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New Initiatives and Partnerships for AALF

As many of you are aware from previous columns, over the past two and half years, much of our time has been invested in scaling a support network for 1 to 1 initiatives across the globe. This came as a result of the success of the original 21 Steps for 21st Century Learning leader’s workshops, which we originally developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Queensland, Australia around 2003-4.

In the decade since we have successfully run workshops for thousands of schools leaders across more than 40 countries. However about four years ago we realized the growth of 1 to 1 was out scoping the reach of the Foundation, and so we had discussions with a number of potential partners with an eye to scale well beyond the reach of our own resources.

This ultimately resulted in another partnership, this time with Microsoft, who subsequently funded the extensive development and deployment of a revised series of workshop resources for both school leadership, and workshop leaders ‘white labelled’, Design & Deployment. This has been a most successful initiative, which saw 17 workshops conducted in 7 countries for hundreds of school leaders from more than 20 countries over the past 18 months. Most importantly it also allowed us to run the workshops as Master Classes for 36 workshop leaders from around the world, who are now in turn able to scale the workshops across a much broader network of schools in their own countries and beyond. The last of these was held in Tampa, Florida in late May this year, and subsequently a number of additional workshops have already been hosted by our new network of workshop leaders.

Ultimately as you might expect, our goal with this initiative, was to provide school and policy leaders across the globe with the best possible resources and knowledge from the experience of AALF members, and to lay down the foundations for a successful deployment and development of a technology-rich learning environment for their students.

As we move forward we continue to seek ways for your Foundation to have the most impact within the scope of our humble resources.

Accordingly we believe with the reach the 21 Steps program has had over the past 10 years, we are finally able to focus our energies on what this ubiquitous access now makes possible, and in coming months we are hoping to roll out a new series of workshops focused on Coaching. These workshops offer schools an affordable, flexible and innovative range of strategies to support teachers in the shift in practice that technology-richness makes possible.

We’ll keep you advised of the workshops’ development, but if any of you would like to know more, or be involved, please contact Susan at seinhorn@aalf.org .

And while we will always seek to be pushing boundaries through the thought leadership and advocacy we seek to maintain through various articles, press releases, forum responses, and speaking engagements, we are also looking to increase the benefit you’ll receive through a new partnership with Modern Learner Media. This is an emerging US East Coast publisher which I am involved with, together with Will Richardson, and from next month it will allow AALF to provide members with a more frequent source of news and information addressing topics that I’m sure you will find of real interest.

Topics covered recently include:
• Understanding the Role of Technology in Learning With Young Children
• The Science of the Mind in the Classroom of the Future
• Who “Gets” to be a Self-directed Learner?
• Assessment and Efficacy- what’s the difference?
• What Should School Leaders know about Adaptive Learning
• What the Maker Movement offers Learners
• Hacking the Textbook.

The newsletter, Educating Modern Learners, will now be provided free of charge to AALF members on a weekly basis, and is edited by well-known hackeducation writer, Audrey Watters. The newsletter contains no sponsorship or advertising, and will carry, on a weekly basis, independently commissioned articles by respected commentators and experts from around the world.

Additionally members will have access to a premium subscription for other resources such as white papers and books if they wish to subscribe to them.

We feel this will be a valuable partnership as it will again allow us to extend the range of resources for our members, at no extra cost to the Foundation, while freeing up internal staff who previously did an exceptional job publishing the bimonthly AALF newsletter.

From time to time you will, of course, continue to see news of the work of AALF in the EML, and, most importantly, have access to a much wider range of articles and information that will support your work.

As time passes, and the emphasis of our work, finally… finally moves from technology provision, to the ‘stuff that really matters’… unlocking the possibilities for our young people…we’ll continue to look for the best ways AALF can partner and leverage the best resources and support for our members.


June 17th, 2014 @ 2:02PM