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Learning From One Another

By: TxLx

This month wrapped up the final session of a four-part profession learning series hosted by TxLx, Getting Smart, and the Learner-Centered Collaborative. The session included a facilitated discussion around emerging practices from the pandemic, the power of networks, learning ecosystems, and learning from one another. 

Here is a quick recap of the session, but you can also access the full recording and the slide deck below to see additional examples and learn more.

Emerging Practices from the Pandemic. 

Dr. Katie Martin kicked us off by sharing emerging practices she has seen in schools and districts around the nation since the Spring of 2020:

  • Blends of Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning. Districts and learning organizations have found powerful new ways to blend these two learning modalities to better utilize instructional time, reach more learners, and support in- and out-of-school learning. 
  • Personalized Approaches. Learning from home, through screens, required that educators really get to know their learners, build relationships, and develop more personalized approaches to teaching and learning. Those practices have continued in many classrooms to make sure learners are getting the learning they need in a way that works best for them. 
  • Social-Emotional Learning. The pandemic forced us to take a deeper look at how we are supporting learners’ social emotional health and well-being. It was a reminder that in order to truly create high-quality, high impact learning engagements, we have to focus on the whole child. 
  • Learner Agency. There’s no denying that the pandemic created an entirely new definition of learner agency. Youth were forced into taking more ownership of their learning, to be more vocal about what they need and what is not working for them. Teachers and leaders were able to use this moment to help encourage more learner agency and provide opportunities for student ownership. 
  • Micro/Nano School Movement. Because of their size, microschools can be opened quickly in alternative spaces and can be useful as a short-term pilot or demonstration, or as a long-term learning option. During the pandemic, learning pods became popular, and microschools exploded. New learning models, tools, and strategies have made it easier to open these small schools of 15-150 students and, when done well, can help quickly address underserved student populations (pre-school, dropout recovery, and career education)
  • Unbundling. With increasing choice, increasing family demand, and increasing quality options, schools that reframe learning in order to credential, credit, and count programs and experiences outside of the traditional program are thriving. Unbundling will continue to expand, but how learning is rebundled will emerge as the next innovation and it must be accessible, personalized, accountable, and massive. It was called out during the session that another great thing about unbundling is that it is not necessarily about adding another thing for teachers, or creating an afterschool program.

The Power of Networks

While not necessarily an emerging practice, organic networks of educators and leaders grew incredibly during the pandemic. These informal communities of learning and sharing reinforced the power and need for more formal networks in learning. 

It is challenging to build high-engagement learning experiences, supportive coherent learning models, integrated technology platforms, and aligned professional learning experiences, but working in models has been proven to help. Tom Vander Ark shared examples and learning from his book, Better Together, as well as the table below to help show the differences between formal and informal networks:

Networks table

The session ended with a call to action for each attendee to share their commitment to learning together. We asked, “What is the most important project you are working on to move the needle to create better learning experiences?”. We then asked “What is needed to get there?”.


Session Resources

The following resources were shared during our session and referenced within our slides:

Host Your Own Learning From One Another Session 

If you are interested in hosting your own Learning From One Another session, you can find the slide deck here: 


We would love to hear how your sessions go and what you have learned! Send your thoughts, growth, and feedback to

If you missed our previous sessions, you can view the recordings and host your own sessions with our resources. 

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