An Invitation

Dear Iowa Educator, Are you passionate about teaching and learning and ready to explore the boundaries of technologies? Do you teach in the areas of Algebra I, English I, Physical Science or Social Studies? If so, you are invited to apply to become part of a select statewide team who will be implementing a new digital eCurriculum. Here are some benefits to becoming a part of this team: You will be among the first to implement a statewide eCurriculum. You will engage in continuous professional dialogue aimed at collectively shaping 21st century learning in Iowa. You will be connected and supported by a community of innovative practitioners. You will receive training and professional development in facilitating eLearning and Communities of Practice. You will be reimbursed for your time and contributions (stipend). To learn more, click Iowa EdTech CoPi To register, complete the Survey of Commitment For additional information, please contact Nancy Movall ( Deadline to register is April 20, 2011.

Draft invitation

Dear friends

Are you passionate about teaching and learning and ready to explore the boundaries of innovation and technology? Do you thrive on helping to innovate and add value to current educational practices?

The Iowa EdTech Community of Practice & Innovation (CoP&I) is seeking innovative teachers of Alg.1, Eng.1, Physical Science and Social Studies to pilot the implementation of digital "eCurriculum" in each of these curricular areas.

The CoP&I is an ongoing year-long commitment that involves working with fellow teachers and specialists as you implement a new online eCurriculum, trying it out in your classroom, and participating in a community of practice with your curricular group. Within these communities, participants will be connected and supported through utilization of emerging social Web technologies. It is through this continuous professional dialogue that the community will determine the eCurriculum's strengths and contribute to its improvement. As a result, the eCurriculum will be enhanced and shared more broadly across the state in the coming years.

Training phase:
There are three mandatory face-to-face meetings, as well as the expectation of participation in an ongoing online discussion and monthly teleconferences.
  • Date: April 26-27, 2011 Face-to-face: Launch Workshop- a two day workshop with experts on the power and results of a passionate Community of Practice. See:
  • Date: July 28-29, 2011 Face-to-face: Preparation Workshop- a day of professional dialogue, support and further instructions on the eCurriculum and our "digital habitat"
  • Date: June 19, 2012 Face-to-face (if possible): Final reflection and next steps

Implementation phase:
Date: August 2011 to June 2012
  • Implementation of the curriculum in your classroom
  • Participation in the community of practice through teleconferences and online discussion
  • 40 teachers willing to implement the digital eCurriculum in a face-to-face/blended classroom or online
  • 3-4 mentors and/or curriculum specialists

Our broad aim is to bring our state closer to the promised potential of a competency-based, authentic, and engaging learning experience. We will do this through working as a community of practice to learn from and with each other as we develop and implement a pilot digital curriculum. Our hope is that collectively we will dramatically alter practice in ways that promote thinking, collaborating, action, problem solving, and research.

Procedure for registration:
  1. For details of Expectations, Compensation and to complete Survey of Commitment please visit:
  2. Once approved, a final registration will be sent to you to officially enroll you in the project
Please Note: each disciplinary group of Algebra, English, and Science will have 40 participants. Social Studies will have 20 participants. Places will be allocated on the following criteria; commitment to all of the activities, approval of principal, access to technology, and date of registration.

For additional information please contact Nancy Movall ( Deadline to register is April 20, 2011.

Notes from Nancy

19 Feb, 2011:

This just came across Twitter this a.m. I think it captures the essence of what I am looking for with out project. I particularly like the outcomes and would like to craft something similar, with your guidance of course.

16 Feb, 2011:
In reading a blog on Driving Innovation, the author described the values of an Entrepreneurship program out of Umich. Seems like these align to the needs our communities in Iowa. Would it make sense to weave some of this into the invitations for Iowa?

“Our culture injects key values into what we do and who we are. They are a set of standards we guide ourselves by that help our actions remain congruent to our beliefs. Our values are our ethos -- an applicable culture that can be packed up and taken anywhere we go.
We briefly mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph that it is important to have a set of values to help you grow your idea. For us, our culture gives us a framework by how we operate. Although there is not one way to summarize our values, here is a snapshot of what they mean to us:
Passion: It's the never-ending fuel that roars our inner lion. Without it, we would never be able to fight through the hardships or pick ourselves up when we are down. Passion constantly motivates our actions and we act to achieve the goal what we value. It starts, and ends, with passion.
Execution: Talk is cheap. We don’t like talking about our ideas more than we do acting upon them. We’re done walking away from problems that may come across as unsolvable and difficult. We’re here to take action and change the campus culture.
Commitment: We are selfless to our cause. Some people say visions are always far-fetched -- but here in Ann Arbor, we’re committed to making our vision a reality. We’re here to make OUR University a national focal point of entrepreneurship. Yes, it’s a challenge. But our level of commitment allows us to thrive on the long winding road.
Creativity: Entrepreneurs are often known as the people with a couple of screws loose... but where did a safe idea ever get anyone? Who would have imagined that giant metal objects weighing thousands of pounds would be able to fly through the air or that doctors would be able to perform surgeries by using machines? Whether or not the idea is as ground breaking as an automobile or as hip as the iPad, thinking outside the box pays off.
Community: A great plant will spurt from great soil. Likewise, our goal here is to constantly be building a supportive foundation and network for any entrepreneur. It’s not fun being in the middle of the desert. That’s why we’re trying to make Ann Arbor an entrepreneur’s playground. Somewhere they’ll never want to leave…ever!”
The above values driving schools would dramatically alter practice in ways that would promote thinking, collaborating, action, problem-solving, research, etc. What about the curriculum, standardized tests, etc? The former and latter drive what schools do. The ACT, SAT are driven by the curriculum. Hence the need for systemic fixing.

14 Feb, 2011:
160 enthusiastic teachers sought to participate in a “break the mold” experience for teaching and learning in Iowa.
Prerequisite Qualities:
Passionate about teaching and learning, both for your students and for yourself.
Invigorated by continuous improvement
Thrive on collaboration
Love innovation and technology
Resilient when it comes to overcoming obstacles

160 lively teachers (40 each in the areas of Alg.1, Eng. 1, Physical Science and Social Studies) are invited to participate in an exciting and challenging experience of being the first to implement a statewide “eCurriculum”. Implementing teachers will participate in a year long dialogue and discussion as to the merits and difficulties of moving to an online/digitally dense educational environment. As a result of this rich year long exchange of ideas, frustrations, and ultimate solutions, participating teachers will be contributing authors to the development and enhancement of an engaging, student centered, viable eCurriculum to be shared statewide, with the intent that a collective effort will bring our state closer to the promised potential of competency based, authentic and engaging learning experiences.

Invitation to Launch: .... April 26-27 (include details)

10 Feb, 2011:
Next step- can you help me craft the “invitation” so as to attract the most passionate and enthusiastic “change-agents” to our training session?