Weaving Connections Throughout Our Work

Posted by | Feb 9, 2016
Westside Community Schools

(Westside Community Schools)

Long-term engagements with a single client are my favorite type of work. Working together, we can truly create something great, that leaves a lasting impact on the client, and can affect change.

Last year, I worked with Education Elements and the Lexington Institute  on the first national fellowship for personalized learning with 10 school districts from around the country. The Lexington Education Leadership Award (LELA) Fellows ranged in size, demographics, and geography but they had one passion — improving education for their students. The six-month program included a Graphic Footprints Visioning Workshop for each school district to clarify and visualize their personalized learning visions at the district level. At each four-hour session, superintendents, teachers, and administrative staff worked together to craft their vision of how a personalized learning environment can create options, choice, and opportunities for their students. The work was hard, but the dedication was clear.

Each session was custom-designed to meet each school district where they were in their personalized learning journey. For districts who were just starting out, our session together helped them solidify their vision and vision statement. For districts who were in the implementation stage, we worked to create a visual to use as a communication tool and plan for next action steps. At the end of each session, there was increased clarity within each team about what they wanted to achieve together and what they needed to tackle to move forward.

We finished with 10 very different maps that were displayed in the last workshop, where superintendents pitched their vision to the rest of the group. We began to see similarities and connections weaving throughout the 10 conversations.

The visuals were powerful in three major ways:

  1. Process tool that clarified personalized learning visions during the four-hour workshop.
  2. Communication tool for each school district to describe a difficult (and sometimes controversial topic) to their staff, faculty, and communities.
  3. Connection tool for the LELA Fellows by illustrating each vision, where they were in the journey, and how they could help one another moving forward.

Take a look at some of the maps below and see what themes you see emerging in this new, incredibly challenging, and truly inspiring way of educating our children. Our next set of sessions start in March, and I can’t wait to see what emerges from the second year of this fellowship.

How do you bring your knowledge or experience to surface hidden connections throughout your work?


Oxnard UnionAdditional Resources:

Take a look at the new Education Elements Personalized Learning Playbook, written by CEO, Anthony Kim.  It’ll change your mind about the future of education.

More information on the LELA program can be found here.




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