Digital Learning Academy

Digital Learning Academy 

Day One:  Leading a Culture of Learning in a Digital Age

Real-world ready schools are those focused on learning in a digital age and prepare students for the world of today and of the future.  The culture of these real-world ready schools is based on building a leadership team, establishing a coherent vision for change, developing a systematic action plan, modeling for leaders effective and efficient ways to leverage digital tools to increase effectiveness, and modeling for teachers how to harness tools to support students’ learning. Working smarter not harder by discovering natural complements to the work already being done enhances outcomes.  This highly engaging and interactive session will allow leaders to practice using digital tools to create a culture focused on rigor, relevance and engagement. 

Learning outcomes:

  • Developing a vision to create a culture focused on rigor, relevance, and relationships that is enhanced by technology;
  • Supporting teachers in lesson design to develop students’ media literacy, digital responsibility, and their skills in using technology while also developing their critical thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, and creativity
  • Creating structures and supports for engaging learning spaces that reflect the real world environments students will experience
  • Increasing capacity for providing effective feedback on instruction 
  • Establishing goals for individual professional growth and development 

Day Two:  Leveraging Digital Tools: Community Building and Professional Learning 

A successful leader is one who communicates effectively with all stakeholders and takes control of public relations by becoming the storyteller-in-chief. Sharing your vision for learning in a digital age is about building a community and strengthening relationships with your stakeholders.  This second day of professional learning will provide strategies and tools for digital leaders to build their community through effective communication strategies to market the highly rigorous and relevant student learning.

Learning outcomes:

  • Enhancing public relations with parents and the community 
  • Creating your school’s positive brand presence
  • Building a professional learning plan for your faculty 
  • Leveraging social media to create opportunities for student learning 
  • Creating an action plan to empower faculty

Contact Texas ASCD at 512-477-8200 x10 to discuss bring this training to your area.

Instructional Rounds

Sheila Pic

Presenter: Dr. Sheila Maher

About the Academy:

Instructional Rounds is an instructional improvement practice. Networks of professionals - principals, teachers, central office personnel - from across a district come together to observe in classrooms and engage in deep dialogue about instruction.

There are four components of Instructional Rounds:

  • Problem of Practice
  • Observation
  • Observation Debrief
    • Description
    • Analysis
    • Prediction
  • Next Level of Work

Instructional Rounds Academy is an interactive professional development experience that provides district teams with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully implement Instructional Rounds as a powerful improvement practice in their districts.  Four to six district member teams, including the top district academic officer, central office personnel, and at least one sitting principal, will work together to learn the four components of Rounds and keys to successful implementation.  Eight district teams will be selected for the 2 ½ day training.

Learning Targets:
• Develop a deep understanding of the importance of Rounds in building and sustaining an instructional culture
• Learn how to create a high quality Problem of Practice, Theory of Action, and Essential Question
• Learn how to capture descriptive evidence that can be analyzed and used to improve the Problem of Practice
• Learn how to participate in and conduct a high quality debrief that drives the instructional work to learning and action
• Create a Rounds Momentum Plan and learn strategies that ensure Rounds is a powerful instructional improvement practice
• Create a plan to ensure a successful implementation of Rounds with fidelity


Day 1

  • Creating & Sustaining an Instructional Culture
  • What’s so different about Rounds?
  • Developing a Meaningful Problem of Practice
  • Observing Instructional Practice: the Power of Descriptive Evidence

Day 2

  • Conducting a High Quality Rounds Debrief
  • Analysis -- Prediction -- Next Level of Work -- Short Term Targets
  • More than one day: Rounds Momentum Plan
  • Critical Details: Structure, Networks, & Norms


Day 3 (half day)

  • District Success: Who’s driving? What’s the Plan?
  • The Power of a Consultancy
  • Resources for Rounds



One of the most transformational trainings I have ever attended in education! It was an impactful learning experience. Thank you for doing this work.

Wow! What an eye-opening experience on how to look at finding solutions or ways to improve student learning. The responsibility of impacting a student’s future by implementing changes in the learning structure is huge.

This training is something I wish I had attended years ago!

Dr. Maher is a fantastic, knowledgeable presenter. Loved every minute!

Very powerful training. Instructional Rounds will allow for collaborative and thorough analysis of district needs to support our improvement plan and direct our professional development to support our teachers and ultimately our students.

This is what we’ve been searching for to push us to the next level!

I am excited to see the outcome and growth of our school and our district. I am honored to be part of the training and I know that this will improve me as a “whole” teacher.

Thank you for imparting the knowledge that will transform our district and allow us to positively impact our student body forever.

The Science of Learning: STAARing The Whole Child

Workshop Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm (One Day)
Registration time: 8:00 am 

Registration fee: $210, $185 for Texas ASCD members (includes the book, "The Art of Learning")

Summary:This past summer the National Academy of Sciences issued a report on student learning that outlined the necessity of addressing the whole child for improving performance. This winter, Christine Drew and Richard Erdmann, two authors who have worked with numerous Texas school districts, are releasing a very exciting new book that addresses these same issues.

Through Texas ASCD, we will offer a one-day Institute. Please respond to 1-800-717-2723 if you are interested in hosting this Institute. 

The Science of Learning: STAARing The Whole Child

The science of learning tells us that addressing the needs of "the whole child" is what will raise test scores. How do we incorporate soft skills into the curriculum? into the classroom? With the emphasis on STAAR, is there a way to meet the requirements of social and emotional learning? There is, and this Institute is a way to begin to design this work.

Workshop Overview:
 When we walk into a classroom, what do we see? Engaged learners? A safe and orderly classroom where discipline problems aren’t disrupting the learning? A supportive learning environment? Rigorous content? Group work and collaboration?  

We might see any or all of these things in many or most classrooms.  We expect to see most of these attributes in classrooms with highly effective teachers, but is what we observe really the most effective practice? If we are observing to identify a problem of practice, what are we looking for and how do we know it and differentiate it? In this Institute we will explore the science behind learning that makes a good practice become great. We will work together to answer the question, what kind of teaching, based in the science of learning, helps a good teacher become a better one? and, what do non-cognitive skills have to do with learning? 

Based on the first two chapters of The Art of Learning, this Institute will provide an overview of findings in neuroscience, some new and some old, that can be applied to observations of all kinds, whether they are instructional rounds, teacher observations for evaluation, or even peer coaching. We will work to reframe the perspective of participants to transform the learning environments that support The Whole Child. 

Next level of Work: 

Today's emphasis on teacher evaluation implores us to create an environment for reflective practice and self-evaluation combined with peer learning.

The next level of work for those who want to continue in this study will have the opportunity to engage in further study of The Art of Learning: Using Models and Stretching to Rigor, concepts strategically aligned with Marzano's Art and Science of Teaching. 


Who Should Attend: Classroom teachers, Principals and campus administrators.


1601 Rio Grande, Ste. 451
Austin, Texas 78701

[ google map ]

Tel: (512) 477-8200
Fax: (512) 477-8215
Toll-free: (800) 717-2723

Office Hours
9 a.m. - 5 p.m  CST
Monday - Friday