelligences, the Learning Genome Project cards, and we introduce a few competency frameworks that can help you think about what your goals for next year might be. See the links below for more information!
Thanks for listening, and please contact us if there’s anything you’d like to hear us talk about, if there’s anyone you think we should interview, or to tell us anything else that’s on your mind!
(Provided by Otter.ai, edited by a human)
Welcome to our second podcast.
Hello, we’re back here and we’re excited to talk to you today about the cards or Google form that we’re asking you to fill out this year to help us and to, you know where you want to go.
Right. This is kind of a getting to know your learner part two.
That’s right. So as you probably know, we have sent out links to the Google form that asks you to identify your learner’s needs. And this is specifically for thinking about designing the educational path for your child next academic year. Right. And that form asks I think, for two or three things that the main the main focuses on. Learners needs and classes and we’re here at relative to focus on learners need.
I’d love to talk about another tool that we have. It’s a second set of cards from the learning genome. And this one highlights, gardeners, multiple intelligences. I have to say, What I love about this is that it’s a very low pressure, non performance type of task that you can do with your learner. And so what it asks you to do is basically it has a one through five card and then you give your learner each card which says things like, I’m concerned about the environment.
I like tongue twisters.
I like movement.
I know a lot about the outdoors.
I notice sounds,
I like maps
and I like to play with others. And so at the end of this they will then have a set of cards under each number ranging one through five, and then you put the cards together, and in most part
I’m sorry to interrupt but the one through five is rating how much it is like you are how much it feels right as an identification of your learner
Correct yes that’s an important piece to know the like me and pretty much like me four and five piles come together and you see the colors which then are broken down into categories. We have verbal linguistic learner, logical mathematical learner, visual-spatial, interpersonal, naturalistic, bodily-kinesthetic, rhythmic-musical learner, and interpersonal learner. And so I see these categories as a great way to get an idea, again, of kind of where your learner may fall under those different types of intelligence. However, I also think the individual cards are a really neat snapshot of who your learner is, what they feel comfortable with, and there’s just so much that you can do with that. I will also say that one of the parts I really enjoyed the most is that it actually highlights areas that your learner might not even know they have a strength in or even just a little bit, because remember, all cards in that area are identifiers. And so it allows me, when I’ve done it in the past to say, oh, did you even know–even if they’ve only got two cards in that category–did you know that you have some strengths here and this is what it says. So I just find it to be a really great talking point, a great way to continue to help foster that self confidence and I also see it as a really great way to help identify and create the learner–the learning experience that will best fit your child.
And one thing that is occurring to me here is that as a career educational nerd, I am very familiar with Gardener’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, but that might not be true for everybody who’s listening to this. So maybe it’s worth it for us to talk a little bit about what that theory is and how it seems to be borne out in education and in in other realms. So I’ll give a little, I think, a little history behind it. I think it was from the late 70s that neuropsychologist Howard Gardner came up with this idea that humans have, excuse me, humans have many different kinds of intelligence. There’s–he was really reacting to this idea that there is one number that that is called intelligence quotient. And when you know your IQ, then you know how smart you are. And what was clear to Gardner and has been clear to all of us is that people are smart in very, very different ways. And so somebody who is a really excellent athlete, their body is smart. They are then under under Gardener’s, definition bodily-kinesthetically, more intelligent than maybe musically intelligent. And so what I think it does really nicely is break out for the learner and for the educator, where is this person really strong in these intelligences, but none of that it there’s no implication here that this is how you have to learn.
And I think that’s a really important thing that it’s not like because I am bodily-kinesthetically stronger, that if my learning doesn’t incorporate some kind of physical movement, then I’m unable to do it. It’s just that I may be more–it’s, it’s easier for me to learn something that’s physical than it is for somebody else.
And may also be more engaging. And so they’re able to make that personal connection. Going back to the the first conversation we had about this, but allowing it to to really–your learner to connect with it and then actually retain it, and hopefully even generalize in the world.
I think we talked about this in the first episode, but there are schools that have picked up Gardener’s intelligences and made them the foundation of their conversations. And what that seems to have done is given those students, especially when they’ve been there for a long time, a real capability to zero in on how they learn best, and then allowing them to shape their lessons in their education and their studying in a way that really lets them learn things extremely well. No matter what the subject area no matter what the thing is that they’re learning, they figured out how to leverage their strengths, which is really, really cool. And the ability to talk about that with their educators, with their parents, with their friends is, is a really neat opportunity and the and the Learning Genome Project cards that that we read earlier is a really low impact way to let everybody in on what they feel comfortable with.
And I–I think that that’s like the most beautiful part about Workspace, right, is that finding a way to create the learning experience, exactly what you just said about the private schools being able to do this and, and adopt this theory which then plays into the education they provide for their students. If you find a way that fits best for your family to leverage these cards, and to create that ideal learning experience, I mean, that’s just such a wonderful goal to strive for, for your family and for your learner. And again, like that’s the awesome part about being here I see, is that you do have the power to do that. You have the support from the EdTeam, you have the support of the community, parent educators, outside educators all to come together and help create that ideal path for your learner.
I also want to just mention that when talking to your child about this idea of a learning experience, or a class or a course, however you want to frame it, I think it’s really important to talk about what actually motivates them. I will say I went to Spark House recently, we brought a couple of our learners there. And it was really great experience. And maybe I can talk more about that some other time. But one of the incredible things that I learned the whole concept was about learning centered or learner-centered. Sorry, and I have to tell you, I was shocked because we were discussing what that means, what that looks like, how that plays out, and there were a good amount of learners that actually said they appreciate getting grades at the end of an assignment, or whatever the learning experience was, they love getting that grade. Now, I could imagine that those students may or may not have had a positive relationship and history with receiving these grades, but to them, that’s how they felt accomplished. Whereas there are others that would just simply prefer feedback, right? Or maybe even badges, which is something really exciting that we are starting to bring into Workspace this year. I’m not sure if you want to say anything about that.
Sure. I mean, I think the in the context of motivating a learner, what the research seems to say is that grades are generally not a great motivator. We’ve built this entire structure that you uses them. And so we’re sort of view we are used to them.
But that doesn’t mean that they actually motivate good learning.
But this is what I’m saying. That’s why it was so shocking right? To hear the these learners identify that that’s what feels good.
And I’m I might argue that the that’s what they feel, because that’s the only thing they’ve ever been exposed to. That the only feedback The only sort of summative feedback that they’ve ever received is a great so they don’t really know that there are other options that might be even more motivating. Now, I certainly was motivated by grades or I think looking back on it. I wanted to get good grades, whether or not that was the actual motivation I’m not sure but I wanted to get good grades because good grades were the tool that I had to improve my chances of going to a good college and then in college good grades were–I was under the impression that they were the tool that I needed to get a good job. And so it wasn’t necessarily that the grade was the motivation, but that I needed that good grade.
I am going to stop you just for a moment. Because these were learners who have many different histories. Some have very little history of receiving grades. So I hear you and I actually very much appreciate and respect what you’re saying. But again, that’s why it was so so fascinating to me.
Oh, maybe they like them because they were brand new. Wow! I get this reward at the end right, or punishment.
One of the spaces that Workspace is pushing into is there relatively new world of digital badging. And digital badging is a growth out of the professional development world. This started I believe, in a couple of industries that were looking for ways to recognize when employees had learned something new, or they needed their employees to be learning certain skills, and were looking for a way of marking, those marking that learning over time. And that created this idea of what would it look like if we had these recognitions that were digital and then the employee could take them with them when they left because it was just a digital record of what they had learned. And very quickly, the educational world picked up on this and said, Oh, man, this is really interesting. Let’s see how this might apply. And that has given rise to what is now called the micro-credentialing movement. And digital badges are the standard recognition of–they are those credentials. And we are building out our own Workspace education, digital badges.
Dr. Bozeman has really taken this and run with it and it’s really exciting to see how that will will evolve here at Workspace, and we’re hopeful that the the badges themselves do serve as a motivator for students. Badges really are designed to recognize the demonstration of a skill and that is where they are are, so in that way they’re a little different from grades, which tend to be an evaluation of a single performance
And the badge is a slightly larger–um–slightly larger thing than that.
Right. I see a badge containing no judgment. I see it as effort working towards something. And, and finally getting to that destination and being awarded a badge, not a while you did this okay, and you kind of remembered that knowledge, but I don’t know, you’re only going to get a C even though you did it. I–I see badging as as being just a beautiful end result of something that you just accomplished.
And I think badging is a really big topic. So we’re gonna, we’re gonna definitely visit this in more length. It’s really exciting and it really is a new–it’s a very new ecosystem that’s that’s getting evolved while we speak and we’re jumping in and very, very few other places are doing this really wholly. Certainly there are some some businesses that have done it. can’t think of any off the top of my head because I’m not prepared for this particular conversation. Thanks, Jenai. Spring a trap on me! But it really is cool. And it’s really neat. I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves into the college application process, and all these things like portfolios and everything. It’s, there’s a, it’s a wild, wooly world for us to be stepping into.
Yeah, so much more to come with that.
Absolutely. We wanted to talk a little bit about skills and badging is an interesting transition into that. But one of the pieces of these–of the Google form that we’re asking you to fill out to create cards is to look at when we talk about learners needs on that form. One way to think about that is skills that you and your learner want to acquire in the next year. So when we think about what kinds of skills that child might want or need, one of the ways to think about that is to look at other skill frameworks and the ones that I’m really excited about and and would encourage you to look over–they’re pretty comprehensive, they come out of a lot of research and work actually, maybe there are three. One is our is our homegrown 21CI, so we’ll lead off with that one. Caroline Hunter has developed a really great program and it’s been a pleasure to work with her and Jenai and Cath this year, really solidifying that and getting a lot of it down on paper and some some different formats. So we have a list of skills that we think are really vital for a 21st century learner. And if you want to look at those skills, we have them, we’ll put them on our show notes. So you can you can look at those so that just going down that list and saying, okay, where are the places that we want to do some work and maybe finding some of those things that will motivate the learner, and hopefully the educator. That’s one good place to go for just a just a short list of really important things to get under your belt and to have the resources we really have hit hard and looking at that are outgrowths of this project called the MyWays Competency Framework; The MyWays competency domains, and they break theirs down into four groups: Habits of Success, Creative Know-How, Content Knowledge, and Wayfinding abilities. And that’s kind of a cool way to think about how you can categorize skills and they have subgroups for all of those, of course. And then the, the other one to look at is the Building 21 competency frameworks. And these ones really go very precise if you want to get super pedagogically nerdy and go way down the road, they have a lot of different groupings and rubrics for I believe, grades eight through 12, give or take. So if you want to know what an eighth grade analytical essay maybe should look at–look like versus a 12th grade one, you can do a full deep dive down there and we can post theirs. They’ve made their resources totally open source and available. And I love this stuff, so any time you want to talk about it come by my office!
That sounds like a great resource actually. And, and just becoming familiar with these things definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Maybe it would hurt…
Maybe it would hurt actually, yeah.
You can get paralyzed, I mean that is the warning, right, is that it’s a lot–a lot to look through. And I think part of that is, is you can you can get overwhelmed with that there’s, there’s so much you feel like, “oh my gosh, I’m never going to do all this stuff,” and and that’s probably true. It’s okay.
Well, and I think that that’s why I would always vote for the 21CI framework, which means we also need to have Caroline Hunter in here as a guest.
She’s already been warned.
We’re gonna do that soon. I think as soon as we get back, we want to drag her into the recording studio and talk with her.
So that’s a wrap folks!
Well, it’s been fun. We hope you are somehow finding this helpful. And we would love to hear from you some ideas, topics, any areas of discussion that you think might be helpful or kind of fun to know more about. Maybe there’s even somebody you would love to have as a special guest in here that we can try to reach out to, to have some great conversations with.
We just really hope that you have found some useful information here. And as always, we are a resource for you. So please come by, Slack us, email us, call us, send a pigeon, whatever it is that you want to do. We, we are really excited to talk to you about this and do whatever we can to help you and your learner develop a pathway for their education that meets their needs and your family’s needs. And let us help. That’s what we’re here for.
That’s right. Well, thank you so much, guys.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai