Empower Differentiated Professional Learning

Welcome to our anchor page for the workshop Empower Differentiated Professional Learning With Digital Tools.  May this page not only serve to guide  your thinking for the workshop, but also serve as a resource to deepen your learning once you have some time and space to process.


There are a few things we will need to do to set up our learning environment.

  • Log on to our room on TodaysMeet.  Identify what you hope to gain from today’s workshop. Feel free to start responding to each others’ thinking. This will be the site where we will build today’s script. This is a place to hold questions and share insights. TodaysMeet is a backchannel, micro-blogging tool that makes it possible for discussions to happen live while a presentation or class is happening.
  • Open and download your own graphic organizer to hold your individual thinking as we move through the workshop. Simply go to “file” in right hand corner of the tool bar and click “download as…” If you are a google user, you can also copy the document to manipulate with highlighting and comments. To copy: open document, go to file in right hand corner of tool bar, click “make a copy…”

Key Learning Targets of the Workshop:

  1. I can analyze the complexities of serving the differentiated learning needs of teachers in a 21st century learning environment
  2. I can explore a variety of free digital tools (eg. Google Doc, Google Site, TodaysMeet, Diigo, etc) that can serve differentiated learning needs
  3. I can use the case study to align components of Graded’s model to serve the needs of my learning organization

Learning Experience 1: How can Graded School trigger reflection about what to consider within your learning organization?

Case Study: Graded School Overview
The above live link will take you to a profile of Graded School. We will use this profile to set the stage for today’s case study. As you read the profile, consider the elements that help identify the needs of students, teachers and the organization. More importantly, use this general overview as a means to reflect on the dynamics of your learning organizations.

Protocol 1: Three Levels of Text

In table groups, you will have the opportunity to share out your reflections using a simple protocol, tracking your insights and questions in our room on TodaysMeet. I’ve never met a protocol I didn’t want to tweak, and this is no exception. Please note the specific questions to guide your dialogue.

Learning Experience 2: How can Graded School trigger reflection on how to use digital tools to make transparent the process of determining an explicit learning destination?

Protocol 2: Modified Descriptive Consultancy

Again, I have tweaked this protocol to meet our needs.  You will examine 3 key resources from Graded’s Professional Learning Advisory Council Google site and with a partner share out on how what you see (describe) adds to a collaborative and transparent environment.

1) Who is the Professional Learning Advisory Council? In brief, I characterize them as the lead learners of Graded School.
2) How did they build a tool with the school community to make learning explicit and monitor implementation?
3) What is the final result (Assessment Continuum)?

Learning Experience 3: How can Graded School trigger reflection on how to use digital tools to craft a learning environment?

Protocol 3: Three “A” s Text Protocol

Yup, you guessed it… another tweaked protocol – and this time digital. For this learning experience, you will hop on Graded’s PLC@Graded site.  Using this form, you will record (by tables) Assumptions I held in building out the learning environment, Agreements to what is important to include in building out this environment, and what is something you can Act upon. Please notice the tabs at the bottom. Click on the tabs to go to your table group. This helps to manage all the “document chatter.”

Learning Experience 4: How can Graded School’s strategies for monitoring and assessing trigger reflection on what next steps your organization can take to deepen your own practices?

Protocol 4: Success Analysis Protocol

Although focusing on monitoring and assessment, the final protocol also serves as an opportunity to look at the structure collectively. After sitting so long, this protocol embeds a strategy that leads us to get up, move and share. The final task, writing a headline that is captured on Wallwisher will also serve to close the loop. I will open our next faculty workshop with your thinking as a celebration of our work. (Tablet users, you will need to find a laptop partner to write your headline)

Additional Resources

  • You can find a short tutorial here of TodaysMeet if you want to explore beyond today’s workshop.  Additionally, the July 7 post on the main page of “A Satisfying Narrative” gives some examples of using a backchannel for different learning opportunities.
  • For the original protocols and an excellent source for many protocols go to the National School Reform Faculty Protocol Page and School Reform Initiative Protocol Page
  • SCAMPER Long Version
  • Learning Forward’s resources for Innovation Configuration maps (You will also see some JSDC articles on the PLAC site that you are welcome to download.)
  • Professional Learning Communities by Design: Putting the Learning Back Into PLCs by Lois Easton. A powerful view of PLCs that has more dimensions than DuFour’s model. I also appreciate the element and inquiry and teacher ownership of this model.
  • Youtube video supporting teachers and leaders in using the Assessment Continuum to set goals for the year. This is a very raw video primarily to support leaders in what conversations could sound like when working with the goal setting sheet.  Goal Setting with Jeff and Colleen
  • Tools that are similar to Wallwisher can be found here. Admittedly, Wallwisher has been a favorite for a long time due to its simplicity. It makes it to the classroom after every workshop – the best evidence of the power of a tool.
  • Tutorial for building out Google Sites. There are many out there, but I like how this is organized and teachers found it very clear.

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