DSC_0043More than 50 people gathered at the Oak Creek Community Center on Friday, January 18th for the Personalized Learning Network Mid-Year Collaboration Meeting. The Personalized Learning Network (PLN) is a collaborative effort between the Institute @ CESA #1 and our three largest districts. The network was formed last year as a way for Kenosha Unified School District, Milwaukee Public Schools and Racine Unified School District to begin implementation of personalized learning and find ways to bring it to scale.

The PLN is part of the Institute’s Innovation Zone, but this “network within a network” structure allows PLN districts to learn from each other and build personalized learning environments based on the unique characteristics of large, urban districts. The PLN engages with the entire Institute membership as well, sharing their experiences and results and learning from other districts that are doing similar work.

The schools represented at the meeting were:

Kenosha

  • Nash Elementary
  • Stocker Elementary

Milwaukee

  • Goodrich Elementary
  • Hi-Mount Community School
  • Eighty-First Street School
  • Reagan High School

Racine

  • Julian Thomas Elementary
  • Gilmore Middle School
  • Horlick High School

The PLN schools are at varying stages of implementation, ranging from the concept and design phase to active projects already underway in the classroom.

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After a brief review of personalized learning concepts, participants completed a reflection activity based on the honeycomb model to help them define areas of readiness for possible project implementation.  “Learn and share” sessions allowed individuals to engage with others around a series of self-selected topics related to personalized learning.

At lunch, participants were seated in like groups (teachers with teachers, principals with principals), so they could network with PLN members from other schools and districts. The afternoon was devoted to team planning time and the completion of each school’s 30-60-90 day action plan.  Participants were highly engaged throughout the day and most left with actionable goals for the near term. These goals will continue to be reviewed and revised as the schools continue with the implementation of their personalized learning projects.

Watch for another update on the progress of the PLN schools in late spring!

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