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TED inspires student passion projects

By Breanna Morsadi

I felt the true power of learner-centered education for the first time around ten years ago. My students from THINK Global School had just presented their own TED style talks to a local community in Athens, Greece, and had brought the audience to laughter, tears, and critical thought. Initially born as a teacher-led project, our module Create your TED Talk evolved into something bigger and inherently student-led — a symposium which empowered students to chase their curiosities, initiate and take full ownership of what became an annual school ritual, and, most importantly, own their learning experiences.

In scaffolding such a school-wide endeavor, it was key to continually ask, as John Spencer and A.J. Juliani remind us in their book Empower, “What am I doing for my learners that they could be doing for themselves?” My response to this question back in 2010 might have been, “Everything.” But once students began to own their learning, Create your TED Talk gained momentum amongst the students and became an intellectual rite of passage, a part of our student-led learning culture for years to come. …


Negative correlation proves students associate the difficulty of active learning with feelings of learning less

By Breanna Morsadi

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Extensive research supports that students in active environments learn more than in passive, lecture based classrooms. Despite these findings, most institutions still follow traditional teaching methods. In addressing why schools remain resistant to active learning, the 2019 PNAS research correlates that while “students in active classrooms learn more, they feel like they learn less.” So the good news is, kids are learning more than they think! The bad news is, students don’t feel like they are learning more in active classrooms, when, in fact, they are. Such misperceptions are actually dangerous, as this negative correlation leads students to underestimate their progress, and in turn, misguides educators and schools to feel less confident about active classroom initiatives, or over confident with traditional learning initiatives based on inaccurate learning measurements. …


Headrush helps chart and track independent paths of study

By Breanna Morsadi

Article originally published by Community Health Magazine, Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK), Autumn 2020

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Even before the pandemic, rural communities were wrestling with how to expand educational options to students without having access to resources, funding, and additional specialty teachers. Many of these schools struggle to gain additional support due to their geographic location or shrinking student population.

A small rural district in Stafford, KS has figured out a way to do just that — expand opportunities for students without an influx of resources, funding, or additional staffing.

“We figured out a few years ago that by leveraging synchronous and asynchronous learning alongside individualized student paths of study, we could not only expand the options we make available to students, but also get students actually engaged in their learning,” said Mike Cargill, Science Teacher at Stafford. …


How PBL in local communities nurtures more empathetic leaders and creative problem-solvers

By Gaia Ines Fassò

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Learning is an experience. Social. Emotional. Multi-sensory. It took nothing short of a global pandemic to re-centre the educational discourse around this important premise.

But what kind of experiences foster effective, lasting learning? During the lockdowns, I have been interviewing students around the world about their experience of learning remotely. THRIVE goes live today, where you can find voices of students during the lockdown and take part in a regenerative dialogue around the type of learning experiences that help students to thrive at life-long learning.

From Ina’s and Scott’s stories, we learn about the unique combination of project-based and place-based curricula by the THINK Global School (TGS). TGS sits at “the confluence of travel and learning”: students move to a different country every term, completing place-based learning projects along the way. …


By Breanna Morsadi

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Writer Antony Jay poses that “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.” With 850 million students having migrated to remote learning last spring, and in anticipating more COVID related school closures this fall, many schools and districts are asking, “How will this disruption play out?” While this ed transformation continues to evolve and our questions and potential plans for restructuring with it, we have an opportunity to seize the present and focus on one thing — creative thinking. Creative thinking is what allows us to think forward; it gives us the foresite to anticipate unexpected disruptions and the flexibility to question our own biases and assumptions. Most importantly, with millions of students who’ve just had their world rocked, academics shifted, assessments postponed, sports eliminated, schedules changed, and social worlds transposed, one question we should be asking is: What inspires creativity for students in agile environments?


Empower your Learning Community

By Breanna Morsadi and Chloë Fraser

Cultivating a learner-centric environment isn’t always easy. With COVID lingering and back-to-school plans in full swing, are we taking the time to bring our learning communities together? By creating opportunities for school-wide challenges, collaboration, and co-design, we can unite our learning communities, fuel intrinsic motivation, and empower collective creativity. So, educators and students, if you’re tired of traditional lessons, looking to make a difference in your community, or simply want more relevance in what and how you learn, we’ve got you covered. …


dis-PLACEd Guide to Fall Planning

By Breanna Morsadi

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With an unprecedented displacement in education, there are many conversations — formal and informal — contemplating what to do next. One of those conversations happened as a group of educationalists gathered to discuss plans for fall and beyond by asking, “How will we co-create new places of learning?” This dis-PLACEd challenge, hosted by Project ARC co-founders, Dayna Laur and Tim Kubik, and guided by Edcamp Foundation Co-Founder, Mike Ritzius, resulted in an idea share that focused on the opportunities that lie within this ed disruption. After sharing powerful lessons learned from the first half of 2020, this network of educators and community members has some thoughts on what shape leadership might take to ensure these spaces meet the needs of all learners for the future of education. …


An agile LMS for the agile mind

By Breanna Morsadi

This is part 2 of a multi-part series we’re writing on agile learning. For more on this topic, you can also check out part 1: From the Predetermined Mind to the Agile Mindset.

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The first half of 2020 has presented us many challenges, but also opportunities to completely redefine how we educate our students. Education needs to be more agile as our current climate is challenging the status quo. Agile learning is more than just a framework; it is a mindset that celebrates iteration, design and process. …


High Marq Reflects on What Has Worked During COVID-19 Closures

By Breanna Morsadi

We are only halfway through 2020, yet the past few months have reinforced the need for a fundamental shift in how we educate. We’ve experienced a global pandemic and civil rights movement like no other, both illuminating the consequences of flawed systems and structures in desperate need of reform, including education. Once classes resume in the fall, the temptation to carry on with ed as usual will be stronger than ever. We are creatures of habit, after all. But unpredictable times demand we are more agile in our approach to teaching and learning. …


A PBL Passion Project at DREAM Technical Academy

By Breanna Morsadi

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DREAM Technical Academy students sitting in a circle and presenting their questions

We all know the power of a question. Students, when challenging their parents, educators, or any authority for that matter, love asking bold questions, questions that often lead to other questions, questions that we definitely do not have all the answers to and that are more than worthy of further inquiry. This is why the Question of the Week (QOTW) project satisfies students’ perpetual curiosities and provides a framework for the bored, remote learner to fuel inspiration for learner-centered communities.

The environment of schooling might be changing due to closures, but at DREAM Technical Academies, what it means to learn is not. At DREAM, students’ interest drive their learning, which leads to high levels of ownership, engagement and hope. …

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HEADRUSH

We facilitate project-based learning from START to FINISH. Join our community as we enhance dialogue to support deeper learning.

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