How do we know our students are graduating with the college, career, and community readiness they need to successfully transition out of high school and into the real world? How do pathways and districts track student progress towards student learning outcomes? At ConnectEd, we are envisioning a system of digital badges, aligned to student learning outcomes at the pathway and district level, which would enable students, teachers, and district leaders to track progress towards college, career, and community readiness. Aligned with the pioneering work of the Mozilla Foundation, ConnectEd Studios will offer a system of badges which represent skill and capacity attainment. Via the Performance Task tool, students can demonstrate their skills and earn badges aligned to pathway and/or district level student learning outcomes. Badges appear in the student portfolios, and are potentially portable to social networks, representing a skill set which grows over time and can follow the student into college, career, and community.
In support of pathway design and development, ConnectEd will be building a new tool which we are calling P-OPTIC (Pre-OPTIC). For those of you familiar with the Online Pathway Tool for Improvement and Certification (OPTIC), you may recognize that while OPTIC is a robust tool for pathway self-assessment, action planning, and gathering evidence, it is not targeted at the early work of pathway design and development. P-OPTIC will offer digital support for pathways and pathway design teams to systematically work towards design and initial development of high quality Linked Learning Pathways. Built around the foundations of the Pathway Toolkit, District Toolkit, and Pathway Development Guide, P-OPTIC will be an interactive, evidence focused, development tool where stakeholders (pathway teacher, site-leader, district leader, coach) can engage in collaborative work on the critical steps of pathway design. Pathways will have a road map, so to speak, with the ability to leverage the right tool, at the right time, and capture their development work in the P-OPTIC system. District leaders, site-leaders, and coaches will be able to access a pathway’s P-OPTIC content, provide support and feedback, and be directed to the coaching and leadership actions and tools relevant to a specific pathway development step. We envision that P-OPTIC will serve the field by connecting the people, tools, resources, and reasoning necessary for successful Linked Learning Pathway design and early development.