MyWays: A Next Gen Toolset


The MyWays tools helps educators address the Three Big Questions of Next Generation Learning:

  1. How well are we defining and articulating what success looks like for students attending our school?
  2. How well does our design for learning and the organization of our school directly support students' attainment of our richer, deeper definition of success?
  3. How do we gauge students' progress in developing those competencies? And: How can we measure and articulate our school’s overall performance, beyond proficiency in ELA and math?

To learn more about these three questions, we recommend you read Andy Calkins' three-part blog series, starting with MyWays: The Three Steps Needed to Achieve the Big Leap into Next Gen Learning (followed by Part 2 & Part 3).

MyWays Beta Toolbox

*Need help navigating through the toolbox? Download this guide.

These tools were created to help educators and their communities develop and activate answers to next gen learning’s Three Big Questions. They reflect more than 18 months of research and on-going study of NGLC’s K-12 breakthrough model grantees. The tools are in beta for pilot-testing. We seek your feedback and input on their utility. They will be refined and new tools will be added, based on your feedback. If you use any of the MyWays materials or want to help us improve what you find here, please help us by filling out this very short feedback form.

Part 1: Fine-Tuning Your Definition of Student Success

The MyWays Framework is a dashboard that concisely distills the major frameworks available today for deeper, richer definitions of student success. The 20 competencies are grouped in the four arenas of Content Knowledge, Creative Know-How, Habits of Success, and Wayfinding Abilities. The tools in Exercise 1 are designed to save months of effort by your school’s leadership team in examining all of the available frameworks; help your team examine your current definitions of success for students; and clarify and build consensus around a deeper, richer, more comprehensive set of competencies. The slides above will guide you through the exercise.

Introduction to Part 1

Exercise 1a: Defining and Mapping Your Definition of Student Success

Exercise 1b: Creating a Graphical Learning Plan for Student Success

  • MyWays Competency Detailed Plotting Tool (xls). This worksheet generates a “spider-graph” depiction of a student’s success plan across all four MyWays arenas and 20 competencies. It is customizable so that you can substitute your own language and definitions.

Part 2: Learning Design as Rich as Your Definition of Student Success

What is the most valuable and enduring learning experience you can recall from your high school years? The answers are typically learning experiences that were engaging, experiential, multi-modal, authentic, required responsibility and ownership, and developed a special expertise. The tools in Exercise 2 help your team analyze your current learning design according to principles of “whole game learning,” derived from Making Learning Whole by David Perkins. Perkins’ framework beautifully articulates the ways good learning design supports development of multiple competencies simultaneously. It’s a terrific companion to the MyWays competency framework, showing (with an example from High Tech High) why the competencies should not be used individually to create curricula, lesson plans, schedules, and assessments. The competencies are best developed when students are playing “junior versions” of whole games. These slides above offer instructions for Exercise 2.

Introduction to Part 2

Exercise 2a: How Well Does Your Learning Design Reflect the Principles of Whole Game Learning?

Exercise 2b: How Well Do Your Projects Harness the Benefits of “Junior Versions”?

Exercise 2c: How Well Do Your Projects Map to the MyWays Competencies?

Part 3: Assessment Design as Integrated as Your Definition of Student Success

The shifts to greater authenticity and toward multiple and varied measures in assessment are being reflected in five emerging strategies for next gen assessment. The tools in Exercise 3 help your team understand how your school is gauging student progress toward your complete definition of student success, and where there may be opportunities to supplement your use of assessment for learning. The slides above will guide you through the exercise.

Introduction to Part 3

Exercise 3a: How Well Is Your School Currently Employing the Five Strategies that Support Next Gen Assessment, Overall?

Exercise 3b: How Well Is Your School Using Elements of the Five Strategies to Assess Student Progress Within Your Learning Projects?

About MyWays

NGLC has been incubating the MyWays project since 2014. It was initiated to help NGLC K-12 Breakthrough Model grantees and other forward-leaning educators examine the depth and clarity of their answers to the Three Big Questions of next generation learning. It is led by the primary researchers and authors, Dave Lash and Dr. Grace Belfiore. The project is being supported through a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, with additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A complete toolbox and comprehensive set of reports on the research is expected to be announced and distributed in early 2016. For more information, contact NGLC’s Deputy Director, Andy Calkins.

Additional Resources