February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
Teachers, Friends, and Colleagues:
We started CLN in 2011 to share ideas about learning and teaching, as well as provide a collaborative space for good ideas to take form and, hopefully, spread. Our aim was to learn and grow with each and all of you; and our hope was that you would take new ideas and practices into your classrooms, schools, and districts. We imagined that if we initiated it, others would add to what we started. Our key beliefs are still:
- Inquiry is at the heart of learning.
- Learners play, construct & reflect.
- Learning is a social process. We learn best together and with each other’s help.
- Educators’ learning should embody the learning we want for students.
We experimented with creating a “learn-build” community, attempting to model strategies for professional learning that we thought would transfer to the classroom: Blended learning, with some online reading and discussion, combined with synchronous online chats, using an inquiry approach. Simultaneously, we began a series of monthly webinars aimed at sharing information and ideas about innovative educational programs in Colorado.
The learn-build effort garnered some interest but didn’t take off. The webinars attracted a small but vibrant group of participants, and we thoroughly appreciated the online chats and feedback we got through the webinars. We’re proud of that effort, and would still urge anyone who missed various of those hour-long sessions to look at the archives for interesting topics. Over time, however, as participation has declined, we have wondered whether the webinars meet the pressing needs of Colorado educators.
At a recent meeting of our group, we discussed these issues and more. Unfortunately, we didn’t come up with too many answers, other than we know how busy you are and how busy we are. We are not certain how to proceed.
And so, friends, for the time being, we have decided to put the CLN work to the side. We will continue to hold this space, should need or interest arise and/or if you would like to use the space to bring a group together, distill or share an idea, or simply connect with one another.
A CLN webinar with Mark Wilding of PassageWorks Institute (May 2012) really got our group thinking. We believe Mark’s new book, The Five Dimensions of Engaged Teaching (to be published in May 2013), offers powerful ideas for teachers to ponder along with strategies they can implement to improve student learning and motivation. We’ve been thinking about how to explore those ideas and strategies through rich online learning experiences; we are exploring ideas for launching an online study and practitioners support group when the book is published.
More details — and more learning — coming soon!