Virtual School Meanderings

January 20, 2020

Blended Learning: Research Perspectives (Volume 3) Proposal Submission

Posting this on behalf of a colleague.


To view the full RFP, click on the image

January 18, 2020

Reflecting On Our Mid-Year Staff Retreat

A newsletter from a US-based blended learning organization.

Highlander Institute

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Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement school-based change.

In This Week’s Issue

  • Reflecting on our mid-year retreat, focused on DEI with Facilitate Change
  • Join Malika Ali at LearnLaunch Across Boundaries 2020
  • New Fuse MA blog post features Cohort 1 Alumna Julie Lowerre
  • 2 weeks left of early bird pricing for Personalization 2020 conference
  • Diversity Talks is hiring!
  • Apply now for The New York Times Teaching Project

Reflecting on Our Mid-Year Retreat

Our Highlander Institute team has been engaging in dialogue around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion throughout the scope of our work. In the past year, we’ve increased our commitment to having regular internal dialogue on these topics through a partnership with Facilitate Change, a small consultancy group based in RI. We’ve been participating in monthly staff meetings and held a longer mid-year retreat this past Monday focused on team building and exploring how race and racism impact our workplace. We strongly believe that a large part of our work is focusing inward, to better understand how we can build meaningful relationships across difference with our partners, students and their families, and teachers. We look forward to continuing to challenge each others’ thinking and learn in the process.

The LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference is only 2 weeks away! Our Director of Pedagogy, Malika Ali, will be in attendance as a featured panelist for the session “Moving to Personalized Teacher Professional Development – How?” on Friday, January 31st.

How should we train and support educators to work with innovative platforms to deliver learning? Panelists will describe how districts are personalizing teacher PD, in particular what solutions they are using. Are these moves related to key initiatives like teaching CS in all grades, adding more STEAM to the curriculum, adopting  universal design for learning, or moving to personalized learning? How might CEUs/PDPs and additional salary be used? What about the role of unions, or teacher leader groups?

Participants will:

  • Investigate how innovating districts are addressing the move to personalizing teacher PD to support key initiatives and teacher career development
  • Explore which tech platforms are assisting them to make the move
  • Understand how blended learning, train-the-trainer approaches, coaching models, and other strategies are used
  • Review major challenges, and how they might be overcome

Click below for more information about the conference, including full agenda, keynote speakers, and details about the Learning Innovation Showcase – always a crowd favorite.

Alumni Spotlight: Julie Lowerre of Fuse MA

In Massachusetts, our Fuse MA partnership with The Education Cooperative keeps educators from over 10 districts connecting, sharing strategies, and pushing each other’s practice as both coaches and teachers. In this new blog post, Cohort 1 Fellow and Dedham 5th grade teacher Ken Toomey talks with Cohort 1 Alumna and Medfield Innovation Integration Specialist Julie Lowerre about pivotal moments in the fellowship and how her role as an educator has transformed since she participated in Fuse.

Early Bird Pricing Ends in 2 Weeks

Personalization 2020 includes 3 days of programming on April 2-4, 2020 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. You can find the agenda here. Thursday features school site visit opportunities to see classrooms in action and community site visits to hear about the complementary work of local organizations. Friday features half day workshops. Saturday features a more traditional conference symposium, offering over 40 sessions focused on supporting and delivering high-quality, personalized instruction. We hope you can join us in the Ocean State! Group discounts are available and early bird pricing ends on February 1. Click below for more information and to register.

From Other Organizations

Seeking: Program Coordinator & Director of Strategic Partnerships

Founded in July 2017, Diversity Talks specializes in increasing the cultural competence of educators by providing student-led professional development grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion. We partner with schools and businesses to create unique educational contexts where adults are learners and young people are the facilitators of learning. We believe that we will achieve lasting impact if we focus our efforts on increasing the cultural competence of adults and concurrently create a platform for youth voice.

Do you know someone who is…
Committed to uplifting youth voice?
Down to dismantle oppressive systems?
Not afraid to identify and confront racism?

We are seeking a full-time Program Coordinator and a full-time Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Image source: The New York Times

Application Now Open for The New York Times Teaching Project

Apply now for a new program that will bring together a select group of educators who teach with The Times. This opportunity begins with a three-day summer institute in New York City, travel and lodging included. The program will continue through the 2020-21 school year as participants continue to work on their curriculum projects, collaborate virtually, share ideas with their individual school communities and have opportunities to work with the Learning Network community as a whole. Applications are due by February 25, 2020.

Highlander Institute thanks our Mission Sponsors for their generous support:

January 11, 2020

Welcome to 2020!

An item from a US-based blended learning organization.

Highlander Institute

No images? Click here

Join the conversation as we partner with communities to design and implement school-based change.

In This Week’s Issue

  • Early bird pricing expires on February 1 for our Personalization 2020 conference
  • Fuse RIC featured on Personalized Learning with Matt & Courtney podcast
  • We’re coming to FETC in Miami next week!
  • Register for the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference on January 30-31
  • Nominate an educator for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching

Don’t Miss Out! Conference Early Bird Pricing Ends on February 1

Formerly known as the Blended & Personalized Learning Conference (BPLC), Personalization 2020 leverages Highlander Institute’s signature approach to programming, showcasing a variety of methods that center on optimizing the engagement and success of stakeholders across school communities. Over the last few years, we have moved away from a focus on blended learning and technology toward a focus on empowering students and teachers. We believe that the “visionary” year of 2020 provides a unique opportunity for us to pause, reflect, and celebrate in the context of our biggest annual convening. From Thursday, April 2nd to Saturday, April 4th at the RI Convention Center in Providence, RI, the event will showcase the best classroom, school, and district practitioners from across the nation.

Our first conference in 2012 drew 60 participants in a local school cafeteria. The conference went national 3 years ago and now draws over 1,000 participants. Personalization 2020 includes 3 days of programming: explore the agenda here. Thursday features school site visit opportunities to see classrooms in action and community site visits to hear about the complementary work of local organizations. Friday features half day workshops. Saturday features a more traditional conference symposium, offering over 40 sessions focused on supporting and delivering high-quality, personalized instruction.

Join us in Providence on April 2-4, 2020 to experience it yourself!

Podcast Feature: Shawn Rubin Discusses Fuse RIC Fellowship

In an interview that took place at the 2019 Aurora Institute Symposium (formerly iNACOL), Matt and Courtney chat with our very own Shawn Rubin about the Fuse RIC program in partnership with Rhode Island College and the RI Office of Innovation. Shawn talks with the hosts about this important teacher prep program initiative and his hopes for what higher education can look like as it incorporates more features of personalized environments. Click below to listen and follow @PLearnMC on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest conversations.

Will we see you in Miami?

From Other Organizations

LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference

Are you ready for the 8th annual LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference? Join us on January 30-31, 2020 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. At this event, attendees are invited to explore the “cutting edge” of teaching and learning with educators, entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators from across pre-K to gray.

LearnLaunch’s carefully curated program of keynotes, panels, and workshops will maximize your exposure to thought leaders and practitioners driving changes in education. More than just an industry conference, Across Boundaries brings together stakeholders from across the education sector – last year, invited speakers ranged from a student representative to the Boston School Committee to the Massachusetts Secretary of Education. You’ll hear from early-stage startups, high schools students, top executives, and university leaders all in the same event, and sometimes even on the same panel!

Call for Nominations: Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching (PAEMST)

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Anyone – principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public – may nominate exceptional STEM teachers who are currently teaching grades K-6 for the 2019-2020 award year. Teachers may also apply directly at www.paemst.org.

The nomination deadline is March 1, 2020, and the application deadline is May 1, 2020, for elementary school teachers (grades K-6). Secondary school teachers (grades 7-12) will be eligible to apply during a future cycle. Questions may be directed to erin.escher@ride.ri.gov or Christopher.Castillero@ride.ri.gov.

Highlander Institute thanks our Mission Sponsors for their generous support:

December 26, 2019

Happy Holidays From The Highlander Institute

Continuing the holiday greetings…

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Happy Holidays from the Highlander Institute team!

Season’s greetings from Rhode Island.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2020!

Dana Borrelli-Murray, Executive Director

A non-profit organization based in Providence, RI, Highlander Institute partners with communities to imagine and create schools that are more equitable, relevant, and effective. At its core, Highlander Institute focuses on creating student-centered, personalized learning environments, particularly for historically underserved student populations.

Highlander Institute has provided thousands of hours of embedded coaching supports in hundreds of classrooms across every district in RI as well as MA, NY, IA, NE, NJ, TX, and CA. Last year alone, Highlander Institute supported 621 RI teachers across 81 RI schools, totaling 27,200 students. Last year, 97% of teachers coached by Highlander Institute demonstrated a marked change in their pedagogical practice, resulting in a statistically significant improvement in student interim assessment scores. Most interestingly,  Black, Latino, economically disadvantaged, and ELL students in a pilot group of Highlander Institute-supported classrooms where teachers received minimal coaching still showed more growth than control classrooms in the same district.

December 24, 2019

Season’s Greetings From TLA

And another holiday greeting…

Hot chocolate with marshmallows in a mug that shows The Learning Accelerator logo in front of a flickering fireplace
Season’s Greetings from TLA!
Wishing you a warm and cozy holiday season.
We are grateful and excited to work with you in the New Year to ensure all students receive the effective, equitable, and engaging education they need to reach their full and unique potential.
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Connect with us!
The Learning Accelerator | 167 Hamilton AvenuePrinceton, NJ 08540

 

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