As schools work to implement personalized learning plans for students, our new technology solution, LiFT, makes it easy for students, teachers, administrators, and parents to create effective plans.
LiFT derives from needs created by practice shifts underway at the same time policy was shifting toward a student-centered learning environment based on personalization, flexibility and proficiency. The evolving policy environment now establishes the context that requires a technology solution, a solution that LiFT provides. This technology solution can be seen in the category of learning management systems, of which there are many available. However, LiFT is uniquely different from others that are newly emerging, or older systems being retrofitted to meet new needs.
The difference begins with the fact that LiFT is student-centered, not teacher-centered. Yet, it supports meaningful teacher/student interaction, and can be used to support teacher professional development.
It provides a rich, real-time look at individual student and class interests and reactions. It allows for parent interaction in the personalized planning process. It enables career/interest research in a way that is customizable to local needs and resources. And LiFT can serve as a repository for the body of evidence of student learning.
The “LOOK” section encourages frequent student engagement in assessing evolving interests and reaction to instructional/learning experiences. While many platforms offer interest surveys, LiFT gathers this information on a continuing basis. And importantly, LiFT uses this information to assist students and teachers in planning the learning experience. The data generated in the “LOOK” section can also be used to inform instructional planning and teacher professional development.
The “LIKE” section provides customized resources to support student exploration of the learning environment within and beyond the school building. Learning standards, curriculum, formative assessments, expanded learning opportunities, career exploration resources and more, may find a home in “LIKE”.
The “LEARN” section can house a student’s personalized learning plan, in all of its richness. Students can gather the products of their work. Teachers and students can interact, share ideas, and react to each other’s expectations. And “LEARN” can hold the evidence and documentation of student learning.
While LiFT is a response to a changing learning environment, it is also a catalyst for continuing change. It not only supports personalization and flexibility in a proficiency-based system, it also enables and encourages the transition to such a system.
Tom Alderman, M. Ed. | Director of Policy and Governance
Tom joins the SchoolHack team from the Vermont State Agency of Education where he most recently served as the State Director of Secondary and Adult Education. While there, Tom promoted policy supporting personalization, flexibility and proficiency-based learning. Tom played an integral role with Act 44 of 2009, Act 77 of 2013 and the revision of the Education Quality Standards in 2014. Tom also served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1991 through 1996 as a member of the Judiciary Committee where during that time was elected to the University of Vermont Board of Trustees. "I'm pleased to be able to contribute to the continuing development and implementation of LiFT to our public education needs."