The Learning Hub – Interview with Debbie Revolorio, Regional Director of Learning in Mexico & Costa Rica and Sarah Graves, Regional Director of Learning in the USA

People were inspired – to reflect, discuss, collaborate and then use the learning to make an impact in their school.

Debbie and Sarah have both used the courses on The Learning Hub with educators in Mexico, Costa Rica and across the USA, to prepare for the new school year – and they loved the results they saw.

 

Making use of The Learning Hub Content:

Debbie: I used The Learning Hub (TLH) courses to help `spread the word´ about our shared meaning and vision of learning – the videos for the course Let’s Talk About Learning were particularly useful for this.  The short, simple and to the point videos were a wonderful tool to introduce what we (at ISP) mean by learning. I used this with the Senior and Middle Leadership teams in the schools, who then cascaded the information throughout their school community. One really interesting activity I did with the  videos was a fishbowl discussion with the high school teachers at Tomas Alva Edison (TAE) – where a group of teachers in the centre discussed their learning from each module of the course and the impact on their practice, and the outer circle listened and took notes to help our collaborative reflections.

The activity sparked discussions and reflections that not only helped us build a common language of learning, but we strengthened our learning community and shared sense of purpose. This activity also piqued the teachers’ curiosity and they are now keen to get on and use TLH to further their professional development.

I also used the course Narratives, Promises & Stories to help Heads and Senior Leadership create a framework for their marketing strategies that would help them to craft the stories of amazing learning happening in their school. What was particularly powerful about this activity was the way it brought learning, marketing, admissions and communications together – it was a real team effort!

Sarah: Our objective is to use TLH to support ongoing professional development, and, to make our school communities feel like they are connected more closely to the ISP community through sharing best practice.

The Kehoe-France schools are working hard this year to make their learning targets – as set out in their school improvement plans (SIP) – more visible and shared within their school community. Through using the videos from Let’s Talk About Learning, the learning leadership teams in these schools have developed a learning focused professional development plan. The desired outcome is to create a shared language of what learning looks like in the classrooms (with students, teachers and parents) so that we can talk more consistently about what ‘getting better’ looks like to be able to collaboratively ‘look for learning’ in others’ classrooms. From there, we will share, record and analyze this data to make students’ learning experiences better.

 

The schools’ reaction to The Learning Hub

Debbie: EVERYONE who has participated in the soft launch of TLH and/or any of the group activities where we’ve used the videos and supporting learning activities have been amazed at the quality, thought, and clarity that has gone into each of the courses. The simplicity and focus on the topics have inspired us all to want to create and share our own content.

Sarah: People were inspired – to reflect, discuss, collaborate and then use the learning to make an impact in their school. It made me and the teams I have worked with through TLH feel that we are part of a professional, committed and like-minded community of educators who want to nurture amazing experiences for our students and staff.

 

What it made us think about “learning”

Debbie: The discussions about learning in our region were sometimes tough – because it is such a paradigm shift for a lot of our traditional teachers who have struggled to let go of control and put the children at the center of their learning. But even though those essential conversations were sometimes a struggle, they were the good type of struggle, and have had a super positive effect on learning.

Sarah: It prompted us all to question what we thought we knew about learning, and then challenged us to think how we could relate what we had learned to our roles as leaders of learning in our schools. It made us realize the difference between actual learning and factors that affect learning. And don’t get me started on the discussions around what we really mean by ‘understanding’….!!!

 

What feature of The Learning Hub best supported your learning?

Debbie: I think the simplicity of the content has worked best for us; how the videos summarized content in easily digestible chunks of information and then repeated them to help make them stick.

Sarah: We all agreed that the fact that we can go back and watch the content again as many times as we need is what makes TLH so great…after all, repeated experience helps the learning to stick! And the fact that the content is so accessible for everyone, and the examples are so easy to relate to – teacher or not. 

What made this learning experience stand out for you?

Debbie and Sarah: The main difference with using The Learning Hub is that it is made for us by “us” and answers or relates to our specific needs and not just the general education public – in that way it’s completely aligned to our beliefs and culture. Also, as Directors of Learning we can speak directly to the creators of TLH which means that we can tailor courses and content to suit the specific needs of our schools and/or regions.

 

And your advice for those new to The Learning Hub?

Debbie: My advice to those starting to use TLH would be to just get on and start exploring. Look at the courses and/or content that piques your interest and then delve deeper after exploring a bit. You get out of it what you put into it!

Sarah: Enjoy it! Be curious in exploring what others have put in, then be brave and add something yourself! You’ll find it has unlimited potential to inspire amazing learning and it’s a place where amazing learning moments can be captured so that others can celebrate and share in best practice.

Find out more about Debbie and Sarah.

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