Personalized Professional Learning in a Digital Age Webinar/EventDecember 23, 2014
On January 8, 2015 the Alliance for Excellent Education hosted a webinar in its Project 24 leadership series. For years, the top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to professional learning has been prevalent in schools across the nation. Educators are often brought into large group rooms and a “sit and get” model of professional learning is utilized. Quite often, educators are left feeling frustrated and districts wonder why there is little evidence of impact in a traditional model. In recent years, the concept of educators being empowered to take charge of their own professional learning has gained momentum.
Schools are moving rapidly to embrace school models and supportive new technology that are better suited for success in today’s world. When modern technology is available it enables students to have a more individualized education and allows teachers to do their jobs more effectively. Today, learning can take place anywhere and anytime, and offers students new opportunities to succeed in the twenty-first century. The next generation of teaching and learning requires high-speed broadband so that students in blended, competency-based learning environments can move at their own pace and in the best way for them to best succeed. Improved connectivity to the internet will help those students experience future success. During this webinar, Tom Vander Ark of Getting Smart and Alliance President Bob Wise will explore issues related to better connecting the nation’s schools to high-speed broadband, the current debate to expand E-Rate, modernizing federal and state policy, and other important initiatives that can improve or enhance learning for every student by providing better access to technology. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.
Leading with a Vision: Using Time Differently to Provide New and Better Student Learning Experiences Webinar/EventSeptember 08, 2014
Schools and school systems throughout the country have been creating innovative models to transform the learning experience for young people, particularly those who have been poorly served by the education system. While these innovations differ in important ways, they share at least one element in common: a commitment to rethinking the use of time. In putting these new models into place, their architects recognized that the traditional seven-hour day and nine-month structure of schools impeded their ability to develop stronger learning environments. In response, they restructured the clock and calendar to provide more and better learning time for students. By doing so, these innovative educators are achieving their goal of enhancing the learning environment for all young people. Panelists will discuss how technology has supported increasing the amount of time students are engaged inside and outside of the classroom. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.
Branding Your School: Effectively Communicating Your School’s Story to the Community (Project 24 Digital Leadership Series) Webinar/EventAugust 15, 2014
This Google Hangout will explore why branding schools is important; discuss the benefits of branding a school; and provide leaders with an action plan for branding. Branding is a way for leaders to make students’ learning visible to the entire education community in order to share best practices, celebrate achievements, and make sure that the education community is focused on the most important person: the student.
Redesigning Learning Spaces: Creating Brain-Friendly, Blended Learning Environments (Project 24 Digital Leadership Series) Webinar/EventAugust 15, 2014
This Google Hangout will explore how classroom spaces can be transformed into brain-friendly digital learning environments. As founders of classroomcribs.com, Erin Klein, Benjamin Gilpin, and A. J. Juliani will discuss how the learning environment, including physical spaces, plays a key role in how students learn and how creating a digital environment in such a space can transform the learning process as a whole. If you are often debating between colors, themes, desk/table set up, and wondering how to design your learning space so it best supports all of your students, this webinar is for you. It will provide information and real school examples to assist in redesigning a classroom into one that considers brain research, gender, and digital impacts on learning. As an administrator, this webinar will provide concrete examples of how the learning environment impacts student learning and how a classroom or building makeover may just be what is needed to take student achievement to the next level.
Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times (Project 24 Digital Leadership Series) Webinar/EventAugust 14, 2014
Digital leadership is a strategic mindset and set of behaviors that leverages resources to create a meaningful, transparent, and engaging school culture. It takes into account recent technology innovations, such as ubiquitous connectivity, open-source technology, mobile devices, and personalization to dramatically shift how schools are run and structured to achieve college and career readiness in today’s competitive global economy. Digital leadership in education becomes exponentially powerful when using technology to its fullest.
Half of the nation’s state legislatures have considered or are considering legislation that could have a significant impact on state- and district-level digital learning efforts. Both the Council of Chief State School Officers and National Conference of State Legislatures are keeping a close watch on bills related to digital learning policy, online learning, competency-based education, and the rapidly evolving area of data privacy. In an interview with Tom Murray, Stephen Bowen, and Sunny Deye will discuss state legislative activities, implications of recent policy changes, and developing trends in legislation. They will also share insight into how these policies and laws could impact digital learning in states and school districts across the nation.
Accelerating Blended Learning Webinar/EventJune 11, 2014
Blended learning combines traditional face-to-face instruction, usually offered by a teacher in a traditional school building with high-quality digital content, including online instruction and other technological tools. In its most effective form, blended learning personalizes the learning of each student, allowing opportunities for students to take both required and elective courses and create a portfolio of opportunities and paths to succeed. Successful blended learning also allows for competency-based progression that empowers students to move at their own pace and advance only when they have mastered content; and uses technology to make implementation possible at scale. These three key elements of blended learning are what TLA focuses on in its work.
This Google Hangout will explore how museums are going beyond the field trip to become hubs of learning, innovation, and creativity. The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is at the forefront of this work, where Barry Joseph is working with young people to build video games to complement new exhibits, using Minecraft as a springboard to science, and creating other learning opportunities that encourage students to explore their interests. In an interview with Tom Murray, Mr. Joseph will provide his perspective on ways learning can take place in museums and other out-of-school places, and share how educators can both integrate museum resources into their teaching and be inspired to try approaches in their own classrooms. Mr. Murray will also solicit questions from the audience and share his own perspective.
Elizabeth Forward School District (EFSD), outside of Pittsburgh, has undertaken this transformation inspired by the YOUmedia work of the MacArthur Foundation, and is the first district to provide such space in a public school. Students are able to use innovative technologies to explore their interests, create, and connect their experience to what they are doing in the classroom. EFSD also has a Simulated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab, or SMALLab, which creates a kinesthetic learning environment that supports full-body games and new ways to experience abstract concepts. The school also incorporates game design into the curriculum to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) outcomes.