10/09/2013 -


Monday, October 28, 2013

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET


Have you ever sat down with your schools' superintendent or local funder and struggled to describe exactly what an “after-school system” is? We have, too. Luckily, the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems has been working with a consultant over the past 9 months to develop clear, effective messaging that defines and explains the value of expanded-learning systems and intermediaries.

Drawing from the expertise of our national coalition partners and over a dozen stakeholders from the field, we developed a messaging guide to help systems and intermediaries better make the case for their work to diverse audiences.

Join CBASS for a webinar to hear what we discovered through the process, and learn how you can use these messages. You’ll also hear directly from an intermediary and policy advocate on their perspectives.

Susan Brenna, Chief Communications Officer, ExpandED Schools by TASC
Jessica Donner, Director, Collaborative for Building After-School Systems
Kara Marchione, Vice President, Penn Hill Group
Andrea Sussman, Vice President, KSA Plus Communications


09/26/2013 -

By Hillary Salmons, PASA's Executive Director



I just returned from Fogo Island in Newfoundland as part of my Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation, where I went to explore new angles on community efforts that are truly collective, strategic, and result in community-wide impacts—something we here at PASA and in the systems-building field think about all the time. 

Fogo has been a fishing community for generations, but when overfishing regulations were put into place in the 1990s, Fogo—like so many communities that relied on a single industry for economic strength—began to struggle economically. Now this tiny island community has begun a collective revitalization effort that weaves together the cultural heritage of their island with an economically diversified future that incorporates social enterprise, the arts, and preserving and placing value on local traditions. 

I spent my time on Fogo camping and exploring the gorgeous landscape, learning about its history, and, because its inhabitants are so warm and welcoming, I found myself being invited daily to strangers' homes for tea and conversation. One couple even invited me to camp in their backyard for a few nights! During my stay on the island, I also managed to bump into a caribou who decided he was not too happy about my catching him eating the neighbors' cabbages. 

In addition to surviving an impending caribou charge, I spoke with a wide variety of community members and island elders who share the same kinds of goals that we do—community ownership and the ability to build upon local assets and traditions! The people of Fogo have a long and rich cultural history, a legacy of arts and crafts styles specific to their island, and the natural beauty of the Newfoundland landscape on which to build the foundation of a bright future.

Together, they've tapped these resources to...

09/25/2013 -


Excerpted from her original post on Competency Works, September 25, 2013



Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in the American Youth Policy Forum’s meeting on The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in Competency-based Education Systems.  It was a fun meeting for me as I hadn’t sat in a room with the nation’s after school leaders since I was a program officer at the Mott Foundation during the launching of the 21st  Century Community Learning Centers.

To open the meeting, I was asked to share some thoughts about the relationship between expanded learning opportunities (ELO) and competency education.  I like the term ELO as it is so inclusive — think after school, youth program, badging, online learning, community service, sports, arts, career/college exploration and of course jobs.  As there are more and more people involved in ELO that are trying to make sense of where they fit into this expanding world of competency education as well as educators trying to figure out how to effectively use ELO’s I’m sharing my comments. 

Many people describe competency education with the phrase “time is a variable and learning as a constant”. It is not referring to self-paced. In fact it means the exact opposite. Students that are struggling are to get more time on task, more interventions, more support. There is greater concentration of resources so that students can continue on pace and continue to make more progress. We have to eliminate the imagery of moving through a curriculum in order to understand competency education.


09/25/2013 -

Watch former Hub ELO student Bryan Norato chat with the country's leading education and technology thinkers about the benefits and possibilities of digital badges for this White House Google Hangout!

09/10/2013 -
11:00 AM PST/2:00 PM EST

How can digital badges connect our interests & passions both inside and outside formal education, and make lifelong learning pathways more visible?

About The Speaker(s)

  • Craig Watkins studies young people's social and digital media behaviors. He teaches at the University of Texas, Austin, in the departments of Radio-Television-Film, Sociology, and the Center for African and African American Studies. Craig is also a Faculty Fellow for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. Craig is also a Principal Investigator on the Connected Learning Research Network (CLRN) project, The Digital Edge.
  • Sybil Madison-Boyd ia the Learning Pathways Program Director with the Digital Youth Network at DePaul University and is examining how learning pathways can make transparent "possible futures" in ways that support agency and that can be translated across spaces in ways that "count".
  • Tim Riches is the CEO of DigitalMe, a nonprofit dedicated...
09/10/2013 -

By HOWARD RHEINGOLD September 9, 2013 - 7:55am

Reposted from the Digital Media and Learning blog

Far more important to me than all the venture-capitalized consortia of elite university MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and the hundreds of thousands of students flocking to them is a course taught by an adjunct professor at University of Mary Washington. In my personal learning network, Jim Groom and ds106 are the stuff of legend. I’ve conducted more than 40 interviews for DMLcentral, and without a doubt, Jim Groom is the most excited and exciting educator I’ve talked to. If I had one wish regarding the way online education will happen in the future, it would be for the work of Groom and his colleagues ...

07/17/2013 -

 Hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum

07/22/2013 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM ET

State and district education leaders are thinking about how they can more closely link what is happening in the school day with unique learning experiences that prepare students for college and careers and that take place in project-based, work-based, and real world settings. Communities across the country are pursuing a collective impact approach that integrates school systems, afterschool providers, and other youth serving providers into a student-centered learning strategy.

Some of these approaches are competency-based education systems, in which students are awarded credit not on seat-time, but upon demonstration of mastery in specific competencies, allowing them to move ahead at their own pace. In a competency-based system, there can be more flexibility to gain credit for activities beyond the school day, and increasingly districts and states are starting to allow such flexibility.

There are a few examples of such collaboration between schools systems and ELOs in which students are learning skills in ELOs that count for credit in school. Providence Afterschool Alliance (PASA) has begun to offer coordinated programs to high school students through The HUB, a student-centered initiative which provides high school credit to students for work they do outside of the school day. Activities include video game development, Android App design and development, debate, and environmental science.

This webinar will highlight this unique initiative in Providence,...