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Locals among 140 education leaders convening in Houston

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), as part of its Teaming for Transformation: Leading Digital Conversion for Student Learning II (T4T), gathered more than 140 K-12 leaders from across the nation in Houston, Texas, last week to continue the discussion on how to improve student-centered learning.

Attending from Lincoln County School System were Dr. Wanda Shelton, director of schools, and Dr. Terry Sue Fanning, Brad Luna, and Amy Clemons.

One of several Teaming for Transformation II hybrid professional development activities, which began in August and will conclude in March 2014, the event allowed participants to explore the process of digital conversion during school site visits and share insights in panel discussions and networking sessions. Teaming for Transformation II comprises 19 districts nationwide and is made possible with support from Follett Library Resources, Pearson and Presidio.

“It was an honor to host CoSN’s second Teaming for Transformation conference here in Katy ISD,” said Alton Frailey, superintendent, Katy Independent School District. “We are truly in an age of transformation in education, as the increased integration of technology in the classroom is leading to greater student engagement and creative teaching methods. Bringing together education leaders from around the country to share ideas and best practices will only lead to greater transformation that will ultimately benefit all students.”

The two-day event took participants on a site visit to schools in Katy ISD and gave them an opportunity to interact with administrators, teachers and students. Afterward, participants went on a virtual site visit to Huntsville City Schools in Alabama, a session which was led by Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski. The site visits allowed participants to witness both districts’ approaches firsthand and to see how two different digital conversions have successfully transformed teaching and learning.

Event participants also worked together to develop action plans during panel discussions, networking sessions and team-oriented exercises on:  synchronizing curriculum and technology while preparing for sustained digital conversion infrastructure; forming a vision for day-to-day support for a digital conversion at classroom and school levels; and developing and sharing next steps toward a digital conversion.

Teaming for Transformation II members will take their lessons learned this week and continue collaborating through an online community of practice and face-to-face meetings at CoSN 2014 in Washington, DC.

Picture: School leaders gather in Houston for CoSN’s Teaming for Transformation II. Attendees participated in interactive sessions focused on the digital learning conversion in schools.

In its second installment, T4T strives to build and advance excellence in teaching and learning with digital resources and tools, as well as help to create and strengthen a digital learning environment supporting student academic success. Two districts that participated in the network’s inaugural year shared their experiences:

“Gwinnett Country Public Schools was able to benchmark our work against other districts in T4T, those that were ahead of us in the transformation, those walking beside us, and those beginning the process. This affirmed some of our strategies, and helped us redirect in other areas. As a specific example, we saw and heard from several districts that planning for X:1 (rather than 1:1) device implementation could be an effective instructional strategy, and that affirmed our direction,” said Tricia Kennedy, executive director for eCLASS Transformation, Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia.

“Participating in CoSN’s Teaming for Transformation provided impactful support as we forged the path of 1:1 technology in our K-12 learning environments. The sharing of ‘real world’ challenges through a collaborative team offered support and solutions at critical times throughout the year,” said Ann W. Linson, superintendent, East Noble School Corp., in Indiana.

Teaming for Transformation II is informed by CoSN’s Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent initiative, as work CoSN has done around online communities of practice, and produced in partnership with AASA (the School Superintendents Association), Katy ISD and Huntsville City Schools.