When We Start with Kids: Personalizing Learning with EDIFY
Guest post by: Meghan Daniel, Senior Education Consultant for Kickstand, LLC
Christian Schools International was recently introduced to the folks at Kickstand, LLC and their latest individualized learning product, EDIFY. Take a moment to explore their website to see how EDIFY is being used by students and teachers. Dan Hoekstra, a science teacher from Grand Rapids Christian High School (a CSI member school in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is currently piloting the program in his classroom. He will be sharing his experiences in a webinar hosted by Kickstand, LLC on April 13, 2015. Register here to attend.
I will never forget the day my AP Biology teacher wheeled a TV into our classroom and with sheer excitement told us we’d be learning about DNA in a new way. He stepped aside to reveal a brand new piece of technology: the laser disc player! Laugh. I did too. However, as Mr. Demmink carefully pulled the gigantic gold disc out of the sleeve and went into his introduction of the topic and how our learning could be changed that day with this new high definition tool, the laughing subsided. It was absolutely impossible not to jump on the excitement bandwagon. It was 1999 and we were being exposed to cutting-edge technology to help improve our learning. The entire class was fired up. Bring on the laser disc!
As we know, technology is always changing…and the laser disc is very much a thing of the past. Thus, the educator’s role as “filters of the fountain” becomes even more important as we navigate through the waters of what will impact our students most effectively. So where do we begin?
What if we start with what we know? Kids. In his book Visible Learning for Teachers (2012), John Hattie explains through his research that relationships between the teacher and student are one of the leading impacts on achievement. Coupled with setting high expectations, providing frequent and focused feedback, and opportunities to gather formative data, we have the capability to truly and deeply impact the way students learn and grow.
The next area of focus leads us on a quest for a tool that can be the vehicle for these influences on student achievement. Kent ISD and Kickstand, LLC have partnered to focus their energy and accomplish this task. Through their efforts, a tool unlike any other has evolved: EDIFY. EDIFY is not just a learning management system; it’s a “learning ecosystem,” as Dr. Bill Smith, its visionary, often says. When used in (or out of!) the classroom, teachers implementing EDIFY into their instruction have the ability to connect with students on a completely new level. Between videos that teachers can create on the spot, customized material for students, resources that are automatically generated for students based on formative assessment performance, and data that is tied to standards, identifying the needs of students suddenly becomes efficient, manageable, and authentic.
Imagine designing, in a matter of minutes, a lesson in which you are able to engage and connect with your students. Imagine knowing exactly what needs to happen next in your classroom because you have immediate feedback from students as evidence. Imagine a blended environment in which the tool is simple to use, highly engaging for students and teachers, accessible 24/7, and helps to solve the real-world problems of your discipline. Imagine what it’s like not to imagine these things…because now, you no longer have to.
The laser disc has arrived. Only this time, this transformative new tool isn’t going anywhere.
If you are interested in learning more about how EDIFY can enhance and transform the teaching and learning in your school, please contact: