As educational leaders there are countless opportunities for professional learning; but how many venues are there for us to learn how to build capacity and support our teachers as our districts and buildings transition to a digital and personalized learning model?

I went 1:1, almost 5 years ago now (Wow time flies!!!), as a 3rd grade teacher. My building principal was supportive of my goals but had little background on 1:1 initiatives, let alone how to assess the effectiveness of my blended learning program.  Fast forward two years, where I was now the building principal in a district going 1:1. Obviously, I was more prepared to support my staff as I had already learned so much from my experience as a teacher, but I struggled to find a professional learning network in which I could collaborate and continue to learn from as we entered into personalized and digital learning.

The Learning Technology Centers of Illinois has partnered with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation out of NC State University’s College of Education and Illinois’ Regional Offices of Education to offer a capacity-building program designed to meet the professional learning needs of principals and district leaders as they transition to digital and personalized learning.

Trust me when I say this is not your typical professional learning experience!  Participants will engage in real-world, value-added activities that are a part of a proven cycle of capacity building for their students, teachers, and communities – activities that are essential to the school’s transformation.  This program goes deeper than traditional sit-and-get professional development because it:

  • Is job-embedded; Activities and planning are immediately applicable in your school
  • Sets aside the time you need to make a plan
  • Gives you access to data collection tools to drive decisions
  • Connects you to a diverse group of principals and districts

District leaders will be engaged in a rigorous five-session course with online and face-to-face components that will enable principals and building leaders to experience personalized and digital learning as learners!

  • Session 1: Knowing Your Why and Developing Your Vision:
    • Topics include: personalized learning models (competency-based, blended, etc), leadership and an introspective look at yourself as a leader, establishing your needs and the needs of your schools, and identifying your allies
  • Session 2: Culture and Change Management
    • Topics include: understanding culture, considering the culture in your school, leadership & culture interactions, leading change; framework for leading change in your school, engaging stakeholders
  • Session 3: Shifting Teaching & Learning
    • Topics include: personalized learning and teaching, supporting the whole student and all students (learner agency, SEL), the leader’s role in observing and evaluating
  • Session 4: Human Capacity and Professional Learning
    • Topics include: elements of effective professional learning, digital learning competencies, examining your school’s professional learning, distributed leadership & coaching teachers, professional learning models
  • Session 5: Systems for Transforming to Personalized and Digital Learning
    • Topics include: community partnerships and effective communication, systems (human and technological), devices & approaches, rethinking current structures

I understand how difficult it can be to be out of your building, especially for 5 days throughout the year; however, it will be time well spent!  There are also some perks for you as a participant….you can earn 45 PD Hours upon completion of the cohort OR you can check your annual Admin. Academy off your list in addition to receiving 39 PD Hours OR you can receive 3 graduate credits through Lindenwood University.

I will be co-facilitating this experience with Lauren Lipsy from Lake County ROE.  The dates for the in-person seminars are 10/16/2018, 11/29/2018, 1/22/2019, 2/20/2019, 4/23/2019.  Click here to register to join the Leadership in Personalized and Digital Learning Program!

Katie Algrim – Director of Innovative Professional Learning


Leave a Reply