In a world of shrinking glaciers, rising seas, exploding population, depleting resources, species extinction, global migration, infrastructure decay, and epidemic human anxiety, we need deep knowledge and technical skill, yes; they are essential. But, they are not enough. Empathy, caring, reflection, mindfulness, self-esteem, integrity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, time management, negotiation, leadership…that long list of human qualities we often label “soft skills.” Maybe they’re not so soft.
"Project Foundry" has changed its brand name to "Foundry" for a very good reason. Only Foundry supports all types of Deeper Learning: Project-based, Competency-based, Personalized, and Inquiry-based learning methodologies. "There is a lot of crossover in these methodologies, but having a platform that supports all of them allows schools and districts to be flexible according to the educators' and students' needs.
Back home in Wisconsin from Cambodia for a few months, the Director of Education at Liger Leadership Academy in Phnom Penh, Jeff Holte and I were talking Deeper Learning and diving into projects of all kinds. Where do they come from? How do you capture the inspiration? How do you get the courage? Where do you find partners? How do you build the right team? And…how do kids build their inquisitiveness, problem finding/solving, and autonomy?
Much like us, dolphins live in complex social systems and exhibit remarkable intelligence that allows them to collaborate in groups for work and play and nurture their young in connected and caring social groups. Dolphins have an extraordinary and powerful ability – sonar – that allows them to know precisely where they are in space and communicate complex information with one another that is key to their success. Wouldn’t it be great if teachers and learners had a similar capability to know exactly where they are “real-time” in their work, what’s completed, how proficient is the student, and what needs to be done to meet learning targets and credit requirements?
Ever feel like managing time is all you do? There is never enough of it…some tasks just gobble time…it mysteriously slips away… you need 8-days-a-week to get it all done? And given this state of affairs, you are prompted to worry about how will you ever help students use their time effectively?
I still feel this way sometimes, but over the years, doing project-based learning with my students has proven to me that time can be either foe or friend. We can let time just happen to us or we can choose to harness time to our advantage. Time Logs have helped me have a more-friendly relationship with time, and I bet they can do the same
Educational terminology can be confusing. Project-based, inquiry-based and personalized learning are some of the many terms that fall under the category of Deeper Learning. There are idiosyncrasies within each methodology, and wisely, Foundry supports ALL of them. Deeper Learning encompasses significant academic content, higher-order thinking skills, learning dispositions, and life-ready skills.
Foundry’s newest powerful feature is its Performance Pages. They allow teachers/advisors, students, parents, and principals to easily and quickly call up data in a format that makes sense for next-step decision-making. The Performance Pages serve as a holistic place where all the data is located and are designed to quickly deliver it in a way that makes sense to each stakeholder, rather than search for it. With just a few clicks, users can see where individuals, classes or entire schools are in their progress toward learning plans, what is left to do, and where their focus should turn next, including progress toward credits, targets, and skills.
We have actively engaged members of our Foundry community of users to assist us in simplifying our user experience (UX), especially for first-time users. Our goal is to allow for layering of Foundry functionality to allow for progression from a “Novice” to an “Expert” user. In addition, we are focused on removing the remaining inconsistencies in our UX (User Experience).