My School: Encouraging the Educator Voice

Written by Cori Odom, Lea(R)n 2016 Summer Fellow

Written by Cori Odom, Lea(R)n 2016 Summer Fellow

This summer, I spent time working with the Lea(R)n team as an educator consultant for their recently extended edtech management tool, LearnPlatform. As an elementary school technology teacher, this platform was all the more intriguing to me. My goal at the beginning of my eight weeks was to learn all I could about this valuable tool. What I experienced was more than I could ever have imagined.

LearnPlatform empowers educators — teachers and administrators alike — to find, use and evaluate digital tools and programs all in one spot.

Implementing the platform at a school is a step-by-step process. While working with the team, another fellow and I were able to communicate the educator value of creating a decision making team at the local, school-based level. Giving teachers/administrators at each individual school the ability to utilize the platform to its true potential allows for a clear picture of what is working and what is not.

Actively grading digital tools and products, creating a community of educators that have the same interests in edtech and those tools, asking questions and receiving immediate feedback are just a few of the aspects of the LearnPlatform that excite me.

The openness of the team to listen to our feedback throughout my experience this summer during each project/evaluation, demonstrated their desire for this platform to be a game changer in our schools, for our teachers — and most importantly for our students. Using our feedback to turn the platform potentials upside down with a bottom-up ability just shows how powerful and important the communication and feedback from our educators and administrators actually is to the Lea(R)n team!

The LearnPlatform will be an extraordinary factor for my school this year in many ways. Taking control of our edtech purchases — this platform is exactly what our technology decision making team is looking for. Using our customized instance of LearnPlatform to improve our purchasing power, launch pilots and run rapid results is invaluable. Giving our teachers the opportunity to have a voice about the edtech we’re purchasing will boost our school morale and give them the access to data-driven research about their digital tools. The best part of all is our ability to integrate with Google Apps for Education. We installed the LearnTrials for Educators extension to give educators easy access to product grades and the ability to discover even more about the digital tools we are working with and discovering daily.

My experience this summer with Lea(R)n was phenomenal. The freedom to explore the entire platform, evaluate behind the scenes and help implement new and exciting additions highlighted my eight weeks as a team member. What I left HQ Raleigh with, however, was an invaluable tool to share with my coworkers and make a difference in the way we find, use, buy and measure digital tools at our school and in our district, hoping one day to see this tool implemented statewide and across the country.

Odom is a IMT Teacher at Davis Drive Elementary School in Cary, NC. Being the technology teacher, she uses edtech and digital tools to enrich and extend what the students are learning in the regular classroom. This year she served as a lead on the introduction and integration of Google Apps for Education, to both students and staff at her school. Odem is a 21 year veteran teacher, recently promoted to a full-time position with Wake County Public Schools.