Sharing Educational Insight at iNACOL Annual Symposium

Topics: Community Partnerships, Education Policy, ESSA

Guest post by Mary Tighe

More than 2,500 experts and educational leaders explored the next-generation of learning at this year’s iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium in California throughout last week. Attendees learned and shared about K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning throughout the country and world.

Throughout the week, our policy team shared insight into three important, innovative educational topics:

  1. Collective Impact | Collective Impact has emerged as an innovative way to align resources and individuals toward common goals. KnowledgeWorks Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Matt Williams shared collective impact insights in the panel “Smart Cities: Sparking an Urban Education Revolution.”The panel explored how to scale and implement blended learning and form city-wide partnerships. Matt’s insights were based on the work of our subsidiary, StriveTogether, and our aligned policy work both in Washington D.C. and throughout the country, as well as KnowledgeWorks Senior Director of National Policy Lillian Pace’s federal policy guide for collective impact.
  2. Competency Education | In switching to a competency-based education system, a highly trained and engaged educator workforce will be the single-most important driver. Today, Matt co-presented a session with iNACOL’s Maria Worthen titled, “Laying the Foundation for Competency Education: Policies to Support a Next-Generation Educator Workforce.”Based on Maria and Lillian’s recently released paper, the session explored necessary changes to pre-service preparation, certification, professional development and evaluation programs to ensure educators have the support needed to make this transition. The session also discussed current policy barriers and shared federal and state policy recommendations to support educators in the shift to competency.
  3. Personalized Learning | Personalized learning focuses on each student’s individual strengths and needs. Matt and KnowledgeWorks Director of State Advocacy and Research Jesse Moyer explored school and district conditions needed for personalized learning in their Friday session, “District Conditions for Success.”Based on an extensive listening tour with school and district leaders who are leading personalized learning movements and a new publication titled, “District Conditions for Scale: A Practical Guide to Scaling Personalized Learning,” Matt and Jesse will share insight into the conditions for success that a district should put in place to support the scaling of innovative learning environments throughout the K-12 school district.

Follow Matt (@mattawilliams), Jesse (@jessemoyer) and Lillian (@lillianpace) on Twitter, or join the conversation with #iNACOL14.