Professional Learning
Professional Learning

Educators are the lead learners in schools. If they are to enable powerful, authentic, deep learning among their students, they need to live that kind of learning and professional culture themselves. When everyone is part of that experiential through-line, that’s when next generation learning thrives.

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Next gen learning work can be challenging. Who do you wish you could call for advice? Who do you call?

We asked some NGLC grant recipients and friends of the initiative to name the leaders in our field that they admire, trust, and wish they had a Batphone connection to. Use these crowdsourced recommendations of leaders to learn from to build up your Personal Learning Network. Take some time to learn about their educational philosophy and their work, read their writings, meet at conferences, and connect on social media.

As one contributor noted about our field, “Generally, I have found that folks in our industry from funders to founders to leaders to academics are all generally willing to offer advice. I would say one of the best if not the best benefit of working in public education for any length of time is that you can professionally develop some great relationships with folks who are as generous as they are skilled with their time which in turn helps develop you both professionally and personally.”

A huge thanks to those who contributed to this list—they are named below and are themselves leaders with great advice to offer the field. Please join in: if you don’t see one of your go-to sources, share it in the comments.
 
The contributors referred to personal relationships as key sources of advice: their significant others, their children, parents, colleagues who have become true friends, and friends in different careers, like startups and the edtech industry. Professional relationships included people on their school or charter board, business partners, school leadership teams, and students’ families.

Here are specific recommendations:

  • Scott Barron, School Growth and Yabwi
  • The folks at Brooklyn LAB “Really thoughtful about intentional use of technology to help all students learn. They’d be my go to on anything technology implementation related.”
  • John Dewey "You said ‘wish"
  • Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
  • Howard Fuller
  • Leah Hamilton, Barr Foundation. “She’s thought a lot about what it takes to partner effectively with systems to make change happen.”
  • Stephen Heppell
  • Tony Hsieh 
  • JoEllen Lynch, Springpoint’s Executive Director. “She has many years of experience opening new high schools and a unique perspective on youth development theory as a driver for student centered, mastery based school design.” 
  • “I wouldn’t mind having Elon Musk on speed dial.”
  • Eric Nadelstern, Former Chief of Schools for NYC Department of Education, now leads the Principal Prep program at Columbia University
  • NewSchools Venture Fund
  • Chad Rountree, Denver Teach Today 
  • Antonia Rudenstine, reDesign. “A competency system implementation guru.”
  • Diane Tavenner 
  • Liliana Vargas, Internationals Network for Public Schools. “Those folks are really smart about high school design and are doing great national high school work, especially with English Language Learners.”  
  • A consortium of all District and Charter CFOs. “A crowdsourced place to find solutions for district and charter management looking for creative solutions to complex funding challenges. I wish this existed. I hope to help see this happen soon.”

Other Ways to Connect

Our contributors also shared social media connections and websites they visit for inspiration, strategy, and new knowledge. Find these recommendations in the first blog in the Crowdsourcing a Personal Learning Network series. In the next post, I will compile a reading list of blogs, books, and online sources that you’ll want to bookmark.

#NGLCchat. Join the conversation! Here’s a Storify summary of our first chat which focused on Learner Profiles and Personal Learning Plans. The summary contains links to all the great resources and advice shared during the chat by guest hosts from Thrive Public Schools in San Diego, CICS West Belden in Chicago, and Vermont’s state department of education. Our next official chat is scheduled for November 5, 2015 from 7-8 pm ET.  

3 Things You Can Do This Summer to Be a Better Teacher in the Fall, EdWeek Teacher, June 10, 2015. Great resources and suggested action steps to 1) Practice mindfulness, 2) Read, reflect, plan, and 3) Connect, collaborate, listen, and share.

100 Education Twitter Accounts to Follow, Getting Smart, July 13, 2015. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Twitter is an excellent, highly-recommended way to connect professionally. Don’t forget to follow @NextGenLC and #NGLCchat!

Thank you to these resourceful next gen leaders for their contributions:
Elina Alayeva, Director of National Strategy, Springpoint
Sujata Bhatt, Founder, Incubator Schools
Sajan George, Founder and CEO, Matchbook Learning
Nichole Husa, Personalized Learning Officer, Cornerstone Charter Schools
Steve Kossakoski, CEO, Virtual Learning Academy Charter School
Leigh McGuigan, CEO and Co-Founder, Vertus Charter Schools
Scott Milam, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Afton Partners
Jonathan Santos Silva, Head of School, Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy High School
Carrie Stewart, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Afton Partners
Ephraim Weisstein, Founder, Schools for the Future
Rebecca Wolfe, Director, Students at the Center, Jobs for the Future

Kristen Vogt

Knowledge Officer, NGLC

Kristen Vogt, knowledge management officer for NGLC, focuses on identifying lessons, strategies and outcomes from NGLC grantee projects and making them available to a wider audience.