Open Learning Architecture: Curricular Resilience for a VUCA World
Check out Catherine’s latest article, entitled Open Learning Architecture: Curricular Resilience for a VUCA World, on p.19 of School Rubric’s InterACT Magazine, available only online. In the article, Catherine shares our decades-long journey toward more resilient instruction & assessment for students age 13-20 in a VUCA world—one that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. We have never been more confident in our 10 major Design Shifts than during the global pandemic. Design decisions that embed SEL into the mechanics of a 4-year academic system, use disciplinary time differently, and finally say “No More One-and-Done,” are among several maneuvers that support teachers and learners even when environments change drastically.
Download the 10 Design Shifts infographic here and visit The School Rubric website here. School Rubric brings educators’ stories from around the world to thousands of like-minded educators with their magazine, podcasts, videos, and panel discussions. Become a part of their growing community!
“We call it Open Learning Architecture, where: open refers to a more fluid, dynamic expectation for all facets of curriculum; learning is centered as the ‘why’ of the classroom; and architecture provides the systems and structures that confer stability in a range of conditions. I’m happy to report that turning [VUCA] on its head—in the pursuit of vision, understanding, courage and adaptability (George, 2017)—has allowed us to achieve a high level of academic resilience.”
Learn how Integrated Science uses Open Learning Architecture to replace outdated, inequitable, single-year courses with a multi-year, PBL, competency-based high school science program. Join the cadre of resilient schools for 2021-22!
Spectrum Thinking: The Great Equalizer for Resilient Organizations
Horizons Magazine, the publication of The Institute for Outdoor Learning in the UK, invited EduChange President Catherine Saldutti to write about some of the strategies we use at EduChange to ensure our organization is ready for changing social and economic environments. Resonant with The Universal Design for Learning (UDL), spectrum thinking invites learning leaders of all stripes to “consider a range of times, places and purposes that enable us to learn more about, and better serve, our program participants,” Catherine writes. Resilience happens by design, not luck.
“Spectrum thinking works best when we consider a certain participant profile with the goal of building an experience for that individual or small group. It may seem strange to examine such a small segment. Not only does this approach keep the team focused, it allows for deeper consideration of the barriers, needs, and goals that encourage or prevent given participants from enjoying your offerings. When we consider several spectra simultaneously, we can use them as a sound engineer might, setting the dials to create the kind of resonance desired when all elements work in concert.”
Both Integrated Science and Concept Construxions were designed with a spectrum of teachers, learners, school settings, cultures and economic contexts in mind. Probably why we are celebrating our 21st anniversary in February 2021!
Webinars: How We Redesigned Academic Systems with Open Learning Architecture
There are many NGOs, pundits, influencers, and policymakers creating reports, frameworks, standards and blueprints about where education should be headed. That is all well and good, but how can they make these lists of specs and features if they have never designed a comprehensive system themselves? If your school is serious about equity, rigor, reliability & research-based models, we invite you to see what we have designed, iterated, tested and deployed alongside thousands of students and educators.
On September 10 and 30, President & Founder Catherine Saldutti presented 30-minute webinars that highlight 10 major design shifts we made to overhaul high school academics. Yes, our Integrated Science Program is a comprehensive, ready-to-go curriculum. But really, it is a demonstration of the best available research from the Sciences of Learning & Development (SoLD) as well as desirable teaching & assessment practices that many schools are struggling to execute—because they are difficult to design well!!
You can access each of the webinars at the following links:
- And this is Part II
The next time you invite a curriculum consultant or a design expert to speak to your faculty, maybe you should first ask them what they, personally, have designed for others to use successfully…? If they answer with templates, a set of rubrics, or a couple of project designs…well…think about that! The problem is that unless everything works together, systemically, it is unfair to teachers to hand them a few components, like rubrics, and say, “Use these to design your curriculum.” Design doesn’t work that way.
2020 Science Teacher Fellowship Launches
School closures and remote learning have accelerated schools toward change, more rapidly & chaotically than many would like. But many educators have had the chance to observe the rampant inequities & dysfunction of our conventional academic systems more closely. Many educators know they can’t go back to the way it was. So what now?
We’re thrilled to invite secondary science teachers to join a new, free 2020 Science Teacher Fellowship that transitions schools to our Integrated Science Program, one cohort of students at a time. Science teachers who currently teach 7th-10th grades are eligible. We have lots of supports planned for “right now” as teachers contend with remote learning. Then we’ll onboard teachers and students to the Integrated Science Program for 2021-22. Please see the information below for details!
Who is ready to step into a new comfort zone, one built for equity and based on the science of learning & development?
UNESCO Futures of Education Report Calls for Integrated Science
EduChange is a friend of UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative. They have asked us to share their report via our networks, entitled “Education in a Post-COVID World: Nine Ideas for Public Action.” The entire report may be downloaded here.
Our work fits squarely within “Idea 7: Scientific literacy within a curriculum based on a strong purpose” meaning that we need to stop making science class a fact-and-formula memorization class and start getting students to embrace actual problems that face global and local contexts, and affect all of us personally. Within Idea 7 the international panel states:
“Curricula should be increasingly integrated and based on themes and problems that allows us to learn to live in peace with our common humanity and our common planet.”
UNESCO has a long history of supporting the integrated science approach, and even commissioned an international team of experts in the 1970’s to try to develop one for secondary students. They abandoned the effort because it was quite difficult, and required more time than they had allotted (yes, we know the feeling!). And guess what? Integrated, multi-year, coherent, competency-based learning progressions are the most EQUITABLE. Are you part of a school serving students ages 13-up, that is truly interested in leaving behind inequitable, outdated academic structures that are not grounded in the current neuroscience of learning?
Serving 250+ Teachers with Synchronous Support During COVID-19 Closures
School closures have disrupted teachers and students around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is unsettling for everyone, but particularly so for those tasked with dealing with it directly, like health care workers, grocers, and teachers. EduChange stepped up in early March to offer more than 85 synchronous webinars with over 250 teachers who were transitioning to various online teaching & learning models. We adapted the following data science mini-projects for this new reality, and shared them with teachers free of charge through April 30:
- Sunscreen Data & Consumer Power
- Climate Change in 3 Phases (Solid, Liquid & Gas)
- Visualizing the Global Cancer Burden with the Cancer Today Database
- Microbiome Citizen Science: Bellybutton Biodiversity
Miss the webinars? No worries! If your school is interested in gaining this free support now or over the summer, please contact us at email@example.com and we’re happy to accommodate!
Open Education Global Conference in Milan
Catherine was selected to present an Action Lab and a World Cafe session at the OE Global Conference 2019 in Milan, Italy in November. Her talk was entitled The Future is Here: Powering Lifelong Learning Architecture & Competency-based Education with Sustainable OER.
The Open Education Global Conference is where the world meets to discuss how opening education helps us achieve universal access, equity, innovation and opportunity in education. The OE Global conference is the most internationally diverse conference devoted exclusively to open education, attracting researchers, practitioners, policy makers, educators and students from more than 35 countries to discuss and explore how Open Education advances educational practices around the world.
Nearly 20 years ago we began to question, dismantle, and then re-engineer multiple systems that better align with the modern flow of information, the neuroscience of learning, and the need for a global citizenry of lifelong learners. Catherine’s Action Lab explored what we mean by “open”:
- Open content organization by breaking down disciplinary silos to create a interdisciplinary STE(A)M program that replaces formal science class
- Openly connect the personal, local and global by using real-world issues & problems to drive content organization, including the incorporation of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while still meeting government and institutional course requirements
- Open the roles of publisher, teachers & students, making them more collaborative and directly ensconced in the Information Age through a Sustainable OER model. We evolve ~15% of content annually and invite students to write & render ~30% of their ‘digital science textbook’
- Open learning architecture by using a multi-year progression rather than single-year courses. Students build layers of ‘conceptual threads’ across multiple contexts explicitly and in a personalized manner. This mimics brain activity during adolescence, a developmental period of high neural connectivity
- Open student assessment by linking individual performance tasks to common competencies, and replace the task “grade” with individual competency ratings that map to personalized learning profiles over time (and also remove midterms and final exams in the process!)
- Discard proprietary platforms in favor of those used commonly in schools (Google Classroom, Microsoft Education), which maintain long-term, truly inclusive, open access to evolving productivity integrations, creativity add-ons, and assistive technology tools. Schools can pilot emerging technologies without dismantling the structures of the learning progressions.
- Open students to a wide array of genres in authentic STEM, far beyond the digital textbook. We build on disciplinary literacy research to apprentice students.
5th China Education Innovation Exposition
EduChange President & Founder Catherine Saldutti was an invited presenter at The 5th China Education Innovation Expo, joining Richard Culatta, CEO of ISTE, and other USA education companies at a half-day session hosted by U.S. Commercial Services in China. Catherine spoke to the audience of the 5th China Education Innovation Expo about the theme “Empowering Education.” In her presentation, entitled Beyond the Platform: Learning Systems Design is the New EdTech, she discussed the most essential technology needed in education today.
Check out our new web page for Chinese visitors: https://educhange.com/china
Under the guidance of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, the Central Committee of the Jiu San Society, and the China Association for Science and Technology, the 5th China Education Innovation Exposition, jointly hosted by Beijing Normal University and China Economic Reform Research Foundation, was held at Zhuhai International Convention and Exhibition Center on November 20-23, 2019. There were approximately 20,000 attendees from 28 countries and further reach to over 1 million people through live broadcast online.
2019 CLOSE IT Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Catherine Saldutti joined Amy Freedman, Senior Trade Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Services in the U.S. Department of Commerce to present at the 2019 CLOSE IT Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The leading conference gathers thought leaders and practitioners from education, technology, policy, HR, and foundations. The focus is the bridge from education to workplace, from school to community, from young to adult learners. Catherine and Amy shared how US Commercial Services provides tools to EdTech companies to enter global markets, which are very helpful guides in new territories. EduChange has experience with these offerings as a partner to US Commercial Services. Often, a long-term strategic process is needed for global market entry, particularly in education, where policies vary from country to country and cultural norms vary regionally. EduChange is proud to have worked with schools in Bahamas, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Malaysia. We are beginning to collaborate with organizations in China as well. The 2019 CLOSE IT Conference was a truly interdisciplinary convention!
HEP 2019 with Partners of the Americas
In early October, EduChange President Catherine Saldutti ventured to the land of sustainability — Costa Rica–to speak about incorporating all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals into our Integrated Science Program for Ages 13-20. The HEP 2019 conference with Partners of the Americas convened educators and development professionals from the USA and Latin America, with a goal of establishing partnerships the empower the next generation of international education initiatives. The SDGs provide a wonderful framework for interdisciplinary approaches to global problem-solving through humanitarian approaches. Students can learn “the why” of STEM through the lens of the Global Goals. Catherine gave presentations: Teaching All 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Through STEM Education and Adult Education for the SDGs: Reaching Community Leaders Taking Action. They were well-attended and prompted fruitful discussions. EduChange looks forward to additional partnerships in the LATAM region–thank you HEP 2019!
EduChange President Keynotes 2019 Shanghai STEM education Conference
EduChange President Catherine Saldutti was an invited Keynote speaker at the 2019 Shanghai STEM Education Conference. This is the 15th year for the conference, which aims to promote communication for science and technology educators. Teachers presented papers, received awards, participated in thematic panels, and enjoyed keynotes and a wildly popular public Expo for this three-day event. The conference supports STEM teachers in China according to “China’s educational Modernization 2035” issued by the State Council in February 2019. Catherine is hosted by the Shanghai Association for Science & Technology, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, and the China Association of Children’s Science Instructors. The event was held at the Shanghai Science Hall from August 23-25.
#UDLPower at CAST’s 5th Annual UDL Symposium
EduChange has been fueled by the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) since 2008 when the first guidelines were released. In early August we felt the power–#UDLPower, that is! The poster sesson, Using a Sustinable Open Education Resources (SOER) Model to Build Recognition Networks, highlighted UDL’s Perception, Language & Symbols, and Comprehension to cognitive and educational research. It’s time to expand our implementation to open education resources (OER). OER only gets its power when used as part of a sound learning model, is a powerful a vehicle for student personalization, on-the-job professional development, and the development of multiple literacies now dominating our Information Age.
And the interactive session, No More One-and-Done: Re-engineering Secondary Assessment to Cue Lifelong Learning, pushed participants to leave behind a world of curriculum design with serial units or projects that exist individually and without real curricular connection. Either intentionally or inadvertently, students experience a one-and-done approach to content learning, with a single project providing a too-short timeframe for mastery (no matter how many redos are offered!). Further, the single-year-single-course system creates undue anxiety. By decoupling mastery assessment from single units/projects and opening up curriculum to multi-year mastery timeframes through contextualized, authentic content, the tenets of UDL shine through! EduChange tapped #UDLPower to re-engineer secondary curricular & assessment systems.
Please vote for our SXSW EDU session by August 23!
Hey folks~If you are so inclined, we’d love a vote for our SXSW EDU session: Designing Academic Systems for Lifelong Learning
Current academic structures do not foster lifelong learning dispositions. For the last 19 years and through 115+ iterative design cycles, we’ve broken with past precedent to build 8 interacting systems—content, instruction, assessment, Sustainable OER, literacy, hands-on laboratory work, digital technologies, and PD—that re-engineer formal science class to support natural neural development for learners aged 13-20. This hands-on workshop explores the rule-breaking designs of all 8 systems.
There’s a video here: https://vimeo.com/349251349
- Go to https://id.sxsw.com/sign_in
- Click “Create account” for Panel Picker. The specific conference is SXSW EDU. You are not registering for the conference.
- Then go to the link for our session. https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/99546
4 Presentations at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia
Phew! ISTE 2019 came and went like a whirlwind. With four presentations, it was quite busy. Many thanks to the ISTE STEM PLN, Joseph & Julianne Kleinmann, and all of the wonderful participants who made the conference memorable and productive. Here is a recap:
- STEM Playground Session: Free, Authentic, Digital, Under-the-Radar STEM Resources for Secondary Classrooms
- BYOD: Sustainable Open Education Resources: The Way Forward for Digital Curriculum Delivery
- ISTE STEM Panel: Serving the Underserved Through STEM – Experts Share Successes
- Poster Session – Table 7: Grades 8-12: Shifting From Siloed Science to Globally Relevant Integrated STEAM
Addressing Equity and Access to Literacy Head-on
Catherine Saldutti led two workshops at The International Literacy Association’s ILA Intensive: Nevada on June 21-22 in Las Vegas.
- Closing Gaps, Providing Access, Equipping Teachers: The Administrator’s Role in Increasing Equity in STEM
- Want to Increase Equity and Representation in STEM? Give Students Functional Access to 21st-Century STEM Literacies
For over a decade, only 20% of U.S. high school graduates have performed proficiently in science, with students of color ranking in the single digits. These statistics will persist until all learners are provided with functional access to 21st century STEM literacies, including tangible access to high-quality, authentic STEM content; critical literacy strategies that permit cognitive access and eventual comprehension; and access to culturally diverse narratives that invite personal, local, and global STEM connections.
For over 19 years we have been committed to intertwining content knowledge and literacy education in secondary content areas. We explicitly curate diverse text sets; use global contexts that deliver narratives from diverse cultures and scenarios; prompt students to make personal, local and global connections; embed authentic STEM reading and writing into DAILY lessons; and engage students in peer review. If we are serious about STEM, we need to get serious about disciplinary literacy, especially in high school science.
EduChange & JEI Offer Free PD Seminars to Support Student Research Projects
EduChange President Catherine Saldutti and Dr. Sarah Fankhauser of Oxford College of Emory University are hosting free, live, virtual PD for middle school and high school teachers anywhere in the world! Our exciting collaboration with the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), founded by Dr. Fankhauser, supports secondary students by first preparing them with PBL, experimental and engineering design practices. This PD offers tools to guide students in the early stages of their designs, and students can submit their completed designs to JEI for feedback to ensure they are on the right track before the experiment or prototyping begins. Of course, this supports a higher-quality end product: the submitted manuscript. Designed specifically for middle and high school, students get the full experience of scientific peer review, and if accepted to the journal they get their paper published online! Papers may be submitted at any time of year. ALL aspects of S-T-E-M welcomed.
Attend this session to meet Catherine and Sarah and receive resources to get students started! Perfect for research courses, STEM projects and capstones.
Get an overview of the Science and Engineering Practices students engage throughout the process
NSTA 2019: Teaming up with JEI to Publish Middle & High School Student Research
EduChange President Catherine Saldutti and Dr. Sarah Fankhauser of Oxford College of Emory University teamed up at the 67th Annual NSTA National Conference on Science Education, St. Louis, MO. JEI offers middle and high school students an opportunity to submit papers to a free, online, peer-reviewed journal managed by Ph.D. students at the Harvard Medical School, to include Ph.D.’s in many disciplines from around the world. This is a perfect complement to The Integrated Science Program that builds STEM Practices + Literacies through PBL over multiple years to prepare students for success. Students get the full peer review experience, and if accepted to the journal they get their paper published online! Students can publish papers in any discipline of STEM–science, technology, engineering or mathematics! Papers may be submitted at any time of year.
The session was so well-received that EduChange & JEI are running FREE professional development webinars this summer so teachers can plan for the upcoming year and get students started early Schedule NOW!
Sustainable Open Education Resources (SOER) Webinars with ISTE STEM
We celebrated #OpenEducationWeek, did you? We joined with the ISTE STEM Professional Learning Network to present some highlights of our Sustainable Open Education Resources strategy that we’ve been building since 2001! We began a journey to completely re-engineer high school instruction and assessment 19 years ago, and OER has been a key element of our content system since then. If you are new to OER, an experienced curator, or an ed. leader seeking a big-picture strategy, we guarantee you’ll hear some things others aren’t discussing!
Here are some ways we’ve optimized the use of OER (some are quite different from what others discuss!):
- ensconce learners in the information age in real time
- support the neuroplasticity of teen brains
- integrate multiple types of edtech effectively
- provide a test site for new edtech
- foster multiple realms of literacy
- serve as on-the-job PD
- participate in the circular economy
Across the STEMverse Careers Event in Los Angeles
EduChange President Catherine Saldutti co-led a roundtable discussion on science education at the Across the STEMverse Event. Catherine joined Chapter members Sandy Marshall, Executive Director of Project Scientist, and Dr. Allison Jane Shultz, Asst. Curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Chapter of Graduate Women in Science ran its 2nd Annual Industry Career Conference at the University of Southern California on Saturday, February 9th and Catherine met with graduate students and early-career researchers interested in learning more about pursuing a career in science education.
“I was really impressed by the dedication, drive and contributions to STEM demonstrated by this diverse and brilliant group. It was very inspiring, and I was so happy to see so many interested in science education. They acknowledged former science teachers as important people in their lives and felt strongly about the need to provide in-school and out-of-school opportunities for students,” Catherine reported after the event.
Graduate Women in Science has a mission to build a global community that inspires, recognizes, and empowers women in science. Their first chapter was established at Cornell University in 1921, and the organization has grown to reach women not only across the USA, but across the world. This truly represents the STEMverse and EduChange was happy to participate!
Taking Action: The SDG Action Awards
By 2015, many of the issues named in the SDGs already were driving our interdisciplinary learning model, so explicitly embedding the SDGs was an obvious next step. To strategically embed 17 SDGs in formal secondary science curricula, we convened a virtual, international group of 28 instructional designers, teacher-testers, and STEM practitioners. We worked as we have since 2000, using iterative cycles marked by collaborative design, testing, gathering stakeholder feedback and making revisions. By 2018 all 17 SDGs had been transformed into authentic, diverse studies that lend humanity, relevance and urgency to STEM learning. Now we invite students to connect multiple SDGs to global contexts in 35 learning modules. Over time, students internalize how interdependent systems connect humanity and the natural world.
In 2019 we participate in The SDG Action Awards, joining over 2000 grassroots organizations like ourselves around the world who are taking action to reach the Global Goals by 2030.
View the video and enjoy our Flickr Album to celebrate the work! Schools in the 2019-2020 cohort will delve into the 17 SDGs, making connections and sparking ideas for their own local action projects.
Our multi-year program has been implemented in five countries with nearly 100 teachers and thousands of students. In September 2018, we deployed a month-long #Act4SDGs Twitter campaign to share threads of resources with ~150,000 educators who #TeachSDGs. Our next steps include mobilizing student-led STEM projects that contribute directly to the Goals, and identifying local educational experts, NGOs, and established organizations around the world to reach more classrooms. Without this level of commitment to ongoing, formal secondary education inside schools, transformation will not be possible.
Over 150K hits & downloads on our #ACT4SDGs Twitter Feed in September
We partnered with ACT4SDGs in September to share ways that we embed all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our STEM program for Ages 13-up. We populated the @EduChange Twitter feed with “threads” focused on STEM-rich content for each goal. We shared some favorite, free hand-curated resources for educators and students. It is our firm belief that high school-age students can contribute *right now* to 2030 Goals if we equip them with robust skills and knowledge contextualized in the complexities of the real world. And guess what? Solutions to all of these goals require an interdisciplinary approach! More innovations occur at the intersection of disciplines and perspectives than through deep specialization in a single silo. New to the Global Goals? Check this website for explanation and direction. Thank you to all of our experts, educators and global citizens who retweeted these teaching resources to their networks!
Launching Call for Our 2019-2020 Cohort
Happy September! We invite curious educators, gov’t leaders, parents & students to learn how we’ve redesigned high school science for the Information Age. We’re launching the call for 2019-2020 cohort participation for Grades 8 (Age 13)-up. Get timeline and other important info here:
Southern hemisphere schools have a different timeline, please inquire)
You need to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org in order to review materials.
Simple List of FAQ’s: All answers are YES!
- Does Integrated Science cover all the same HS content our students need to learn?
- Does it incorporate hands-on, minds-on and laboratory work?
- Is it just as rigorous as single-subject high school science?
- Can students really personalize a high school science text?
- Does the program prepare students for AP, IB/DP and national exam-based courses later in high school?
- Can teachers with single-subject certifications implement successfully?
- Will they be compliant?
- Can personal, local & global relevance drive instruction while also meeting standards?
- Do you really include all components of STE(A)M?
- Can we still use our favorite classroom apps?
- Can you begin the program after Grade 8 or 9?
- Is there ongoing support for teachers?
- Does it use PBL practices?
- Can our special school project fit into the program?
- Is it designed using a 3D instructional model? (Um….no…we use 4D architecture, because the learning evolves over time!)
EduChange Selected for U.S. Dept. of Commerce EdTech Trade Mission to Colombia & Peru
In early June, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Partners of the Americas will host an EdTech Trade Mission in Colombia and Peru. EduChange has been selected to participate, and will share our ground-breaking work in secondary STE(A)M integration to ministry officials, public and private schools, and education companies serving the region. The goal of the mission is to “join forces with other world leaders in education technology solutions who are preparing citizens for the 21st century workforce.” President Catherine Saldutti will represent EduChange on the mission. She states:
“My vision for this program has always been to emulate the way STEM is actually practiced–by an interdisciplinary, collaborative, international body of extremely dedicated people who are humbled and fascinated by nature, who champion the stewardship of our planet, who develop technologies responsibly, and who believe that a strong personal commitment to local communities is incredibly important for both perspective and progress. I am very pleased that EduChange has been selected to share this vision with educational leadership in Colombia and Peru, and I look forward to learning from them.”
See just a few of the many international experts we consult as part of our own peer review process. Educational leaders in Colombia and Peru may contact us at email@example.com to schedule a meeting with Catherine.
EduChange Named in EdTech1000 Companies Transforming Education
Hooray!! EduChange has been named as one of the EdTech1000 Companies Transforming Education in the 2017-2018 State of EdTech Report President Catherine Saldutti was interviewed by EdTech Digest, the publishers of the report, and this is her statement:
“Instructional design is one of the most complex, dynamic and underrated activities in the design space, and perhaps the most critically needed technology in education today. After leveraging design science and systems thinking for 17 years, EduChange believes that Sustainable Open Educational Resources (SOER) will greatly improve the quality of digital curricula. Learning-centered, comprehensive, coherent instruction will never be accomplished by teacher assembly of disparate digital artifacts, including lessons. SOER makes collaborative roles explicit, permits ongoing, systematic revision, and supports reasonable teacher development through incremental changes over time. EduChange delivers a secondary STEM program driven by authentic global contexts, ensconced in an evolving content ecosystem, and mapped to our current understanding of how people actually learn. We integrate and track 485+ teaching and learning variables.”
Many thanks to Victor Rivero and the entire team at EdTech Digest for publishing this important special report. We are inspired by all of the EdTech leaders and companies transforming education at present. Be sure to check out Trend 5: The New (Digital) Content–we’re right on top of that one!
Cherry Petenbrink Debuts Concept Construxions at ISSE 2018
EduChange is proud to partner with hair artist extraordinaire Cherry Petenbrink (see partners), and we debuted the Concept Construxions system at the International Salon and Spa Expo in January 2018 (ISSE 2018). Cherry is an expert hair educator, designer and trend-setter, and has designed for many Los Angeles celebrities on set: Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Banks, Mindy Kaling, and Nicole Kidman to name a few! As a hair educator and creative ambassador for international brands like Joico and Olivia Garden, Cherry travels globally to school stylists on the creation of on-trend looks. EduChange is boosting the learning with the Concept Construxions system, our patented tool for social, collaborative learning. Hair color is art, chemistry, biology, physics, math and tech all wrapped into one, and there is a lot of technical language and concepts to internalize. This is STEAM for real! Cherry’s sessions Color Correction, Direction, Perfection and Enlighten Me! Blonding & Bronding began classroom style, where participants interacted with a custom Construxion Site and Concept Cards that describe applications of various formulations and techniques that Cherry uses for efficient problem-solving. Through drawing, dialogue and demonstration, Cherry uses these learning tools to prepare participants for their hands-on component–complete with a doll head to color and style! Watch this inspiring video clip of Cherry that demonstrates her talent and passion for hair artistry!
EduChange Rings in the New Year at the Clute Conference in Disneyworld
What better way to ring in the New Year than at the Clute Conference Disneyworld? The Clute Insititue was founded in 1985 for the purpose of promoting and disseminating the latest international scientific research in various academic fields. It is a place for new research initiatives to gain early vetting and feedback, and we were grateful for the opportunity to chair fascinating sessions and present twice. EduChange and The Journal of Emerging Investigators teamed up to present a vision for our new collaboration that launches in 2018: Building a Robust Secondary STEM Continuum. Are you wondering how to build rigorous and content-rich communications competencies into MS and HS? Click here for the presentation. It is interesting to note what JEI scientific reviewers found as student weaknesses in composing and writing scientific papers. Since 2000, EduChange has been supporting schools to implement a completely integrated STEM program that emphasizes laboratory work, critical thinking, collaboration, and reading, writing, speaking & listening for STEM. Since 2012, The Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI) has provided a complete peer review process and online publication opportunity for secondary STEM students who have completed an independent research project. EduChange and JEI are partnering to build a complete instructional and peer review continuum for teachers and students, with a possibility of submission of original research to JEI’s online journal for secondary students! Our full paper will be available on the Clute Conference Proceedings, paper #367.
Then Clute Conference Disneyworld participants took a deep dive into the curricular architecture under-girding the EduChange program. Catherine revealed our multivariate 3D architecture that evolves (so, 4D!) at a hands-on workshop entitled Vision Matters: Sustaining an 18-year STEM EdTech Journey. She chronicled the design decisions made over our 18-year journey–many that top foundations and funding organizations found puzzling or even absurd–that have proven correct and have stood the test of time. Some maneuvers turned instruction on its head, and some were gentle tweaks, but the comprehensive design now includes 4 different implementation models and up to 4 full years of curriculum. Click here for the presentation, and also be sure to see our Vimeo channel screencasts for those really interested in the nuts and bolts of the system.
SoundCloud Tracks Top 600 Plays for First Semester, 2017-18 School Year
We started providing natural voice narration for each and every section of our Integrated Science readings. For the first semester of the 2017-18 school year, we’ve topped 600 student plays on our SoundCloud tracks! Our narration is not electronic, but a real human voice that gives appropriate cadence, inflection and emphasis to the text. This supports learners who prefer to listen and read along at the same time. 21st-century reading skills are practiced daily in our program and reading online is an extremely active process. Reading strategies are embedded, and align with the 8 top strategic reading behaviors. Over the course of a single lab text, students may be required to:
- write to learn–respond in writing to prompts that monitor comprehension as they read
- interpret all types of STEAM visual texts–maps, diagrams, animations, 3D computer models, photographs, illustrations, infographics, tables, graphic organizers, databases, etc.
- evaluate the benefits and limitations of these visual texts
- render their own visual texts–diagrams, graphic organizers or insert their own photos
- view and listen to videos from news outlets, NGOs, and scientists themselves
- complete mathematical calculations and expressions
- identify bias and explore its impact on the writing and the reader
- revise their initial responses to deepen understanding and formalize their writing (i.e., as part of a performance task)
- re-read with a different purpose, which could involve making personal and local connections to the highlighted global issue, highlighting strategically
- engage in reciprocal teaching and peer conversation in class, to clarify and deepen understanding of a short segment of text.
If students have a history of reading-related struggles, we work directly with special educators at the school to build a modified strategy based on personal needs. Did you know there are authentic STEM reading strategies that can support dyslexic, reading-delayed and English language learners? The entire program is built with the Universal Design for Learning premises, and we are thrilled that our SoundCloud natural language tracks are taking flight!
Catherine Saldutti published in Learning Spaces Magazine
Learning Spaces Magazine published EduChange President Catherine Saldutti in a Feature Article in Volume 3.4, released in October 2017 in print and digital editions. It was released at the International Annual Conference, LearningScapes 2017, of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) in Atlanta, GA. In her article, entitled The Design Process Doesn’t Work, Catherine calls for an updated and expanded process for modern learning space redesign. Traditionally, school facilities upgrades involved a few school administrators and design professionals who scoped the project and crafted a resulting RFP that went out to bid. But schools designing modern learning spaces have far more complex considerations, and the process should become more complex as well. “The new wave of school construction has introduced at least two new variables to the process: 1) a new set of voices who influence project scoping at an early stage, and 2) an aspirational vision for modernized teaching and learning that educational leaders, teachers and students can barely envision,” Catherine writes. Of course, the design process itself is not to blame. Catherine argues, however, that a failure to adjust the design process to accommodate all desired drivers, players and constraints is a recipe for (a very, very expensive) disaster. “A good reason to prolong and complicate the Needs identification stage is to ensure that the main drivers of school redesign privilege the learning needs of teachers and students,” Catherine suggests. “Building modern learning spaces will not automatically change teacher practice or student behaviors.” The article summarizes more than a decade of experience working with schools engaged in modern learning space development projects, and includes several suggestions for moving toward total transformation of spaces, mindsets and behaviors. If your school is engaging pedagogical change management alongside school redesign, this is a must-read. Subscribers to the magazine may access it at http://learningspaces.teachingtimes.com
In Search of Flagship Schools in Australia!
We headed to Sydney, Australia to introduce our Integrated Science Program in July, at The Google for Education Summit at Anzac Park Public School in Cammeray, NSW. EdTechTeam runs this professional development experience for teachers who are interested in: launching Google Classroom with students, learning to navigate Google Apps for Education, and generally joining a community of tech-savvy educators. Australia is transitioning to new curriculum standards, and EduChange knows a lot about helping schools take this opportunity to transition to modern learning. In Session 6, Catherine told the story of our program, how we deliver on the Google platform, why STEAM is a valid approach for rich content coverage (and–ahem–standards coverage), and how EduChange provides Sustainable Open Education Resources (SOER). Get information about our full program options. We are looking for flagship leader schools in Australia for 2018–state, independent, parochial, international, etc. Find out how your school can secure a spot in our limited availability for 2018 international cohorts! Schools ultimately book an informational meeting to learn more.
Open but not Free: Sustainable Open Educational Resources (SOER)
EduChange President Catherine Saldutti presented at EDULearn 17, the 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies hosted in Barcelona, Spain in July 2017. The presentation, entitled Open but not Free: Sustainable Open Educational Resources (SOER) in a Secondary/Polytechnic STEM Curriculum, examines the groundbreaking new model for educational content creation, developed by EduChange. The discussion of OER is gaining speed, but there are few viable business models in the space. The creation of high-quality educational content is expensive, yet teachers also need the ability to modify content for their own purposes. In the area of STEM, the content itself changes. This presentation explores the ways in which our model utilizes Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science and over 485 teaching and learning variables to create a robust SOER program that schools and institutions pay to establish and maintain.
2017 Winners: EduChange International Student Arts Competition
As part of our commitment to STEAM, The Integrated Science Program has a strong focus on visual text interpretation and production. Many skills transferable to STEM global issues can be learned through the Arts: pattern-finding, close observation, perspective identifying components of systems, understanding movement and flow, the tension between space and structure. 83% of students report marked growth in their work with visual texts, which include: diagrams, charts, graphs, animations, videos, photographs, geographic maps, infographics, heat maps, interactives, draw programs, image production/manipulation and data presentation.
EduChange is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 International Student Arts Competition:
- Anqi Chen, Drawings and Illustrations, The International School of Kuala Lumpur
- Yeongseo Lim, Photography, The International School of Kuala Lumpur
These talented winners were able to use their artistic talents to promote understanding, one of the requirements of the competition. Their art and designs are highlighted on our website and will be incorporated into our curriculum materials for the benefit of all students and teachers.
Our goal is to to fill our materials exclusively with student-rendered designs by 2020!! This effort is part of our ongoing work to make classrooms and curricula more student-centered.
Celebrate World Oceans Day with Students
We proudly celebrate World Oceans Day 2017 on June 8! Did you know that 95% of our oceans remain unexplored? Can anyone say exciting career opportunities? Our oceans govern and reflect so much about our planet’s health. It is important to respect and protect–and it is also important to understand–them. Ocean STEM activities are naturally integrated, we’ll show you how to get some rich tech into your classrooms with the activity we share here:
- Collect specimens via NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer & add layers of data to learn about the collection site
- Navigate Google Street Views, ocean style, to see what the XL Catlin Seaview Survey researchers see
- And did anyone say sharks? Yeah? Okay, let’s go!
We kicked off our events in May with a Hangout On Air with EdTechTeam. Many thanks to Monica Martinez at EdTechTeam for getting the word out!
Do Teaching & Learning Outcomes Drive The Design of New School Facilities?
Many schools and learning centers are modernizing their spaces, some to the tune of $30M USD and more. Architectural designs are the new EdTech. But unlike a computer device that can be recycled in a few years, schools must live with new facilities for many moons–and children–to come. How are schools making decisions alongside architects about what is best for their teachers and students? Can schools effectively translate desired learning outcomes to an understanding of space, alongside architects? Or do the architects, who are not learning experts, drive the decisions? The complexity and costs of capital projects are by no means trivial. At the Association for Learning Environments, Northeast Regional Conference in March 2017, EduChange President Catherine Saldutti joined a panel of architects and school leaders to discuss these critical issues. Xenia Cox of Archademia presented a case study of teacher collaboration in Lexington Public Schools (MA). Brian Mills, a co-founder of Big Picture Learning shared design and development of facilities at The Met School in Providence, in response to feedback from the community at large as well as learning needs. Leon Chatelain, AIA, of Bowie Gridley Architects shared international work from school designs in Tanzania, Turkey, and USA. The entire slide presentation may be downloaded below.
The Little Engineer That Could: R&D for Our Bicycle Lab
In 2014 Ada was raring to go and ready to explore the wide world of bicycles! She and her Mom, EduChange team member Jen Sweny, traveled from New Zealand to Canada to get a good look at some interesting bicycle designs with Brent Curry, author of BikeCAD Pro. Ada particularly enjoyed the couch bike model, as pictured. By 2015 we had a month-long PBL lab drafted, replete with student research on urban planning in bike-friendly cities around the world, the physics of bikes with a focus on gear ratios, and time trials with students calculating some basic statistics to learn about competitive event timing. Future teachers have Kristine Varney, an EduChange classroom tester, to thank for working out the kinks with her students and sending us feedback. Then Mark Chesterton took the reins, with experience both as a former Integrated Science teacher and a Youth Development Leader at Bike Newport in RI. Mark tested new protocols, added a bike safety check for all students, and reviewed key diagrams and explanations. 2016 began the expert review process, and Modacity came on board. Chris Bruntlett offered insights on the student research process and to our Bicycle Routes mapping activity. We are excited to release this Level II Quest for Energy Lab in 2017! Ada has pitched a dogsled lab, since apparently this Kiwi is now a skilled rider, but we’re not quite sure how that would scale…
Dr. Suzanne Yoder Leads Pediatric Surgery Mission to Haiti
She already cast her absentee ballot: on Election Day Dr. Suzanne Yoder will be saving lives in Jacmel, Haiti. Dr. Yoder is a full-time pediatric surgeon in the greater Los Angeles Area, but in her “spare time” she volunteers with medical teams in at-risk areas of the world, participates in triathlons for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, surfs, and acts as a scientific reviewer for EduChange curricula! This November, Dr. Yoder will collaborate with clinicians in Haiti to perform surgeries and provide expertise to Haitians who otherwise might not have the opportunity to receive this level of care. Since she planned the mission prior to Hurricane Matthew, Dr. Yoder still suspects that the team “will be carrying out the surgeries that patients have been waiting months to receive.” On October 8 in Venice, CA, EduChange President Catherine Saldutti attended a benefit for the mission held at Burning Torch, a leading fashion brand founded by Designer Karyn Craven. This Polaroid photo of Catherine and Suzanne at the event (Polaroids are so fun!) display some of Craven’s upcycled and sustainable textiles. Thank you to Dr. Yoder for living the values we hope to inspire in our students.
EduChange on Beta Team for Safecast’s Air Quality Monitor
EduChange is proud to build and Beta test Safecast’s new Air Quality environmental monitoring system during Fall 2016! Safecast is a non-profit organization building environmental monitoring devices for citizen scientists and those in the field. These devices connect to a global network that provides free, open data collected by users. The final Air Quality device will be highlighted in our high school STEAM module entitled AIR All Around. Students learn about air quality issues and global standards, gas laws, ozone, extreme sports where oxygen levels are low, and atmospheric chemistry. This module is part of our world-class, OER Integrated Science Program, and Safecast’s mission resonates with our citizen science data collection! The stand-alone AIR module and monitoring device will be ready Spring 2017, or get information about our full program options. EduChange is partnering with KitHub to deliver a radiation case study on Fuskushima: Then and Now, using the now famous bGeigie nano from Safecast. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Take a Deep Dive into our OCEANS Interactive Reader for World Oceans Day!
Happy World Oceans Day! Like you, we are concerned about the health of our global oceans, and we want to help people understand what is happening and why they should care. We recommend this particular text for Grade 10-Adult Learners. There is no better way to understand why an Integrated approach (STEAM) supports learning than to take a deep dive into our open educational resource (OER). Not only do we integrate the science disciplines, we integrate math, the arts, communication, engineering design and technology to address real-world issues with real-time content! We are happy to provide this sample text, one of over 35 integrated texts in our spiraled program, to celebrate World Oceans Day and help make people more aware of this vital and still widely uncharted global resource. Find out more about our program, which is generally run during science class time though it integrates much more than just science. Email us if you’re interested in a chat! There are other activities and a hands-on titration lab that accompany this lab text. All of our materials align with NGSS, ISTE, Common Core for Science & the Technical Subjects, IGCSE Coordinated Sciences, and others.
Colegio del Valle Culiacán goes full STEAM ahead!
We are so thrilled to be collaborating with Colegio del Valle in Culiacán, Mexico and EduChange President Catherine Saldutti kicked it off with a K-12 faculty institute on developing STEAM competencies across the curriculum. Catherine reports, “Colegio del Valle has one of the most impressive professional cultures I have been privileged to witness—everyone is there on time for every session (including administrators, who participate actively the entire institute), ready to work hard, willing to learn and try completely different modes of teaching, helpful to and positive with each other, engaging in high levels of intellectual discourse about both the technical content and the pedagogical implications…Many schools display some of these attributes solidly, but to witness all of them in every member of the faculty–wow. Just wow.” The teachers in the photo are designing antivirals. The institute also addressed 2D-3D visualization and modeling, and citizen science with Smart Phone apps that cover the Monarch butterfly migration to and from Mexico. We put the “A” in STEAM through a comparative analysis of historical paintings, and introduced the EduChange C3 Competency-based Assessment Framework that align with COMPETENCIAS DISCIPLINARES BÀSICAS DEL SISTEMA NACIONAL DE BACHILLERATO. The school will implement our 3-year model of Integrated Science. Full STEAM ahead!
EduChange Gives to Teachers and Students Globally on Giving Tuesday
To celebrate Giving Tuesday, EduChange provided teachers in 99 countries across 6 continents with free climate change teaching materials. (We await the day when teachers and students can do our mathematical modeling tasks with ice core data while actually in Antarctica!) And as we all know, the gift of learning keeps on giving. This year the COP21 talks in Paris coincided with Giving Tuesday. We are proud to empower students around the world with a better understanding of the science, technology, engineering and math concepts and tools that equip society to make more informed decisions about our environment. See our Call to Action, and seize the (Tues)day!
Students Learn About Food and Soil Testing for Radioactivity in Japan
EduChange is proud to support Minna no Data Site, the combined database of a network of independent radioactivity measurement labs that test food and soil samples all over Japan in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima tragedy. They have tested over 11,500 food samples and make all data available to the public via their website and search engine. Hidetake Ishimaru, spokesperson for the project, visited ASIJ students in October 2015 and explained how they can get involved as citizen scientists in the East Japan Soil Measurement Project. See a map of the students’ learning journey through the Environmental Dynamics I unit we customized for them.
Safecast Japan Brings Mission of Open Environmental Radiation Data to ASIJ
EduChange is thrilled to collaborate with Safecast Japan, the amazing all-volunteer data warehousing organization that was born in 2011 after the Fukushima disaster. We helped equip student citizen scientists at ASIJ with Safecast’s state-of-the-art bGeigie Nano, the workhorse geiger counter that Japanese residents have used to collect over 30 million publicly-available data points about the status of radiation post-Fukushima. Joe Moross & Azby Brown, Safecast members (Azby also serves as Director of the Future Design Institute at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Tokyo), spoke to Grade 8 students in September 2015 as they launched Environmental Dynamics I, customized by EduChange to focus on the ongoing Fukushima narrative. We can’t wait to equip students around the globe with Safecast’s air quality data devices–stay tuned and Follow @safecastjapan on Twitter!
School Heads Attend the EduChange EdTech Roundup at AAIE
To help attendees of the 49th Annual AAIE Conference catch the entrepreneurial spirit of the San Francisco Bay Area, EduChange invited 4 EdTech Companies to present their products and services to school heads from around the world. This February 2015 event hosted Curriculet, CodeHS, Trinket, and Brightloop Learning alongside ed. leaders from Mexico, Argentina, Scandanavia, the Congo, Russia and Kuwait. These companies learned what it will mean to truly go global!
Competencies Articulation Article Published in AASSA Newsletter
The January 2015 Newsletter from the Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA) publishes guidelines from EduChange on easy and effective ways to define and then track skills/competencies through a course, across a team of teachers, and through the years. See p. 71 for our article Defining and Tracking Skills for Intentional Curriculum Design.
The Source Features “STEM Curricular Designs for an Information Age”
We are honored to have Catherine’s article, STEM Curricular Designs for an Information Age featured in the launch of AdvancED’s online publication and knowledge resource, The Source. The Fall 2014 theme, “Today’s Learning Paradigm,” highlights cutting-edge ideas about teaching and learning for the 21st century.
EduChange President Unveils Neural Net of Curriculum to School Leaders of Latin America
Catherine Saldutti presented Ramping Up to a World-Class STEM Program at the Secondary Level at the AdvancED Latin America Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in December 2014. This presentation marked the unveiling of the EduChange design thinking that created a “neural net” of nodes and networks as the curricular architecture of our Integrated Science Program.
Catherine Saldutti Presents at 32nd National Conference on Magnet Schools
Catherine Saldutti presented (“Debut: A 2-year Integrated STEM Program for High Schools”) at the 32nd National Conference on Magnet Schools. This successful and inspiring conference took place in Hartford, CT in May 2014.
Graded School Educators Share Integrated Science Experiences
We were thrilled to join our flagship Latin America site Graded School, Sao Paulo hosts of the 2014 AASSA Spring Educators’ Conference March 20-22. In line with the conference theme Redefining Relevance, teacher leaders Trish Beck & Erin Copeland joined Teaching & Learning Director Amaris Obregon, and EduChange President Catherine Saldutti to share their experiences with the Integrated Science I course, launched in August 2013.
“Next Generation Teaching and Learning Tools” Published in Malaysian e-magazine
Read Catherine Saldutti’s recap of her recent presentation in Malaysia. The article Next Generation Teaching & Learning Tools came out in the January 2014 issue of HOTS e-magazine, part of the iThink initiative of the Malaysian Prime Minister.
Ken Simon and Catherine Saldutti Host AAIE Breakfast Talks
Ken Simon and Catherine Saldutti hosted Breakfast Talks at the 2014 AAIE Annual Conference in Boston, MA February 6-8. On Friday morning, school heads learned about Concept Construxions®, our academic language system with hands-on and digital applications. On Saturday morning, school heads engaged in discussion about Integrated Science.
AdvancED Latin American Conference Presentation
Catherine Saldutti presented at the 2013 AdvancED Latin American Conference, December 3-5 in Atlanta, GA. She led a session with invited administrator Amaris Obregon, Teaching & Learning Director of Graded School, Sao Paulo entitled Co-creating e-texts with students: critical reading, writing and thinking at the secondary level.
Catherine Saldutti Keynotes for the Malaysian Ministry of Education
We are excited to announce that Catherine Saldutti was an invited keynote speaker at The National Conference on Creativity & Innovation (SKIK) 2013, hosted by The Ministry of Education, Malaysia. On November 26 she presented Stable Design Principles in a Changing Landscape: Engineering Education Tools that Foster Flexible & Creative Thinking. Sarawak, Malaysia.
EduChange Sponsors 2013 Global Education Conference
EduChange proudly sponsored The Global Education Conference, a completely virtual exchange for educators around the world, from November 18-22, 2013. Catherine’s session entitled Global Competencies for 21st Century High School Science Curriculum: Integrated, Student-centered & Content-rich aired on November 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm EST/USA. The session has been recorded and may be accessed here.
Catherine Saldutti Keynotes at the International Conference on Transnational Collaboration
Thank you to Global Stem States and ScienceHouse Foundation for inviting Catherine Saldutti to participate in exciting international discussions about the future of STEM. EduChange is proudly sponsoring a Malaysian educator’s attendance at this conference. EduChange proudly sponsored a Malaysian educator’s attendance at this conference. Click here for workshop sessions, October 1-3, 2013. Also Catherine gave a keynote talk at theInternational Conference on Transnational Collaboration on October 4, 2013. The conference was the first of its kind and will be held at the lovely UNIMAS, Kota Samarahan in Sarawak, Malaysia.
Graded School Launches Integrated Science I
We’re excited that Graded School, Sao Paulo, Brazil will launch their custom version of our Integrated Science I Program this fall! Teachers are students will conduct more than 20 hands-on laboratories to up the rigor with this inquiry-based program.
EduChange Exhibits at IB Americas Conference
Catherine Saldutti and Ken Simon had a great time at the IB Americas Conference in New Orleans from July 18-21, 2013. They discussed our offerings with IB educators from all over. Check out what is aligned to the NEW MYP Framework: a concept-based approach across the curriculum and a comprehensive, lab-based integrated science program for Years 4-5 of MYP (Grades 9-10). Accompanying professional development for both!
Catherine Saldutti is Invited Presenter at Thinking Schools International Conference
Catherine Saldutti was an invited presenter at the Thinking Schools International conference in the UK, June 10-11, 2013. She worked with UK educators in both new and accredited Thinking Schools to explore how Concept Construxions applies to visual thinking, habits of mind, enquiry teaching and ultimately improved academic performance.