"Students and teachers can work together to create custom-tailored learning experiences that capitalize on student skills, areas of high-interest content and personal learning styles. This empowers teachers to find the best access points for each student and gives learners voice and choice in their education."
Alternative schools work to provide children with an education that prepares them to be thinking, feeling leaders with a high-level understanding of the people and world around them. These institutions use an open-ended approach that emphasizes the individual student experience, experiential learning and alternative assessment. All these elements make alternative education an extremely valuable experience for students, but they also create stumbling blocks and pinch points for teachers and administrators.
Learning Relationship Management platforms (LRMs) offer solutions to alternative schools looking to assuage these difficulties so they can focus on their primary mission: creating a high-level, authentic education for each student.
The Individualized Experience
Alternative schools using a strong LRM platform can greatly increase the time and space available to students for learning. Through the system, teachers and students can communicate easily at any time regardless of their physical location to ask and answer questions, conference or provide feedback. This is perfect for the alternative school setting because it allows teachers to extend their role as coaches and mentors beyond the four walls of the schoolhouse and into the world where some of the most meaningful learning takes place.
Students and teachers can work together to create custom-tailored learning experiences that capitalize on student skills, areas of high-interest content and personal learning styles. This empowers teachers to find the best access points for each student and gives learners voice and choice in their education.
Additionally, students can use the platform to increase their metacognitive skills and gain self-knowledge to help them better navigate their educational experience and find their role in the world. A truly robust LRM will contain tools to help students identify their areas of strength, devise strategies to shore up their weaknesses and discover careers that align with their unique personality and skill set as well.
Providing Shape to the Alternative Curriculum
Those with experience in alternative education know well that one of the biggest obstacles is creating and justifying an official curriculum that codifies and describes the skills and knowledge students gain from their time in school. Unlike traditional public and private schools, who develop specific curricula over years, the alternative school curriculum is experimental by nature and driven by student needs. LRMs understand this thinking.
A strong LRM provides alternative schools with the opportunity to create a completely unique curriculum that reflects their educational philosophy and vision for students. Administrators and leaders can create their vision of the graduate, then use that profile to create overarching skill and knowledge targets. These high concept targets can then be broken down into individual sub-strands, tied to grade-level competencies or tiered to reflect student ability levels.
A LRM platform also provides the ideal framework to document, quantify, and reflect upon experiential and constructivist learning. Through the platform, teachers and students can create custom learning experiences with clear rationales, rigorous skill targets and authentic opportunities for discovery. Each experience can be tied to personal or overarching goals, so learning is always purposeful and focused.
Alternative schools are crucial learning centers and laboratories for the creation of both tomorrow’s leaders and next year’s pedagogical techniques. With a strong LRM in place to help them overcome the day-to-day challenges of communication, curriculum and assessment, alternative schools are poised to lead the next educational revolution.