The Future of Bentley

Bentley Community Schools in Burton, MI launched their journey with Modern Teacher this week. It was exciting to begin the journey with this talented, creative and passionate group of educators who truly want to create modern learning environments in all classrooms across the district.


Their desire to create learning environments in which students have the opportunity to explore their interests and passions through authentic learning experiences, while on a path to build competence in the knowledge and skills needed in school and beyond was at the center of the learning, discussions, thoughtful questioning and work done throughout the day. 


The district staff, principals, assistant principals and teachers who are leading the way are committed to supporting teachers as they become risk-takers, collaborators, communicators and active learners in the process to transform teaching and learning in Bentley Community Schools.


The ‘Future of Bentley’ is indeed in good hands! 

Falcon Zone Reaches Stage 4

Congratulations to Falcon Zone for reaching Stage 4 of Digital Convergence.  The Digital Convergence team met today to review the Community Driver, SI 121:

 The district examines their infrastructure to support students in diversifying their community-based learning opportunities and networks.  

What makes Falcon able to move through the Digital Convergence Framework internally is their command and ownership of the platform and their commitment to goal setting.  During the 2018 National Conference on Digital Convergence, they set a goal to be recognized for reaching a Stage 3 by the next conference.  Hard work, perseverance, teamwork, and the use of goal cycles within the platform allowed them to chip away at Stage 3.  Goal cycles allowed the team to identify priority success indicators and develop success indicator teams to dig deeper into the work.  Even better, when completed, they provide opportunities to celebrate wins.  

Learn more about the Falcon Journey during the June 12th Virtual Leadership Forum.  

In the meantime, enjoy a celebration from the Falcon Digital Convergence Steering Committee.  

The transition to modern learning necessitates influence. Our task doesn’t focus on making people comply w our demands- a passive outcome of leadership- but take ownership of an enduring effort that calls for adopting new habits, behaviors, and systems.
— Dr. Shawn K. Smith

Do you command your Digital Convergence platform?

Classroom Shared Visions Coming Alive in Little Falls Community Schools

It is amazing to see Melonie Brown and Jill Tomala, Accelerated Classroom Teachers from Little Falls Community Schools, building student ownership through “Shared Visions”. Has your district launched Accelerated Classrooms (SI 34) yet?  Share your celebrations with the Network.



 “I love when students can be involved in establishing protocols, ways of being, and WHYS of being--together!” -Chris Grams


 “It was so fun and my students did such a wonderful job!”

-Melonie Brown


 “I thought it was a great experience for the students! Fun to see it build from one question to another”

- Chris Dobis


 “It was exciting to see how the process worked and how well this level (first grade) was able to understand it all!”

-Jill Tomala 

Richmond County School System Taking Steps to Scale Modern Learning

Richmond County School System located in Augusta, GA kicked off their journey with Modern Teacher this week. The energy and excitement was felt throughout the room as RCSS envisioned Modern Learning for all students across Richmond County. 


What might a Modern Learning classroom look like in RCSS? 


Through the Affinity Process teams came up with what they should see in a Modern Learning Environment. 


Power Voting on which of the topics  are most important in a Modern Learning Environment. 


Drafting a RCSS Theory of Action. 

Highlights from Community Twitter Chat

Informed by some of the latest work and research from innovators who are rethinking the traditional school model, the Digital Convergence Framework was recently expanded to include the Community Driver. 

The Success Indicators within the Community Driver of the Digital Convergence Framework provide a blueprint for us as leaders to a) expand stakeholder engagement in the future of learning, and b) reach beyond the physical classroom to deliver modern, real-world competencies — connecting each student's unique skills and interests with opportunities to be successful in the workforce. 

Q1: Have you defined a Portrait of a Graduate (PoG) and updated the skills students need to be successful post-graduation? What skills did your community define?

Q2: If you have a Portrait of a Graduate, how has it impacted shifts in instruction and student experiences?


Q3: How are you thinking about (or are you currently) assessing and identifying student strengths & interests?

Q4: Do you feel that identifying strengths & interests is important for student success? How does or would this information benefit students and teachers?


Q5: In what ways do students in your district currently expand their networks to connect within your local community? How can we as leaders foster these connections and create opportunities for real-world experiences?

Welcome Little Falls Community Schools

Little Falls Community Schools in Little Falls, Minnesota began their journey with Modern Teacher this week. A strong foundation of innovation and high collegiality among the team was evident throughout our day’s work as well as in the classrooms I was able to visit. There is a strong sense of community presence and district pride for all schools in Little Falls. Be looking for Little Falls Community Schools to take off and fly high. #flyerpride


Creating visions for the Modern Learning classroom. 


In deep discussion regarding what society’s global ask is versus what the Little Fall community’s ask is. 


Creating a vision statement for the Modern Learning environment.

Digital Convergence in J.O. Combs Unified School District

J.O. Combs Unified School District in San Tan Valley, Arizona, has been selected as the NCDC2020 National Showcase District.

J.O. Combs Unified School District in San Tan Valley, Arizona, has been selected as the NCDC2020 National Showcase District.

The JO Combs Digital Convergence Steering Committee is comprised of district and school based leadership.  Together, they have personalized Digital Convergence, branded #Forward,  to meet the needs of their growing community of stakeholders.  All teachers in JO Combs Unified began their professional learning journey in May of 2018 by growing their awareness and understanding of Nurturing Combs classrooms to sustain a learning environment that encourages students to change, grow, and improve through taking risks in learning.  This professional learning goal is aligned to the first component of their Instructional Model - Nurturing Culture.  The focus on creating a learner centered culture, procedures to support this culture, and the adaptation of their physical learning environments to support this vision set the stage for classroom practice to be impacted, teachers were ready and prepared with the knowledge necessary to make changes.  Now, teachers are focusing on turning that awareness into practice by implementing these concepts into classroom practice.

Principals, coaches, and teachers prepare to unpack standards with students

Principals, coaches, and teachers prepare to unpack standards with students

Developing “I can” statements starts with determining what students are able to do at the level of the standard.  

Developing “I can” statements starts with determining what students are able to do at the level of the standard.  

The district’s innovative approach to Professional Learning to create a workforce proficient in the modern learning environment, and their formative approach to the Digital Convergence methodology is indeed #Forward thinking.

J.O. Combs administration, teaching staff, and students invite you to then for the pre-conference visit to J.O. Combs Unified the day before the 2020 National Conference on Digital Convergence held in Phoenix, Arizona on February 3, 2020.