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ERIC Number: EJ850561
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-1
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0192-592X
Schaffhauser, Dian
T.H.E. Journal, v36 n6 p30-36 Jun 2009
The common approach to scaling, according to Christopher Dede, a professor of learning technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is to jump in and say, "Let's go out and find more money, recruit more participants, hire more people. Let's just keep doing the same thing, bigger and bigger." That, he observes, "tends to fail, and fail badly." Dede says some innovations just aren't built for appropriating by other institutions. "There are many, many programs out there that are of high quality, [but] there are very few that operate at scale, that aren't just a little hothouse program that only affect a few people--and really are incapable of doing more than that." Finding the most effective way to transfer a successful program to other environments is the aim of a current research project sponsored by Microsoft that focuses specifically on how to apply technology to scaling education innovations. The project is an outgrowth of the company's US Partners in Learning (PIL) program, begun in 2003 as a five-year, $250 million global project to build public/private partnerships for the purpose of meeting three goals: universal digital literacy, a stronger workforce, and improved quality of life. One program whose grant application won support from PIL was the Teacher Leadership Project (TLP), a professional development program launched by Northwest Educational Service District (NWESD) 189, one of nine educational service districts in the state of Washington that provide administrative and instructional support services to districts and schools. A second professional development initiative supported by the Mid-Tier Project provides an example of how scaling can be less about spread than it is about shift and evolution--adapting what you already have. The initiative, the 21st Century Learning Project, was developed by the Alabama Best Practices Center. The center already provides professional development through a program called Powerful Conversations. Four times a year, educators meet to share ideas on improving teaching and learning in the state. What the Mid-Tier Project has done through its support for the 21st Century Learning Project and the Teacher Leadership Project is show the importance of a multidimensional scaling framework when considering how to expand an innovation in education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington