Author: West Wind

Science Fair Theory Leads to Real-World Suggestion

Science Fair Theory Leads to Real-World Suggestion

Reading Time: < 1 minute

This middle school student had a good idea that just kept getting better. A Pittsburgh-area teen had a hypothesis for his science fair project: The school district might save some money by reducing its use of printer ink…by changing the font used to create the handouts teachers distribute in class.

His thorough research and well-documented findings led to an expansion of that novel idea and…to headline news at CNN.com: Teen to Government: Change your typeface, save millions.

 

4, 3, 2, 1…some of our favorite posts from 2013

4, 3, 2, 1…some of our favorite posts from 2013

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As we reflected on 2013  while making plans for 2014, we talked about the ideas we shared via the online communities of practice we created or manage for our partners and clients. Each of our policy staff members has chosen a blog post or discussion entry that they wrote  to highlight here. We hope these will pique interest or provide insight on a variety of topics from 2013. Continue reading “4, 3, 2, 1…some of our favorite posts from 2013”

Leadership and Implementation: A Collaborative Inquiry Protocol

Leadership and Implementation: A Collaborative Inquiry Protocol

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West Wind Education Policy Inc. originally developed this Collaborative Inquiry Protocol to guide our consultations on racial equity in K–12 public education. We have since customized the protocol for specific audiences, including those working on educator evaluation system redesign and—here—those using implementation science to support their work.

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Quick Scan: Resources for Designing, Implementing, and Sustaining Online Communities of Practice

Quick Scan: Resources for Designing, Implementing, and Sustaining Online Communities of Practice

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West Wind conducted a quick scan of the field to find information for the 2013 Global Implementation Conference about the use of social media in support of online communities of practice (CoPs). The following scan was prepared by Deb Hansen. This scan is not intended to be an exhaustive review of available resources; rather, it is a compilation of some of the resources we use most in our work.

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All Aboard! Teachers and Principals join efforts in collaborative learning teams to understand assessment for learning

All Aboard! Teachers and Principals join efforts in collaborative learning teams to understand assessment for learning

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IN ONE IOWA DISTRICT, ALL TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS ARE ON THE SAME JOURNEY

Collaborative learning teams are improving teacher practice and student learning results in the Dallas Center-Grimes Community School Districts near Des Moines, Iowa.

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What Teachers Really Do for All Those Apples

What Teachers Really Do for All Those Apples

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On Saturday I attended an apple grafting workshop. Though I have no particular inclination to learn how to graft apples, I do have a passion for small-scale sustainable farming and orchards are almost always included as part of the design of sustainable homesteads. So, I went to the workshop and came home with six tiny trees, which if I learned well and the grafts grow, will kick-start my someday orchard. Continue reading “What Teachers Really Do for All Those Apples”

Design-Stage Considerations for Using Collaboration Sites to Support Communities of Practice

Design-Stage Considerations for Using Collaboration Sites to Support Communities of Practice

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Written by Circe Stumbo and Mandi Bozarth

The design of the online components of a community of practice determines its potential and limitations even before any member has joined. Decisions must be made very early in the design stage that will impact the community’s usefulness, longevity, implementation, and success. This document outlines those decisions. We pose many questions you will want to ask yourself, but we do not offer answers to those questions, as each community of practice will have different answers. We have advice and experience to offer as you begin answering those questions and would be pleased to hear from you if you are interested in further conversation.

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Designing and Growing an Online Community of Practice:  A Case Study of the Iowa Forum on Competency-based Education

Designing and Growing an Online Community of Practice: A Case Study of the Iowa Forum on Competency-based Education

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In December 2011 the Iowa Department of Education asked West Wind Education Policy Inc. to develop an accessible format to share information about competency-based education with stakeholders across the state in real-time. The format was meant to promote community engagement begun at a conference of Iowa educators, higher education faculty, Iowa Workforce Development staff, national experts, policy makers, and state education agency staff. West Wind decided that the charge could best be met with the development of an online community of practice or collaboration site. The following is a case study of the deliberations that led West Wind to the design, creation, and implementation of the Iowa Forum on Competency-based Education.

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Back to School

Back to School

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Mandi: Today I saw another one of the big differences between a Kindergartener and a 2nd Grader: the Kindergartener kisses Mom profusely, yells bye, and gives Mom and Dad a high five; the 2nd Grader blushes profusely when Mom tries for a kiss, waves bye shyly, and rolls his eyes when Mom puts up her hand for a high five – but he does it anyway! And I learned that this mom is just as teary and nervous when the second child goes off to Kindergarten as the first. My little girl looked so tiny, walking through that door. I am grateful for the wonderful teachers who welcomed both of them into their classes this morning and whose rooms were already filled with lesson plans, books, great displays, and all the markings of people who love their jobs and are dedicated to helping their students. I’m ready for this next family adventure and glad to have the support of such amazing teachers, staff, and a great principal on the journey with us! Finn 2nd, Jocie Kindergarten Continue reading “Back to School”

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