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Progress through peer networking

In today’s school systems, teachers, administrators, and other educational professionals are looking for ways to shrink the gap between expectation and resources. Each year, it seems schools are asked to increase performance without adequate support.

RTI International recognizes this and many other challenges for educators. In an effort to help, we created a new resource team dedicated to innovation in schools that supports student learning. We provide a range of services at the strategic level, like policy implementation and planning, all the way through in-classroom training and support for teachers.

One of the resources created with this new team are Peer Networking events, which facilitate collaboration, build efficacy, and help break down barriers to learning for both teachers and students. RTI strives to use these events to address issues in education through an emphasis on conducting, compiling and translating research so that teachers and administrators can practically impact the lives of individual students.

According to participant Ashley Allen, technology coach at Vernon Malone College and Career Academy in Raleigh, N.C., “I particularly enjoyed the Role-Alike Networking Session. It gave us the opportunity to get ideas through sharing success [and] helpful resources, [and giving and getting] input on ways to solve dilemmas we are currently facing.”

Peer Networking events are kept small and intimate to give educators an opportunity to engage with research and provide a safe space to ask questions, get real-time recommendations, share challenges, and celebrate successes. Through these events, educators can cultivate a support network as they continue to improve schools and provide children access to a quality education.

Allen continued, “This event provided a relaxed environment for us to connect and share, and I enjoyed that it was a smaller number of participants than other events I've participated in. It allowed us to be more personal and I had no choice but to network! We all followed each other on Twitter and have already followed up on yesterday's events.”

As educators build networks with one another throughout these events, they also engage in sessions designed around research and evidence-based best practices. While relationships certainly impact the ability of students to learn in classrooms, relationships can also support educators in their own learning process, and that is the power of the Peer Networking event.

At the last event, participants discussed:

  • Ways in which Project-Based Learning supports a growth mindset,
  • Using Scrum, a project management tool, as well as peer review to build accountability and relationships in classrooms,
  • Examples of PBL and other forms of inquiry-based learning that support students in math, science, and ELA
  • The impact of intentional planning, formative assessments, and aligned instructional strategies on student growth and learning, and
  • How to support students in learning 21st century skills like collaboration and peer communication.

Sound interesting? Please join us for the next event on February 6, 2018 at RTI International’s campus in Research Triangle Park, N.C. For more information and to register for this event, click here.

RTI’s next Peer Networking event will be held at RTI’s Main Campus on February 6, 2018, and will focus on Social and Emotional Learning. To follow news on RTI’s education network, search Twitter for #RTI_EdNetwork.  For more on past Peer Networking events or RTI School Services, please contact RTI's Center for Education Services at educationservices@rti.org

Disclaimer: This piece was written by Catherine Hart (Educational Consultant) to share perspectives on a topic of interest. Expression of opinions within are those of the author or authors.