Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Taking The Stigma Out Of Learning With Immersive Reader

I love to read. If I am not working or spending time with my daughters I am reading. But when I was in elementary school reading was what I dreaded the most. In my classes we had the "blue birds" and "red birds" reading groups. I was a blue bird. A weak reader. Stuck in a group with the other weak readers. Thinking back on that time as an adult it was a deflating time as a kid. I know the teacher did it so she could work with us in a small group but the rest of the class knew we were the weak readers.

Whether students need help in reading or other aspects of learning the subtle differences some teachers do to provide more accessible learning, while unintentional, can have devastating effects on students. Different color handouts for various reading levels or pulling students out to get extra attention all can stigmatize, cause anxiety and push students away.

Inclusion means that learning together is a better way that benefits everyone. Inclusive learning is about embracing all. It's making a promise to each student to do all we can to help them belong to the community of learners.


This is where #Edtech can help.

Keep in mind, our focus is to create environments where every student can succeed. It's not on a singular app or website or tool. It's how these tools support learning and strong pedagogy.

Immersive Reader from Microsoft is one of the strongest pedagogically focused edtech resources out there. It is a powerful tool that can help all students become stronger readers and writers while letting them do it when and how they need it. Students can turn it on when they need it and use any of the features they want any time.

What makes it great?

• Breaking down sentences in to individual word parts like syllables and parts of speech.
• Line focus
• Changing fonts and colors for students who are dyslectic or have vision impairment
• Read aloud
• Translation in to multiple different languages, with read aloud
• Picture dictionary

This is just a sample. There is so much more that it can do! Immersive Reader WORKS ON ANY DEVICE and can be found in a multitude of products both from Microsoft and others. And its FREE!


Immersive Reader is just one tool that you can use to create more inclusive spaces. Microsoft Translator and Office Lens (both, you guessed it, free!) are others. Check out the learning paths in the Microsoft Educator Community for any time professional development (yep, free) to learn how all these Learning Tools can support you and your students!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

3 Things To Remember For Every Conference

Written with my friend Shaelynn Farnsworth we break down the simple things any learner can do to make the most of their conference experience. 

The end of June means, for many education technology enthusiasts, one thing - the annual ISTE (International Society for Technology In Education) Conference is just around the corner. ISTE is one of our favorite conferences because we get to reconnect, face-to-face with those "edufriends" we haven't seen in the past year, connect with new friends, learn with some incredible minds in the field, and we get a sense of what schools and districts are thinking about as they look to the future of learning.

If you are a social media user or a blog reader you may have seen several posts related to getting more out of ISTE. Many veteran attendees have extensive lists of ways to maximize the impact and learning of all who attend. And prior to many conferences, people share advice on how to follow the conference hashtag or whose feed to bookmark to make sure you won’t miss a thing. Still, others connect with educators not able to attend (#NotAtISTE) or explain where you can find resources after the conference. Much of the advice you hear is great and definitely worth considering, so of course, we wanted to add our own into the mix.

When Shaelynn and I attend conferences, either as presenters or as participants, we challenge ourselves and our audiences each day to dig deeper, move beyond the surface-level flash, and get the most out of the conference experience. Many will save all year long to attend or travel a great distance, so how can we make the most of conference experience while still remembering our purpose and the need to share what we learn?

We believe there are 3 Important Points to remember, not only for ISTE but for any conference or learning event you attend.

Be a Boundary Pusher
It is easy to attend conferences like ISTE and only go to the sessions led by a perceived “Edtech Guru” or ones where we already know a lot about a specific topic. While there isn't anything wrong with that, ask yourself are you doing the most with your conference experience? There are so many hidden gems by presenters who may not have a huge Twitter following or award-winning blog that offer incredible insight and ideas. 

Push yourself. You are in charge of YOU. 

Steven is still a skeptic of flipped classrooms and AR/VR. So he makes a point to attend at least one session where either of these is discussed to widen his perspective. Try to find sessions that you might just be walking away from thanking yourself for attending. Make a point to attend at least one session where you disagree with or are a skeptical about the topic. Go in with an open mind and make the most of your experience.


Reflect. Learning in the Pause
Sometimes the best learning or most lasting impact happens after the session is done, or in the hallway, a corner tucked away from the group, or through my favorite, Learning in the Pause. The thing that holds true for all of these examples is that they are the ones that you remember and talk about long after the event is over, those moments are ones that cause us to stop and reflect.  Reflection, as we have pointed out previously, is an instrumental part of the learning process. Because you are going to challenge yourself and your thinking, it will be important for you to reflect on your learning. The process of reflection doesn’t have to be formal. It’s an opportunity to think about your learning, your thinking, and where you want to go next with both.

Review your notes at the end of each day and write down your thoughts. We love OneNote for this. We can compile everything there (notes, drawings, pictures, and handouts) and have it on all our devices. Many conferences are also creating shared Google Docs so that anyone can add in their thoughts and reflections collectively. Check out the conference hashtags as well to see what presenters and participants have posted. It’s also a good idea at the end of the day, when you are exhausted and walking back to your hotel to just take some time and think:

  • What did you see that challenged you? 
  • What do you still have questions about? 
  • How can you take what you learned and apply it to your students?


Don't Be A Hoarder, Share Your Learning
Think about if you shared what you learned with 5 people and those 5 people shared with 5 others and so on. The learning becomes so much more valuable. Find ways to share both at the conference (social media is great for that) and when you get back to your school/district. Did you attend as a member of a team? Have your team take 5 mins and share all the resources with those that couldn't attend during a staff meeting. Flying solo? Post your notes to Twitter or on your blog. However you decide to share, just be sure to share!

Conferences are a cornucopia of people, ideas, and inspiration at your fingertips. Rarely, is one surrounded by tens of thousands of professionals learning and sharing around a common goal other than at large conferences. And what an awesome mission and common goal our profession shares, improving teaching and learning for our students!


Enjoy your learning this summer and if you happen to be at ISTE19 be sure to stop by and say hello!


Sunday, May 19, 2019

4 Easy Ways To Improve Professional Learning

Professional learning for educators comes in many flavors:

  • Face-to-face, blended, online
  • Content-driven, instructional practices, Edtech focused
  • Faculty meeting, half-day, conference session

If we were all to think long enough we could come up with a list of the best professional learning we've participated in and what made it great. For me it was learning where I connected to the presenter and the presentation immediately. And where the presenter helped me make connections to what I was learning and why it was important.

We could probably make a much longer list of the professional learning that wasn't so great and why that was. For me it was the times where I was forced to sit in a room with other educators who didn't want to be there, learning something that was of little value, wasn't aligned to anything we were aware of and where our experience wasn't taken into consideration.

What separates good from great professional learning isn't particular to one type of learning or one style of presenting. To improve professional learning I believe there are only four considerations anyone who delivers professional learning needs to focus on to improve.

Create Communities of Practice-Perhaps one of the strongest and most rewarding ways to improve professional learning is to move from the one-off, disjointed learning events and move towards creating communities of practice (CoP). CoP's are formed when educators engage in a process of collective learning to improve  their overall practice together. The purpose is to bring all voices to the table to learn and grow together. Everyone from educators to leaders to coaches should be participating as a collective unit. CoP's align directly with collective teacher efficacy, which research and evidence shows is one of the best things educators can do to help students improve. Within the CoP members share and learn and grow together, defined by a shared outcome. Everything from identifying the goals of the CoP to the steps taken to meet those goals, to the evaluation of where to go next is done within the CoP.

Examine Relevancy-Thinking back to all the professional learning I did as a classroom teacher there were many times I sat in a room for hours on end wondering what I was doing there. The learning may have been valuable to some in the room but it was not obvious to me. What is often lacking with professional learning is clear relevance to the participants. Our minds crave understanding, especially when we are learning. What may be obvious to the presenter may not be to those in the room. And even more critical is the alignment of the learning to things like walkthroughs, school improvement plans, the goals of the Communities of Practice or other measurable outcomes. Therefore, not only should relevancy be driven by the needs of the participants but also the overall needs of the group.

Andragogy Isn't Pedagogy-Modeling is an important aspect of professional learning. Certainly, if we are learning a new instructional practice or an enhanced way to teach specialized content, then engaging in modeling can be beneficial. However, much of the way that professional learning is taught is done so using skills rooted in pedagogy. And it makes sense, right? Much of professional learning is lead by educators. Pedagogy makes up the foundation of our skills. However, the teaching of adults, Andragogy, looks much different. Adult learning is rooted in the synthesis of knowledge rather than memorization of skills. Admittingly, there is overlap in pedagogy and andragogy. When we look at the 7 Principles of Adult Learning, there are some differences, such as learning is best in informal situations or how previous experiences shape our learning now. The takeaway is that understanding adult learning theory (andragogy) by those that delivery and participate in professional learning is as important as understanding student learning theory (pedagogy).

Reflection Is How We Grow-It's easy to participate in professional learning and leave it behind when it's over for both the participants and the presenter. When we do that we miss an opportunity to not only improve but to put into practice what we learn. Time for reflection must be built into professional learning, both guided an open-ended. These opportunities for reflection do two things. The first, reflection acts as a formative assessment for the presenter. Understanding where learners are in their learning and where we are in our teaching is just as important with students as it is as with adults. The second, when the presenter engages in deep reflection about what they have presented we discover, what worked, where we have been with our teaching and what areas are ripe for growth. What are we doing well and how will that lead us to improvement the next time around?

Professional Learning is an important part of our growth as educators, yet it is often overlooked for improvement. By focusing on building Communities of Practice, improving relevancy, understanding the needs of adult learners and building in deep reflection, those that deliver professional learning can create a culture that craves these opportunities for improvement.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Cultivating Empathy In Learning

Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

As a father and an educator, an important aspect of learning that is difficult to teach is empathy. I taught middle school for my entire classroom career. Pre-teens and teens are often consumed with themselves and their immediate circle of friends. It's just how they are wired. With my own daughters, the lessons of understanding the challenges and struggles of others, especially those different from them or located halfway around the globe are difficult for them to grasp.

When I talk to teachers about social-emotional development I am consistently told that one of the hardest things for students to see and understand is empathy. With the focus on curriculum and content, little time is left for students to explore the world beyond their desk and understand what is happening around them. Yet showing empathy for others is a skill that will take students far in life.

And perhaps, more importantly, students could hold the solutions to many of these problems if schools and classrooms were places where they could explore and ideate.

Kids not only need to understand the challenges of daily life in their local community and other parts of the world, but they also need the chance to see the world through the eyes of others. Learn their stories, their triumphs, and struggles to better understand how they can help even though they might be a world away. They need to see the impact they can have in the lives of others.

Kids are incredible. Just because they are kids doesn't mean they can't change the world.

Teaching empathy and giving students the opportunity to cultivate empathy doesn't have to be something extra or a way to fill empty time at the end of the school year. There are plenty of ways to weave empathy into the everyday curriculum while showing students the impact they can have on their local and global communities.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals-One of the best ways to have students understand empathy is to know what the major issues facing our globe are. That’s where the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can help. Made up of 30 pressing issues facing every society and culture, the SDGs are a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all."

The SDGs address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that each Goal and target is met by 2030. You can learn more about the SDGs through a free course offered by Participate. Microsoft also has a free course and tons more resources to explore like Skype in the Classroom Events, Virtual Field Trips and more.

WE Schools-I learned about WE Schools during a recent trip to Paris where I saw several teachers who were participating in their classrooms. One project had students in the US learning the Spanish language writing books for emerging readers in South America and 3D print toys to go along with them. WE Schools aims to connect classrooms around the world which "challenges young people to identify the local and global issues that spark their passion and empowers them with the tools to take action."

The WE Schools program provides educators and students with curriculum, educational resources and a full calendar of action campaign ideas. Through WE Schools, students gain an understanding of the root causes of pressing issues like hunger, poverty, and access to education, as they explore how they can make positive impacts. They also plan and carry out at least one local and one global action to improve their communities and the world. Joining is free and they offer a free OneNote notebook that has everything you need to get started.

Empatico-Aimed at our youngest learners, Empatico is a free platform that gives "teachers of students ages 6-11 everything needed to build meaningful connections through video exchanges: a partner classroom, activity plans, and built-in video, messaging, and scheduling tools." Empatico empowers teachers and students to explore the world through experiences that spark curiosity, kindness, and empathy. The activities align with standards and can easily fit into the existing curriculum. Topics include weather, energy use, folktales, and festivals.

Little Free Library-A project I have been a supporter of for a very long time, Little Free Library is a local movement to provide more access to books. The idea is simple. You provide a space for books and make them available to the local community. Typically they are housed in a "book nook" that is built but could just be a space set aside anywhere. Anyone can come and take a book or two and leave a book or a few. Ultimately these become self-sustainable.

My daughters built one for our neighborhood that houses just children's and YA books since our neighborhood is populated with young people. Many schools have built them to encourage literacy and accessibility to books, as well as organizations like Girl Scouts. This could be a great project for kids; not only is it hands-on through the building of the library (put that makerspace to use!) but also helps spread the love of reading.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Language Should Never Be A Barrier

I recently returned from a trip to Paris, France where I attended a gathering with over 250 educators from across the world. In their respective countries, these educators were the best of the best; innovative, creative and focused on creating student-centered learning for everyone.

While I have traveled internationally before (Qatar and the UAE most recently) this was my first trip to France where I would be immersed in the French language. Growing up I took multiple years of Spanish in high school, even continuing that learning into college. However, the most contact I've had with the French language has been through hearing my daughters learn how to count to 10 in pre-school.

The anxiety I felt before my trip is similar to the anxiety that many parents feel when they encounter our schools. According to the United States Census Bureau there are over 350 distinctive languages spoken within US states and territories. In many of the districts I work with they have anywhere from a few to over 100 different languages spoken. This can make the most basics of communications tricky to impossible. Some larger, urban districts have special offices that offer translation services but for the vast majority of schools, districts and faculty, translation and language communication are left to just figuring it out.

While there are a number of apps and services (some inexpensive to very costly) available, they all seem to fall short. Many of the most popular text based translation services rely on wonky machine learning to provide translations and they are far from perfect. Even less of them offer real-time translation services or are only available through apps. And even less of those allow for images to be taken of text to be translated on screen.

Not only does Microsoft Translator do all this, there is so much more it can do, and all for free!

Available as a customizable web-based room, app and built into Windows 10, Microsoft Translator offers the most languages and features in one, free package than any other service out there. I decided to try it out on my trip to Paris to see if it was really as robust as advertised.

I was not disappointed.

I loaded the app on my iPhone and as soon as I landed I felt comfortable with the language. The app has 4 features I found myself using all the time.

  • Real-Time Translation-Using the built in mic on my phone I could speak a phrase in English and have it translated to any of a number of different languages, along with the text translation in seconds. This allowed me to get a taxi, buy a metro ticket and order meals with wait staff with ease. The Real-Time Translation can listen for any of 22 languages and translate in to over 60 languages, again as text and audio. 
  • Type To Translate-Using the same languages as Real-Time translation you can use your keyboard to type words or phrases and see the translation. This was handy for quick words I wanted to know the meaning of or phrases I needed to remember. 
  • Image Translation-By far the most useful feature was the picture translation. Simply point your camera at a piece of text and the app will translate the words it sees to your chosen language. This was great for museums, menus or other signs I encountered. Also, when working with the global educators I could take pictures of projects and lesson plans simply and easily to read. Even after you take the picture and translate the text you can re-translate to another language without having to take a new picture. This was extremely helpful for the projects presented as many of them where not in my native language. 
  • Conversations-The app also has the ability to create a private room where you can carry out a real-time conversation with others using both text and audio. Create the room, share the code or scan the QR code and you're talking in no time. When I was talking with some educators from Indonesia, Japan and Brazil we quickly fired up a room and talked for a while in our native languages. This made things much smoother and more comfortable for everyone. And users don't have to be in the same place. The virtual rooms work anywhere there is an Internet connection. 

The app has other features as well like a phrasebook giving you quick access to the most common phrases in multiple languages. Directions, Dinning, Time and Numbers, Health and Emergency are just a few of the categories. Mark your favorites for quick access. Via the web the same virtual conversation room can be used to do real-time text and audio translations for presentations or meetings.

I made sure to ask everyone I used the app with how the translations were. All agreed they were very good. With any machine-learned translation service there were some gaps, more so with text based translations but all said the audio or spoken translations were flawless.

But what about for schools? This could be huge for regular interactions, meetings or conferences. There is no reason why everyone in a school couldn't have the Microsoft Translator app on their mobile device and use it whenever someone comes into the school and doesn't speak English. Creating an inclusive environment is key for parental involvement and engagement. From the day-to-day interactions with the front office to parent meetings to conferences the real-time, non-invasive translations can truly bridge the communications gap. It doesn't have to stop there. Students who are new to a language don't have to feel withdrawn or anxious when in a new environment because they don't speak the language and teachers can make them feel welcome from day one by using the app as well.

Want to learn more? Check out the Microsoft Translator website. Also be sure to visit the Translator for Education page to read some amazing stories about how the app is helping schools and districts reach more parents and students and Free Technology For Teachers blogger Richard Byrne has a great video to help you get started.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Wanna Know If Students Are Learning? Ask Them These 4 Questions

It can be a struggle to best help students understand what they are learning or for students to articulate their learning in meaningful ways. This was especially difficult for me starting out in on my teaching journey. Based on how I had been taught to be an educator the best ways to know if students are learning was to give them a test. If they failed, it was their fault and they needed to do better next time. It took me a long time to learn that in the process of learning the teacher and the student need to be partners.

Research backs this up.

Much of the research around determining the best instructional strategies to use in the classroom center around learning processes and metacognition. It isn't the tools or technology that students use in learning that have the most profound impact. What really makes a difference is how well students understand what they are learning that day, how they can put that learning into their own words and how they can make connections to previous and next learning events.

Understanding if students are learning isn't difficult and doesn't take away time from actual instruction. In fact there are 4 simple questions students can ask (and the teacher to understand) to know if learning is actually taking place.

What am I learning? Before the lesson even starts students need to know what they are learning, but more importantly, how what they learn connects to something they’ve already learned. It is common practice in many classrooms to write objectives or standards on the board. When I was in the classroom it was an expectation handed down from district leadership that the objectives to be covered that day were to be on the board. If they weren't you could be reprimanded.

There's one problem with this approach. Standards and objectives are written for educators, not students. Their wording is often confusing and it can be difficult for students to make the necessary connections when reading them. Students should be able to understand and distill what they are learning in their own words and make their own meaning. Teachers have to drive this understanding through clarity.

Teacher clarity aims to narrow the focus of learning. By focusing on the most critical parts of instruction (learning intentions, success criteria and learning progressions) students can better understand what they are learning and more importantly, why. The research into Teacher Clarity shows that, when used consistently and accurately it can have an effect size of 0.75, nearly doubling the rates of student achievement.

How will I know I've been successful? Often it is a mystery to students to know how they will be successful in their current learning endeavor. Typically, they’ve seen pop quizzes or even know there will be a test at the end of the week. Success criteria goes deeper. It isn't just students knowing what they will learn and how they know they have learned it. It's also the processes by which students will get there. Therefore Success Criteria has both a product focus but also a process focus as well.

Shirley Clark, an expert in formative assessment says that defining process success does six things for students:

  • Ensure appropriate focus
  • Provide opportunity to clarify their understanding
  • Identify success for themselves
  • Begin to identify where the difficulties lie
  • Discuss how they will improve
  • Monitor their own progress

For maximum impact Clark explains that Success Criteria:

  • Need to be known and shared
  • Should be the same for all learners (differentiation happens with the activity, rather than the success criteria)
  • Can be used across the curriculum
  • Need to be referred to constantly by students

What is my next learning step? As part of the overall lesson, we need to not only focus on the before and during but the after as well. Students should know where on their overall learning path they are and where they are going next. This gives them the opportunity to foreshadow and draw conclusions as to where they are in this learning moment and how that will lead them to the next. This is a critical step for them to make the necessary connections to content to make learning visible.

How would I communicate what I've learned to others? Often times the communication of what we have learned is not even a part of the overall learning journey or is only a part of a special project or unit. But take a step back. How do we learn anything? Before the invention of the printing press learning was shared through stories and spoken word. Books were only for the wealthy. Therefore learning was very limited. After the printing press books became more widespread. Now we have even faster, more far reaching means of communication, such as social media to learn and grow.

Students need to not only understand but to participate in communicating their learning with others, beyond their desk and the walls of their classroom. That communication can come in a variety of forms like blog posts, websites, podcasts, videos, etc. The medium is dependent on what students are sharing. The bottom line is that one of the most powerful ways for the teacher and the students solidify what they know and how they know it is to be able to communicate that learning to someone else. Quizzes or exams are great for snapshots but to truly be able to distill their learning, students need to communicate that learning to others.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Visible Learning in Literacy: 3 Takeaways from John Hattie and Nancy Frey

Opportunity to learn with renowned education researchers and practitioners rejuvenates the mind and reignites the passion in many educators. In the second of our two-part series, Shaelynn Farnsworth and I share what we learned from the Visible Learning Institute in San Diego, this time with a focus on literacy. Head over to part one to see our initial thoughts and shares. 

The second day at the Visible Learning Institute in San Diego provided attendees choice in one of two paths in which to learn;  literacy and math. Shaelynn and I jumped at the chance to learn from Nancy Frey and chose literacy learning to continue to grow our knowledge in this area for supporting educators around the globe. Frey and Doug Fisher (her colleague) have worked extensively with John Hattie in the realm of literacy practices and transferring his research into practice. They have multiple books with Hattie, two of our favorites being Visible Learning for Literacy Grades K-12 and Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 6-12.

Frey consistently delivers high-quality and classroom applicable learning during her workshops and this experience was much the same. During Day 2, she used a combination of research, theory, and classroom application to deepen our understanding of high-impact instruction during each phase of learning.

3 Takeaways:
Constrained and Unconstrained Skills - Constrained skills are those that have boundaries and edges to them and are acquired at concrete stages of development. These include phonemic awareness and phonics. Unconstrained skills are boundless, limitless and continue to grow throughout life. These include vocabulary and comprehension. While no argument can be made against the direct instruction and learning of constrained skills, Frey reminded us all that they are important but not sufficient. Leveled texts are great for learning constrained skills, but unconstrained skills are not developed through these types of texts. Both constrained and unconstrained skills develop independently; it is important for all educators in all subject areas to pay attention to both.

Reading Volume - The amount one reads is important, but do you know how important it is for our students? Frey offered statistics to drive home the point about reading volume. Reading 20 minutes a day = 1,800,000 words per year & 90th percentile on standardized tests. Reading 5 minutes a day = 282,000 words per year & 50th percentile on standardized tests. Finally, a student who reads only 1 minute a day = 8,000 words per year & 10th percentile on standardized tests. Assumptions that all kids have access and time at home to read will not increase reading volume; instead, make time for students to read in your classroom.

In addition, as Frey reinforced, students need both content-specific readings but also need the exploration of texts beyond the content. If a student enjoys to pleasure read graphic novels we should not dissuade that student from choosing them. Rather we should support them while still exposing them to content specific passages and texts.

Surface, Deep, Transfer Learning - Hattie, Fisher, and Frey discuss a scale for learning and divide it up into 3 parts of a triangle. Surface, Deep, and Transfer Learning make up this scale representing learning as a process, not an event. Along with the description of each, Frey offered high-impact instructional strategies to support learning.

Surface - Surface Learning, the base of the triangle, is learning that takes place during the acquisition of skills and understanding of concepts. Learners often recognize patterns and start to build foundational knowledge to support the next level of the triangle, Deep Learning.

High-Impact Instructional Strategies to support Surface Learning and the effect size:

  • Repeated Reading (.67)
  • Feedback (.75)
  • Collaborative Learning with Peers (.59)


Deep - Deep Learning builds off of the Surface Learning students acquire. As Frey states, you have to know something before you are able to do something with that knowledge. Deep Learning consists of consolidation through connections, relationships, and schema to organize skills and concepts. Deep learning is also used to consolidate constrained and unconstrained skills. Students need more complex tasks to deepen their own learning.

High-Impact Instructional Strategies to support Deep Learning and the effect size: 

  • Concept Mapping (.60)
  • Class Discussions (.82)
  • Metacognitive Strategies (.69)
  • Reciprocal Teaching (.74)


Transfer - Finally, learning and school should not stop with just Surface and Deep Learning. Transfer Learning is self-regulation to continue learning skills and content independent of the teacher. Frey admits, not everything we teach or learn is worthy of Transfer Learning. Transfer Learning places more responsibility on the learner to question, investigate, and organize to propel their learning.

High-Impact Instructional Strategies to support Transfer Learning and the effect size:

  • Reading Across Documents to conceptually organize (.85)
  • Formal Discussions, Debates, Socratic Seminars (.82)
  • Problem Solving (.61)
  • Extended Writing (.43)
  • PBL - Problem-based Learning - effect size is low at surface level learning (.15) but significantly higher at Transfer level learning (.61) 


As Day 2 came to a close, our minds were spinning with information and ideas. Nancy Frey not only shared Visible Learning in Literacy but invited us to consider what approaches work best at the right time for the right learning, never to hold an instructional strategy in higher esteem than a student, and our favorite, “Every student deserves a great teacher, not by chance, but by design.”

Do you need help understanding how Visible Learning can impact your classrooms? Or maybe you want to see if the programs you are using are working? Shaelynn and I can help. Visit our website to learn how you can partner with us to help all educators do more and how all students can achieve!