Critical Conversations

About

The Critical Conversation sessions are designed as ‘working group’ sessions. Each session has created breakout groups based on criteria unique to their topic. Each group as defined below, will work through the questions that have been collaboratively determined as key issues facing companies developing and providing solutions to education. Groups will have facilitators and scribes to capture discussions from the group(s), there will be some ‘reporting’ of findings or consensus, and ultimately much of these sessions will be reflected in the SIIA Report that will be developed post conference. [Note: for purposes of these discussions, privacy issues are not being addressed. There is a privacy session and it is understood that it is a consideration in all cases.


Details of each Critical Conversation are below.

Content

Monday, July 25th at 4:30

Content working committee leads included Cathy Zier, Promethean and David Rust, Sandhill Consulting Group LLC

Session Host: Daniel Mayer, CEO, Expert System

Table
Grade Facilitator

Table 1

PreK-5

Cathy Zier, Ed Consultant

Table 1

6-12

Alix Guerrier, LearnZillion

Table 1

HEd

Manish Gupta, uCertify

Table 2

PreK-5

David Rust, Sandhill Consulting Group

Table 2

6-12

Pablo Pittaluga, Promethean

Table 2

HEd

Mark Quintana, Promethean


Premise:  To create a quality learning experience for students, we must build an environment of learning that fosters individual engagement, collaboration, 1-1 and group instruction. Content from multiple sources should be delivered utilizing the most appropriate learning environment and deployment methodology for these learning engagements. With this premise – what needs to be considered in developing and deploying content – taking into consideration the different types of learning environments for the different ages/grades for both US and International needs?

Break-out groups will be defined as PreK-5, 6-12 & Higher Ed

Groups will address the following questions:

1. When eLearning platforms are already in place at customer site;

a.      What are the challenges being placed on the content provider? e.g. device compatibility, feature overlap, instructional delivery workflow, progress/assessment data reporting, standards alignment, etc.

b.      What does the content provider need to do to work within that environment? What has worked and not worked?

c.       Within a multi-vendor integrated ecosystem that is working together, what role does the content provider have for their tech support and professional development?  Essentially who is responsible to the customer for what?

2. In what way does the challenge of OER content differ from those of proprietary content?  e.g., digital rights, access, efficacy, modality, etc.   

3. How can these resources work together to create a coherent learning environment? E.g., rostering, reporting, etc.

4. If a content solution is ‘one of many’ in a subject area, how can embedded assessments be rolled up with other program/product’s results to inform teaching – what are the considerations for product development to achieve a multi-program roll-up ?

5. Must the content format be the ‘same’ for all platforms (from PC to mobile) and if not, how best to develop consistency and compatibility across the various platforms that may be in place?

Assessment

Tuesday, July 26th at 11:15

Assessment working committee leads included Bob Guerin, Pacific Metrics and Kimberly Sadler, College Board/SpringBoard

Session Host: Shawn Francis, Senior Product Manager, SpringBoard Digital (CollegeBoard)

Table
Grade  Facilitator

Table 1

PreK-5

Larry Fruth, Access for Learning Community

Table 1

6-12

Alix Guerrier, LearnZillion

Table 1

HEd

Ed Walker, Consulting Services for Education

Table 2

PreK-5

Wayne Stillman, Pacific Metrics

Table 2

6-12

Eileen Shihadeh, Compass Learning

Table 2

HEd

Michael Johnson, Full Potential Associates

Premise: To create the Next Gen Learning Ecosystem, assessments will remain a critical component of teaching and learning. Assessments, whether high stakes testing, formative, summative, performance, or interim; how are assessments shaping education?  Assessments have been a primary topic of conversation for the past several years. Assessments include 2 important aspects, the student and the educator/program that utilizes results to guide the learning path. Assessments should provide information for the learner and the educator that both acknowledges what has been learned and assists in showing areas in need of mastery.

Break-out groups will be defined as PreK-5, 6-12 & Higher Ed

Groups will address the following questions:

  1. How are current technology challenges being addressed? (Addressing the issue that not all schools are able to provide access and instructional opportunities for technology based assessments.)
  2. In response to market demands for technology delivered assessments and technology enhanced assessment items; how do teachers and administrators provide equitable assessment for those students without technology?  How do we support and address equity and access for all students? How does the measurement community respond to this challenge (after all this is a psychometric issue).
  3. How do/will assessment developers and educational publishers continue to address the wide range of ‘standards’ [to be measured by the assessments] which are required by their clients?  Consider a district with a state, local and common core mandate, and the potential for additional standards requirements for a specific program (such as HS option programs) 
  4. How do assessment developers and educational publishers maintain a balance of assessment validity while answering the market request for flexibility in test creation and item authoring?
  5. How do vendors ‘play together’ when multiple sources/publishers are used within an educational system; formative or otherwise, how might vendors work to ensure assessments are not redundant, or providing resulting information that cannot be viewed together to bring a ‘holistic’ view of the learner?   

Data/Analytics

Tuesday, July 26th at 3:45

Data/Analytics working committee included Ellen Wagner, Hobsons, Jena Draper, CatchOn and Mark Milliron, Civitas

Session Host: Richard Keaveny, Vice President, Partnerships & Developer Community, McGraw-Hill Education

Table

Perspective

Facilitator

Table 1

Learner perspective

Eric Cooper, Intel

Table 1

Learning perspective

Christopher Robert, EvoText

Table 1

Organization perspective

Ellen Wagner, Hobsons

Table 2

Learner perspective

Joyce Whitby, SchoolMessenger

Table 2

Learning perspective

Sunday Abbott, SpringBoard

Table 2

Organization perspective

Rob Abel, IMS Global


Premise: Developing the Next Gen Learning Ecosystem will include the use of data/analytics. While data, data mining and analytics have been collected in one form or another for years, the emergence of analytics to inform administration decisions as well as classroom/learner needs is on the rise. Smarter technologies, programs and processes are making this a growing area of influence and requirement. 

This working group will address the same questions, from different perspectives.  The perspectives are working to address the ‘what’ and ‘why’ analytics is making an impact on the various constituencies within education.

Learning: what is learning? The ‘thing’ that happens as an outcome of instruction              

1) How to differentiate the ‘important” data       

2) How best to present the data               

3) What actions can be taken (from data given)

Learner(s): what does it mean to consider ‘learners? The things that happen in support of student learning              

1) How to differentiate the ‘important” data       

2) How best to present the data               

3) What actions can be taken (from data given)

Organization: refers to a ‘collection’. Organization is like a ‘system’ (admissions process, course offerings, program or web access/use…  and more!)

1) How to differentiate the ‘important” data       

2) How best to present the data               

3) What actions can be taken (from data given)

Management Systems

Wednesday, July 27th, 10:30

Management Systems working committee leads included Michael Jay, Educational Systemics, and Myron Cizdyn, BLPS Content Connections

Session Host: Myron Cizdyn, Chief Executive Officer, The BLPS Group

Table

Focus

Facilitator

Table 1

Lrng Management focus

Berj Akian,ClassLink

Table 1

Lrng Engagement focus

Mitch Weisburgh, ABA

Table 1

Resource Mgmnt focus

Johanna Wetmore, EvoText

Table 2

Lrng Management focus

Eric Cooper, Intel

Table 2

Lrng Engagement focus

Rod Harris, Expert System

Table 2

Resource Mgmnt focus

Gary Mainor, Pearson

 

Premise: When it comes to critical conversations, Management Systems are relevant to nearly every educational topic from administration to professional development to learning and everything in between. While there are many different critical conversations possible, a key need is to define a ‘management’ system and the different implementation strategies that this category of solution may provide. In this Critical Conversation we propose to look at Learning Management from three different perspectives: the management of learning, which includes curriculum, (including pedagogy), learning resources, and assessment with a focus on the learner and those who support learning.

The session will be divided into 3 table/groups: Each group will develop a list of capabilities (in the respective areas of learning management, learning engagement, and resource management) and describe the potential approaches to that capability with a value. With this spectrum and set of capabilities, the group will evaluate a starting list of LMS products, to indicate where each product lies on that spectrum.

Overview

The goal of this session is to develop a way to describe the capabilities of a learning management environment. This is critical since what we call an LMS today is used in reference to a wide variety of products.  Your task is to describe a spectrum of solutions associated with one or more characteristics of a Learning Management System in the functional area you chose to review. The outcome from this session will be used by the SIIA ETIN Tech & Dev committee to generate a methodology for characterizing different Learning Management Environments. A three dimensional representation will be generated using the outcome from this session and further refined through future iterations by SIIA members.

The 3 Functional Areas

A.     Learning Management (Educator and Administrator capabilities) Includes but not limited to course development, tracking of learner progress, data interoperability, etc.

B.     Learning Engagement (Learner centered) Includes but not limited to navigation of the course, support for collaboration, degree of possible personalization, etc.

C.    Resource Management Includes but not limited to use of bundled content, integration of 3rd party content, management of learning objects, identification of available content, search for and filter possible resources, etc.


Questions & Process

1.     Identify capabilities of assigned and other products as related to the functional area (A. Learning Management, B. Learning Engagement, or C. Resource Management) assigned to your group?

2.     For each of the capabilities you identified, describe the variety of ways the products have addressed that need (if at all).

3.     Use what you observe in products to describe two ends of a spectrum (extreme approaches taken) and four points between those extremes. An example can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/zslwsz2

4.     Enter the spectrum you agree on in Google Sheets. Make sure to use the correct sheet and name your spectrum

5.     In the product Scores tab of the Google Sheet (yellow) list the spectra you decided on in Column B and associate a value from 0-10 with each of the products for each of those spectra.

In concluding the session co-chairs will take the data and generate a 3-D plot as to where each product fits in that spectrum. This graphical representation will serve as the basis for continued discussion around defining the LMS space, which components are critical to solutions that fill a need in this space, and drive toward a better definition of the variety of solutions that all fall under LMS today.

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