Sharing Innovation with Leadership Labs

Education Technology Specialist, Portland Public Schools


Once a month, administrators and other building leaders in my district attend Instructional Leadership Academy, an all-day meeting that includes racial equity work, opportunities for learning, and connecting with colleagues. April’s Academy featured an event called Leadership Labs, which had originally been introduced a couple of years ago to share innovative practices happening out in schools and was resurrected to continue fostering a culture of sharing and learning.

This iteration of Leadership Labs focused on sharing preliminary learnings from some of our innovative district pilots and highlighted classroom practices that could be replicated with minimal investment or support. The five initiatives we featured: Canvas LMS, G Suite for Education, literacy and blended learning, adaptive math, and STEAM. Each initiative had at least two stations in order to differentiate for multiple audiences. We followed an unconference-style format, with 20-minute sessions repeated twice during two separate workshop slots (four times total). Participants were able to rotate to different stations depending on their areas of interest, allowing for choice.

We have received positive feedback from participants and requests to hold future Leadership Labs. As a member of the organizing committee for this event, the informal nature of the environment allowed us to put it together rather quickly. It’s a great example of a collaborative effort between facilitators and teachers who were eager and proud to share activities and resources and administrators and specialists who were willing to take learning risks. Most importantly, administrators were able to experience what’s possible in today’s classrooms with learning, teaching and technology.



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