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24 minutes | May 22, 2018
School Leaders: Best Practices for Implementing Summit Learning
How have different schools of varying sizes and geographical locations successfully implemented the Summit Learning Program for their students? This week on the Summit Sparks podcast, four school leaders share their best practices for implementing the Program with fidelity and also for ending the school year strong.
26 minutes | Apr 23, 2018
A Student's Passion for Film Brings Cyber Bullying Center Stage
This week on the Summit Sparks podcast, hear about how one middle school student’s combined his passion for filmmaking with lessons from a school project to create a film on cyber bullying that was shared with his entire school. Listen in and hear teachers and students give their opinion on what should be done to help prevent cyber bullying, as well as how the nonprofit No Bully is using a surprising solution in schools nationwide with a 90% success rate.
23 minutes | Mar 25, 2018
Shrinking the Human Footprint: Projects from Inside the Classroom
In this week's episode, we step inside a middle school science classroom immersed in a Summit Learning project: Shrinking the Human Footprint. We hear from students about issues ranging from deforestation to electronic pollution. Join us as they share their ideas on how to help solve these real challenges and inspire others to reduce their human footprint. Teacher Abel Ruiz also shares his story about transitioning from researching quantum physics to teaching 6th-grade science — and not looking back.
23 minutes | Mar 7, 2018
Linda Darling-Hammond: Personalized Learning Is Built on Strong Teachers
On this week's Summit Sparks episode, Stanford University's Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond explains why strong student-teacher relationships and a teacher's content knowledge are still the timeless and essential elements in an effective personalized learning environment. She talks openly about why strengthening the teacher pipeline for all teachers, especially those of color and those who teach in communities with high poverty rates, is a local and national priority if we want to best serve all students.
26 minutes | Feb 27, 2018
How Do We Prepare Teachers for Success in the Classroom?
In this week's episode, we discuss what it takes to prepare all teachers to be successful in diverse communities and classrooms. We speak with pioneering residents in the Summit Learning Teacher Residency, the first program in the nation to prepare educators to teach in a personalized learning environment. And broadening the conversation are actionable insights and ideas from Stanford University's Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, who was named in 2006 as one of the nation’s 10 most influential people affecting educational policy.
11 minutes | Feb 7, 2018
Sense of Purpose Epilogue: Building Strong Purpose
What gets you out of bed every morning? What do you care about? Who are you? These questions get at the heart of Sense of Purpose. And based on the conversations we’ve had this month on the Summit Sparks podcast, if you want to live your best life, developing strong purpose is where it’s at.
11 minutes | Jan 30, 2018
The Secret to Student Motivation? A Sense of Purpose
What does a canoe without a rudder and Sense of Purpose have in common? Summit Public Schools’ Co-Founder and CEO Diane Tavenner enlightens us in this month’s Sense of Purpose series. Diane talks about how purpose, which she describes as the self-knowledge underlying student motivation, is impacting the way Summit thinks about student success.
22 minutes | Jan 25, 2018
Why This Teacher Loves When Students Ask: "Can I Drop This Class?"
How can we help high schoolers find a life path? Summit Public Schools uses immersive electives to expose students to as many real-world experiences as possible. If they don't like a class, all the better says Kristina Bockhold. Listen to our interview to hear why.
24 minutes | Jan 18, 2018
How to Make High School Meaningful? Give Students Voice and Choice
Princeville High School Teacher Anne Krolicki and student Emily Green join the Summit Sparks podcast to share their experiences and views on why boosting student voice and choice in middle and high school, along with opportunities to explore professional-level projects early on, is central to student happiness and discovering what they’re truly passionate about.
27 minutes | Jan 12, 2018
Developing Sense of Purpose in Middle School? It's Not Too Early.
This month on the Summit Sparks podcast, we welcome the New Year — Happy 2018 everyone — and explore the theme of Sense of Purpose. Our first guest, William (Bill) Damon, a professor of education at Stanford University, describes purpose as a long-term compass that guides individuals and helps them stay on track throughout life.
13 minutes | Jan 4, 2018
Content Knowledge Epilogue: Personalized, Mastery-Based Learning
Today we wrap up our third month of the Summit Sparks podcast. And, like the previous two months, we reflect on the different conversations we’ve had this month — with a learning scientist, three teachers, and a parent — and draw common themes and connect patterns that shine a light on Content Knowledge: why it’s important as a commencement-level outcome, and how a personalized learning environment can help all students demonstrate competency in content across subject areas.
29 minutes | Jan 3, 2018
Summit Learning with a 504 Plan: A Teacher's and Parent’s Perspective
7th Grade Teacher Tammy Penney and Parent Chris Ivens share their story of seeing Autumn Ivens, who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has a 504 plan, learn to take control of her learning using the Summit approach. Tammy also shares her best practices for Personalized Learning Time, when students are learning the content knowledge they need for their courses through a combination of online playlists, peer-to-peer coaching, and one-on-one tutoring from their teachers.
24 minutes | Dec 20, 2017
How One California District is Giving Learner-Centered Schools More Choice
In this week's episode, Dr. Matt Doyle discusses Vista Unified School District's Personalized Learning challenge, which involves inviting schools to become more learner-centered organizations and choose models, or what he calls “learning engines”, that work for each school’s unique community. Dr. Doyle draws on his own classroom experience and refers to decades of Gallup research that show engagement happens when people have some control over their learning, whether they be executives or middle school students. Join us as we start our conversation at 10,000 feet and view personalized learning at the district level before honing in on the impact at the school level.
23 minutes | Dec 15, 2017
Growing Active, Self-Directed Learners in Northern Kentucky
What happens when you give students more ownership over how they learn content? This week on the Summit Sparks podcast, we continue to explore this month’s topic of learning and teaching Content Knowledge through the eyes of Sarah White, an 8th grade science teacher at Royal Spring Middle School in Georgetown, Kentucky. Sarah tells us what the transition toward more self-directed learning has looked like in her classroom, and how using Summit’s online Platform as a learning and assessment tool has changed how she spends her time each day interacting with and supporting students.
27 minutes | Dec 8, 2017
Strategies for Effective Teaching from Stanford's Dan Schwartz
This month on the Summit Sparks podcast, we explore the theme of Content Knowledge, which “is like the sun — it’s what enables you to see the world”. These words, inspired by Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave, were shared with me in this week’s interview by Dr. Daniel Schwartz, Dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. In this episode, Dr. Schwartz talks about why social interaction is everything in learning content, how the kind of feedback that you give students matters, and how today’s learning technologies are helping shape the role of the teacher.
11 minutes | Dec 4, 2017
Cognitive Skills Epilogue: What We Learned This Month
At the close of each month, we check in and reflect back on the different perspectives that we’ve heard from our podcast interview guests around a common theme. For November, that theme is Cognitive Skills. Similar to last month, each of our four podcast guests interviewed this November brings different experiences and areas of expertise in education to the conversation. With each of these varied perspectives informing our final narrative, here’s what we’ve learned this month about Cognitive Skills.
35 minutes | Nov 30, 2017
How One Teacher Differentiates Learning Skills for All Students
This week, we speak with Sarah Pierce, a 7th and 8th grade Science and Math teacher at Classical Academy in Escondido, California, a school in their second year of the Summit Learning Program. Sarah talks about how the personalized learning environment made possible with the Summit approach has been an ideal fit for the diverse group of learners at Classical Academy, which combines home-schooling with classroom instruction. Sarah also shares her best practices and differentiated resources that she’s created to help all students successfully access content knowledge and navigate ways to develop cognitive skills through projects.
36 minutes | Nov 16, 2017
Building Cognitive Skills for Life After High School
This month on the Summit Sparks podcast we are highlighting Cognitive Skills, one of Summit Learning’s four student outcomes. This week we talk to Penelope Pak McMillen, a former executive director of Summit Preparatory High School and now a mentor for Summit Learning, about the impact of helping students build transferable cognitive skills for life after high school.
22 minutes | Nov 8, 2017
How Teaching Cognitive Skills Shifts Students’ Mindsets
This month on the Summit Sparks podcast we are highlighting Cognitive Skills, one of Summit Learning’s four student outcomes. This week we talk to Teacher Anna Thompson about explicitly teaching and learning cognitive skills through project-based learning. As a reader and world traveler, Anna Thompson enjoys exploring endless possibilities with students. Having joined Summit Learning in the 2016-17 school year, Anna works with an amazing team of educators at Woodland Park Middle School in Colorado Springs. She has been teaching middle school language arts for the past nine years.
29 minutes | Nov 2, 2017
Setting Students Up for Success with Project-Based Learning
This week, we speak with John Larmer, editor in chief at the Buck Institute for Education, a nonprofit organization that has provided resources, support, and best practices on project-based learning for 25 years. John, also a former high school English and Social Studies teacher, talks about what school leaders and educators need to have in place in order to set students up for success in developing real-world skills and applications through project-based learning.
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