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Do It Yourself Learning Opportunities (DIY Learning Opps)

The Learning Alliance will be organizing learning opportunities on different topics. But you don't have to wait. You can organize your own learning opportunities. If you have a topic you are interested in that we haven't covered yet, let us know and we can do the research you need.

Below are a number of ways you can organize learning in your community about improving education:

Exchanges: Research takes time. We can help each other by sharing our knowledge and resources. There are many tools available to exchange knowledge and ideas, including writing a post for the blog about what you know or what you want to know. Perhaps you have expertise in a topic  -- write a short blog post so that others can build on what you know. Use the “Comment” section on the blog to share your questions, resources and ideas.

Huddles: Urgent education issues can pop up suddenly, allowing very little time to build expertise or explore. Find a group of people and do a quick huddle at your workplace, in your home, or over the phone. You can use the Values Framework  to create a vision and questions to guide discussions. It’s much easier to get on top of an issue while working together.

Circles: Do you want to build expertise on a topic? Create a learning circle with colleagues, friends, the PTA, or a community organization. Check out the Spotlight on Education for questions and resources to help you get started.

Site Visits: Experiential learning is invaluable. Take time to visit schools with students, parents and community leaders to learn about their school cultures, structures, and teaching strategies. Visit projects in other districts that are getting great results. Seeing and talking to others about how they improving their schools is a great way to learn and to build networks. Then share what you learn on the Learning Alliance blog.

Forums: Public events, such as forums with one speaker or a panel of speakers, can bring information to many people at one time. A summary of the highlights can be shared through the blog so that others can learn from the event.

  • Past Learning Alliance Forums include:
    • A Conversation about Innovation, Larry Myatt, Education Resources Consortium
    • Education Finance with Don Moya, APS, Myra Segal, Voices for NM's Children, Robert Baade, Robert F. Kennedy Charter School
    • Reflections on Education Reform with Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach for America

Institutes: There are other, more intensive ways to learn about new issues and to expand networks, such as attending conferences. Or you can organize institutes in your community, where people can attend and go into more detail, as needed. Then be sure to share your new information through the Learning Alliance.