Our presenter was Chad Vignola, Executive Director of LDC. I’ve been looking forward to this session, since I’m a “big picture” person; I like to know how an initiative looks on the national scene.
There were three goals for this presentation:
1. What is the National LDC Community of practice?
2. What is the National LDC Organization?
3. What are some ways in which teachers currently participate as professional educators in the National LDC Community of practice?
Chad explained that LDC began in 2009 in one district, and has since grown to 41 states, even though the staff includes only eleven people. The overall idea of LDC is to empower teachers to develop their own practice. LDC essentially acts as a clearinghouse, providing the template and platform and allowing teachers to share good teaching. The goals for the national organization are to support and improve teacher skills and improve student learning. It’s that simple!
He outlined three strategies being used to advance these goals:
-building on the dynamic framework; the template is constantly developing and improving responding to teacher input
-creating teacher-friendly online tools that result in creating time for teachers
-supporting the national community; making sure the politics of school reform don’t interfere with the progress of school reform
LDC is also working on creating and articulating research so that policymakers can be assured that it works.
Chad explained some of the changes in the template task creation and the rubrics to assess them. There’s been a huge – and welcome! – progress on lower grade band templates. He showed us some of the training resources: the site has slideshows and other static resources available online. There’s also new CoreTools that can provide virtual coaching for teachers writing modules.
Some of the recent accomplishments include jurying protocols and related resources and the fact that anchor papers and rubrics have been added to a national bank, resulting in a nationally calibrated bank of student work. He also detailed the LDC Exemplary Module Library; these modules include anchor student work and the LDC Good To Go library; these lack student work, yet are strong modules.
The LDC National Community of Practice is currently focused on trainings on the jurying process, quarterly national jurying and the use of social media: whenever an exemplary module is submitted, LDC sends out a tweet to announce it. Yeah!!
Chad gave us a glimpse of what’s to come:
-a way to streamline LDC work with teacher evaluation, so that teachers involved with LDC can upload their work, complete with student work without duplicating it for evaluation purposes. This would essentially be an on-line teacher portfolio.
-increasing elementary resources
-coaching training opportunities
Chad led us through the on-line tools, including support resources for newbies. He went on to introduce the mini-task library and the module library, both of which are available on the LDC website.
Of particular interest to me is a new tool that maps LDC modules with the Danielson Framework. (Ours is a Danielson district) This is part of the new initiative to create on-line teacher portfolios built around LDC.
Chad described several recent research findings, indicate that LDC works, notably among high needs students. In additional, research shows that jurying training results in teachers who have a better idea of how to create effective modules.
Future research will focus on using LDC modules and assessments to chart student growth, how well LDC supports teachers trying to write effective modules, the use of automated essay scoring, and further involving teacher input to solve issues such as text choice.
There are many roles teachers can join LDC:
-submit modules, whither they’re exemplars are Good To Go’s
-become part of the jurying process
-train to be a LDC coach
This session was dense! There was a lot of information delivered quickly, and as a relative newcomer, I was somewhat overwhelmed. However, Chad repeatedly told us that everything he described was available online. I will definitely be spending some time there.