JSD, August 2014: Welcome to the Idea Lab

Aug 14, 2014




Up close: Deep smarts start hereDownloadNow_small

  • Transform a culture through conversation
  • Immediate follow-up
  • What’s inside
  • Share learning with others

How to choose the right learning designDownloadNow_small
By Lois Brown Easton and Terry Morganti-Fisher

The number of good professional learning designs available to educational leaders has multiplied in the last 10 years, especially through the use of technology. Choosing the right design requires understanding and balancing context needs with what a design offers and requires.

Learning side by side: Teachers and principals work together to strengthen instructionDownloadNow_small
By Patty Maxfield and Sharon Williams

A Washington district with rapidly changing demographics works to eliminate achievement gaps between student groups with a professional learning plan that focuses on side-by-side learning: teacher leaders working with principals and teachers working with teachers.

Change no to yes: Leaders find creative ways to overcome obstacles to adult learningDownloadNow_small
By Ellie Drago-Severson and Jessica Blum-DeStefano

Participants in a graduate leadership course illustrate how they implemented developmental principles and practices in their work, the obstacles they encountered along the way, and the strategies they use to make schools richer places of learning for adults and children.

Stepping stones to leadership: Districts forge a clear path for aspiring principalsDownloadNow_small
By Amy Burrows-McCabe

One Georgia educator’s experience illustrates how leadership develops when a district creates a clear path that begins with identifying future leaders and guiding their steps with preservice opportunities, support, and partnerships.
This article is sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.
(Available to the public.)

The conference of the future: New thinking, new tools, and new ways for adults to learnDownloadNow_small
By Carol François

Changes in the field of professional learning have had considerable impact on how Learning Forward designs its learning offerings. The 2014 Annual Conference blends traditional offerings with additions to the learning menu that reflect the latest professional learning trends.
(Available to the public.)

Special section: Annual Conference previewDownloadNow_small

Pull out this special section to learn about Learning Forward’s Annual Conference Dec. 6-10 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Available to the public.)


From the editor: Serendipity and the search for buried treasureDownloadNow_small
By Tracy Crow

Explore several strategies for staying open to new possibilities.
(Available to the public.)

Essentials: Keeping up with hot topics in the fieldDownloadNow_small

  • Put assessments to work
  • Global view
  • Time for learning
  • Peer review process
  • Equal access
  • Collaborative practices
  • Teacher evaluation


Shape a vision of success.

Lessons from researchDownloadNow_small
By Joellen Killion

The quality of professional learning will influence its results.
(Available to the public.)


  • Foundation award winners
  • Book Club
  • On Board: Looking through students’ eyes
  • Academy Class of 2016
  • Learning Forward calendar
(Available to the public.)

From the director: Use standards to assess how a conference measures up DownloadNow_small
By Stephanie Hirsh

Consider how conferences can live up to the Standards for Professional Learning.
(Available to the public.)


The united state of Wyoming: Teacher-to-teacher initiative boosts reading scores statewideDownloadNow_small
By Sheryl Lain

When Wyoming’s teachers joined together to form a statewide professional learning community, reading scores on the state assessment improved 12% in two years — solid evidence that student performance improves when teachers work toward common goals.

Leading in reading: Nebraska district nets success with evidence-based learningDownloadNow_small
By Melanie Mueller and Ron Hanson

Nebraska’s Papillion-La Vista School District implements a continuous improvement process that leads to double-digit gains in elementary students’ guided reading levels and on the state reading test, along with gains in common local reading comprehension assessments.