Building a learner-centered community: Four powerful team building activities

By Devin Vodicka This week we celebrated the launch of Learner-Centered Collaborative by bringing our team together to meet in person for the first time since the pandemic.  Reflecting our strong belief in the importance of relationships, our primary goal for the event was to build community and connections across our team.  Thanks to theContinue reading “Building a learner-centered community: Four powerful team building activities”

Bright Spots and New Learning Models

By Devin Vodicka “When it’s time to change, we must look for bright spots — the first signs that things are working … We need to ask ourselves a question that sounds simple but is, in fact, deeply unnatural: What’s working and how can we do more of it?” Don’t solve problems – Copy successContinue reading “Bright Spots and New Learning Models”

The Wisdom of Crowds: Weighing an ox and learner-centered assessment

By Devin Vodicka “The great Victorian polymath, Sir Francis Galton was at a country fair in 1906, so the story goes, and came across a competition where you had to guess the weight of an ox. Once the competition was over Galton, an explorer, meteorologist, scientist and statistician, took the 787 guesses and calculated theContinue reading “The Wisdom of Crowds: Weighing an ox and learner-centered assessment”

“There is a real world out there and we should learn about it”

By Devin Vodicka Last week during our Altitude Learning Partner Forum we heard from a number of students who reflected on their experiences over this past year.  They were insightful, candid, and they offered a number of excellent suggestions to help our network of educators to better serve all learners.  One of the comments thatContinue reading ““There is a real world out there and we should learn about it””

3 Suggestions to build social capital

By Devin Vodicka There are many benefits of working in teams. Teams typically outperform individuals when the tasks being done require multiple skills, judgment and experience. Teams are flexible and responsive to changing events. This is particularly important during times of rapid change when multiple perspectives help to inform a more comprehensive and informed understandingContinue reading “3 Suggestions to build social capital”

Everybody has the potential to be a servant leader

By Devin Vodicka Servant leadership was a concept originally popularized by Robert Greenleaf after he read Siddhartha, which led him to insights regarding the influence of “servants” who exerted strong influence and leadership. In addition to being in service to others, my view is that servant leadership also exists in service to shared values. WhileContinue reading “Everybody has the potential to be a servant leader”

Reflect and Learn Together: Take a moment to ask for input

By Devin Vodicka One of my favorite books is Peter Senge’s “Schools That Learn.” In the text he suggests that schools should embrace the principles of learning organizations where individuals connect and learn from one another.  Many of the concepts are consistent with our experiences of being part of high-performing teams where we are willingContinue reading “Reflect and Learn Together: Take a moment to ask for input”

How might we prioritize the investment of stimulus dollars to promote and improve relationships?

By Devin Vodicka  We know from experience and from the research that strong relationships are foundational for student success.  Consider this excerpt from a recent paper that I was fortunate to co-author along with Kristin Gagnier (Director of Dissemination, Education, and Translation at the Science of Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University) and Sabba QuidwaiContinue reading “How might we prioritize the investment of stimulus dollars to promote and improve relationships?”

Two strategies to manage complex change

By Devin Vodicka  Complex change is the new constant.  As leaders, we hope to help our teams, organizations, and communities to thoughtfully and skillfully adapt and adjust for the benefit of our learners.  When we are at our best, managing change can feel almost effortless, leading to growth and success.  In my experience these effectiveContinue reading “Two strategies to manage complex change”

How might learner-centered systems promote relationships and teamwork?

By Devin Vodicka  Relationships are at the heart of leadership and learning.  The ways in which we interact with one another are foundational to any learning experience.  Listening to learners, demonstrating compassion, being responsive to their needs, and thoughtfully co-designing with and for learners to develop their capabilities are critical elements of learner-centered education.   StrongContinue reading “How might learner-centered systems promote relationships and teamwork?”