The Technology and Learning team sees our role at the Department as serving as a convener, connector, and collaborator – and wants to help develop a cohort of educator leaders who can do the same. This year’s theme is “Designing for Learning with Technology” and the goal is to build the capacity of educator leaders so that they will be able to share models and create a statewide network of educators who can all design for learning with technology in order to achieve better student learning outcomes. These educator leaders are called "Learning Design Leaders."
Learning Design Leaders (LDLs) are Maine educators who successfully design learning experiences that leverage technology for better student learning outcomes and/or who successfully design learning experiences that grow the capacity for other educators to leverage technology for better student learning outcomes. The 2018 – 2019 cohort of LDLs has a mix of educators from different roles (administrators, teachers, librarians, technology integrators, etc.), from different grade levels (Pre-K through 12 and higher education), and from across multiple regions of the state.
Learning Design Leaders are able to clearly share models of how they designed and facilitated learning experiences where students:
- Make their thinking visible, meaningful, shareable, and amplified (phrase is from “A Guide for Documenting Learning: Making Thinking Visible, Meaningful, Sharable, and Amplified” by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano and Janet A. Hale)
- Gain a conceptual understanding (not just procedural knowledge)
- Dig deeper into the learning and can transfer it from one context to another (instead of students just gaining surface level knowledge)
- Are producing and creating (instead of just consuming)
- Use individual skills, abilities, and interests while learning (instead of participating in a ‘one-size fits all’ model).
LDLs are also be able to help other educators see how these models can be transformed so that they can be successfully implemented in other contexts. They can help other educators understand how to make pedagogical decisions that help students do the five things listed above through the design of learning experiences and also by sharing strategies for becoming a more dynamic and responsive facilitator of learning while students are engaged in the experiences.
More Information about each type of Learning Design Leader can be found below:
This particular group of LDLs will focus on the development of digital artifacts that can be shared with educators across the state in order to provide models that can be used in other contexts or that can inspire innovative approaches to designing for learning. Digital artifacts can include webinars, short videos, blog posts, case studies, or other artifacts suggested by the LDL that can support the growth and learning of educators. The LDL should plan to host a few online office hours to answer questions educators might have, and should be posting artifacts on a consistent schedule throughout the year.
This particular group of LDLs will focus on the development of Learning Labs, Dine and Design events, and Case Studies.
- Learning Labs will be a facilitated opportunity for other educators to visit the school of the LDL to see and experience models of leveraging technology for better student outcomes. They will also have the opportunity to talk with some of the educators at the school about how they designed those experiences, the challenges they encountered, how the adapted, things they would do differently, etc. The LDL should be able to facilitate a safe environment for educators to share their thinking and process behind learning design and for visiting educators to ask questions that will help move them closer to being able to design something similar on their own.
- Dine and Design events will follow the Learning Lab (literally on the same day). The LDL should facilitate some networking between educators who attended the Learning Lab over snacks. Visiting educators should leave not only seeing models from the school that served as the Learning Lab, but also hearing about ideas from educators from other schools. After the networking, the LDL should be able to lead visiting educators in a process of designing for learning. They should leave with something that they could try with their own students the next day (or shortly thereafter).
- Case Studies should highlight the school’s process of developing a culture around designing for learning with technology in a way that moves the students to better learning outcomes (especially the ones highlighted above). The case study can be written or filmed and should include artifacts from the process. Case Studies are more than just a story of what happened. They are used to spark conversation and learning so that key themes and trends emerge. They often have multiple points in which different decisions could have been made that would have resulted in different outcomes. In this way, readers have the opportunity to grapple with problems of practice and develop greater clarity around both the components of those problems as well as the strategies for successfully navigating them. Many LDLs would probably choose to write the Case Study, and then follow it up closer to the end of the year with a ‘this is what ultimately happened and here’s what we learned’ type of narrative.
This particular group of LDLs will focus on the development of a professional learning event in their region. The event should help educators design for learning with technology in order to gain better student learning outcomes (see notes above). There will be up to nine regional events in the fall, and up to nine regional events in the spring. Each regional event will have up to four LDLs to lead sessions and be resources for educators. These LDLs will represent a variety of roles (administrators, educators, librarians, technology integrators, etc.).
The overall format of the event should include the LDLs sharing models that can be transferred into the context of attending educators. A large portion of the event should also be left for educators to network with each other and to create something that they can take back to their classrooms and schools and use with their students (or staff) in the very near future.