No Such Thing: K12 Education in the Digital Age

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If Grades Were Hyperlinks, Live Update

Ep. 71

Our conversation here takes place at the National Summit for Excel In Ed - from their website, Launched by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2008, the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) supports state leaders in transforming education to unlock opportunity and lifelong success for each and every child.


I was grateful to join my colleagues from NAF (known widely as the National Academy Foundation) in hosting a roundtable discussion at the conference aimed at illuminating new practices in credentialing, in this case one that is local to where we gathered in San Diego, CA. My guests, Alec and Carissa, represent Del Lago academy, only 30 minutes north of where we sat together in a windowless ballroom only a hundred yards or so from the harbor. My first episode with Alec - number 28 - was titled "If Grades Were Hyperlinks" and is one of the most downloaded episodes of the show. When I found out that we'd be in San Diego to discuss credentialing, I had to reach out and see if we could get an update and hear - more than a year after the initial episode - how Del Lago is fairing with this project, which even in the most forward-thinking school district would be a scuffle to reframe the purpose and tactics with which we recognize learners' acquisition of skills.


Carissa Duran is an Aurora Institute, Personalized Learning, Teacher of the Year and Guest Teacher at Del Lago Academy

Carissa Duran is a teacher and instructional coach for literacy, language development, and educational technology at Del Lago Academy in California. She is committed to educational justice and uses innovative pedagogy and assessment practices to improve the engagement, empowerment, and success of historically marginalized students.


Alec Barron is the founding Principal Investigator for Competency X, and is a curriculum and professional learning specialist in the Escondido (California) Union High School District. He completed a social justice-based Education Doctorate in Leadership for Educational Equity with the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Barron leads Competency X, an assessment practice for workforce-informed performance tasks that was developed to broaden access to college and career opportunities. The “X” is how learners choose to curate evidence of their learning and reflect on how it represents success with competencies. The idea was developed at Del Lago Academy in Escondido, California, to help students access the life science workforce. Currently, the project is using a Phase 2 award, with funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates and Hewlett foundations to pilot a competency-based articulation approach to broaden access to college credit and paid internships for high school students.



Notes from this Episode:

Competency X: https://www.competencyx.com/

Excel In Ed: https://www.excelined.org/

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