The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) wanted to bring together afterschool professionals from across the nation to share best practices and to learn about new resources in the field.
Having assisted with workshop coordination at the 2008 Convention, Collaborative had the experience, insight and creativity to successfully support the NAA's 2009 convention. Collaborative coordinated the workshop planning and preparation, as well as the Web site development, convention registration, exhibition sites, specials events, plenary sessions, networking events, site visits and participant activities.
Speaker management included scheduling both the keynote speakers and workshop sessions. This year's convention featured the following keynote speakers:
Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation, and human resources
General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
Jeff Corwin, host of Animal Planet's The Jeff Corwin Experience
Collaborative facilitated the request for proposal process for workshop presenters. With our strategic knowledge of the afterschool field, we reviewed proposals and selected content. The workshops were carefully planned to ensure an exciting and diverse suite of offerings. Collaborative also assisted NAA in the planning and execution of site visits and networking events. Site coordination occurred for the following:
Forums with a special speakers and panel discussions
Informal networking events and receptions
Facilitated discussions on timely afterschool topics
Invitation-only focus groups and research-based discussions
Convention registration was a coordinated effort among NAA, Meetings Management Group (MMG), and Collaborative. NAA supplied the content, MMG provided experienced management of convention planning, and Collaborative coordinated the efforts, fielded questions, and designed and maintained the convention Web site.
The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform sought to incorporate the recommendations of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel into their Mathematics Improvement Toolkit, and demonstrate how schools were putting these recommendations into practice.
Collaborative designed interview protocols, focus group guides, and observation rubrics to help facilitate the effectiveness of site visits at the three schools from the National Forum's Schools to Watch program. Once on-site, Collaborative led teams:
Making classroom observations
Interviewing teachers and administrators
Conducting student focus groups
Once the observations were complete, Collaborative assisted with:
Aligning the findings to the Math Panel recommendations
Drafting and editing the case studies
Presenting highlights of promising practices from these schools in a special section of the Mathematics Improvement Toolkit Web site
These case studies outline the achievement gains in schools that have implemented recommendations from the 2008 National Math Panel Report. Through these focused case studies, Collaborative provided real-world context and useful models for schools struggling to improve mathematics achievement in the middle grades.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) wanted to increase user registration and activity on Arkansas IDEAS, its premiere online professional development portal for educators.
Our approach was to create a series of promotional materials, Web site content, and implementation strategies that the ADE could distribute to a variety of prospective users.
Our first step was to create materials that demonstrate the benefits of IDEAS to district and school administrators. Once they understood the value of the online portal, they could then promote it within their district or school. We created a promotion plan and an implementation strategy that ADE staff could use to talk about and promote IDEAS with administrators at the district and school level.
Next, we developed an implementation plan for administrators, to help them introduce and promote IDEAS in their school or district. The plan is accompanied by supporting resources including IDEAS talking points, sample email language, a PowerPoint presentation and a promotional poster. We recommended all of these resources be available to administrators in a centralized location on the IDEAS Web site.
To measure the impact of these promotional activities, we recommended that ADE staff track their efforts and monitor Web site traffic and email click through rates to track ongoing promotional efforts against goals. The intent is to be strategic about outreach efforts and to consistently monitor, adjust and improve the process to achieve desired results.
The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform asked Collaborative to develop an online toolkit to help early adolescent learners with mathematics instruction.
Collaborative created an online toolkit dedicated to improving mathematics instruction for early adolescent learners. The work will help teachers and those responsible for bringing professional development opportunities into classrooms.
The toolkit organizes resources developed by four partner organizations, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of mathematics teaching and learning. Tools focus on high level mathematics instruction for English language learners and students with special needs, as well as mathematics instruction in rural settings.
Collaborative is working hand-in-hand with the National Forum and partner organizations to create the online navigation and architecture of the overall toolkit. Collaborative is also providing design and content for the toolkit, as well as working with the partner organizations to create Web-specific presentations of their individual tools.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) asked Collaborative to help develop their National Educators Training and Leadership Center (NET LC). The online NET LC—which follows the Baldrige principles—featured tools and resources to help education leaders work together to address today’s issues, consider tomorrow’s challenges and think broadly about systems change.
Collaborative partnered with CCSSO to develop this fully comprehensive online network development tool that enabled professionals to connect, pose dilemmas, and learn in public and private forums. Specifically, we provided monthly content for the site, identified main themes and aided in the overall maintenance of the site. Our team also developed interactive tools for the NET LC Web site to further enhance the learning experience of site visitors. These tools simulated live assessments in system redesign and strategic planning.
NET LC has been recognized as an excellent online resource for education professionals looking to create high-performing 21st century education systems. In 2006, the site won a prestigious Best in Class Interactive Media Award and was commended for its content, feature functionality and quality design.
The Web site was awarded the 2006 Best in Class Interactive Media Award which honors individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement in Web site design and development. NET LC was commended for its content, feature functionality and quality design.
The Web site was also recognized as an Official Honoree of The 2005 Webby Awards. The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence in Web design, creativity, usability and functionality.