Featured Online PD: A Unique Professional Development Opportunity for School and District Leaders and Classroom Teachers

Michael Horn and Heather Staker Headline 

The Alvo Institute’s First

Blended Learning Practitioners’ Circle January 12-March 11, 2015


Announcing a New Session of the Practitioners’ Circle to Begin in April 2015

Click HERE to express your interest in participating or to receive more information.


Sponsored by 

The Alvo Institute is excited to announce the launch of The Blended Learning Practitioners’ Circle. Join us for an eight-week exploration of blended learning with a focus on moving from theory to action. Whether you are new to blended or refining your current blended model, this exciting collaborative will help you deepen your practice, expertise and vision.


Current Alvo clients should email Rebecca at  directly for your discounted access to this extraordinary opportunity.

Alvo’s first Practitioners’ Circle brings together researchers and educators from across the country to form a virtual innovators’ roundtable using the newly released book,Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, as a centerpiece. We are fortunate to be joined by the authors,Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, who will bookend this eight-week blended learning intensive, each facilitating a live, interactive 2-hour webinar.

Alvo has been providing tech agnostic blended learning PD longer than any firm in the country. We have learned that encouraging school communities to engage in highly collaborative short cycles of innovation leads to long-term, sustainable change and measurable gains in student achievement.  In this 8-week intensive PD, practitioners will have opportunities to learn, try things in  their classrooms or schools, reflect, refine and share, each week.  Using Blended, already a top selling book, as core content, participants will have an opportunity to discuss current research, explore Alvo’s educator designed resources, test classroom based examples of blended practices, share their experiences and learn from the Nation’s earliest and most successful blended learning pioneers.

We can’t think of a better way to get started on your journey into blended learning than by exploring Blended with Alvo, Michael Horn, Heather Staker and other blended experts. Go as deep as you want into current research, put the theory behind the models to the test in your classroom, discuss the practical implications, build a library of existing practices, test theories in your classroom with the support of an expert community, share your own insights, ask questions of experienced practitioners, preview the opportunities for disruptions and build on the body of knowledge so wonderfully articulated by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker in Blended.

What does participation look like?

All aspects of the course are optional.  We ask that all participants commit to read Blended.  Beyond that, do as much as you have the time and interest.  This is a GREAT introduction to being an online learner.  This is NOT like a college class with a strict schedule.  This is designed to be flexible and participant directed.

  • Time Commitment: Participants should plan to spend about 1-2 hours each week doing work on your own and 1-2 hours a week participating in live webinars (or watching the recorded sessions).  We will be reading about 25-35 pages from the book Blended each week. (You can do that!  And it will be fun reading!) Like to get ahead?  As soon as your registration fees are paid, we will send you the book so you can get some reading done in advance.  (One thing that makes this book great is that is well organized and easy to move through in small or extended reading stints.) You can spend as little or as much time as you like in other resources.
  • Asynchronous (access on your own, at your own pace, at times that work for you) Resources:  Blended will be the core content and we want a circle of practitioners who will be able to have a shared experience around this book.  (So, we are expecting that you are committing to read as much of the book as possible. A book circle is dull if no one reads. But you will WANT to read, we promise.)   If you want more resources or learning opportunities than are in the book, the course will be run through MoodelRoom (which is an online, learning management system) so participants will have unlimited, 24/7 access to a variety of online content. You can choose from articles to read, videos to watch, templates to use and forums to share and discuss.  Access as little or as much as  you want.  We will have optional assessments if you want to check your own understanding, but nothing is required.
  • Live Weekly Webinars We will be running 1-2 live webinars per week that extend the week’s topic.  We will schedule them to be after school based in the time zones of the participants.  Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker will each facilitate a 2 hour webinar.  Michael’s webinar is scheduled for the 3rd week in January.  Heather’s will be in late February.  All webinars will be recorded if you cannot attend the live event.

Early bird registration fee available. Registration fees include full access to online resources, weekly live webinars with experienced and successful practitioners, including both 2-hour webinars with Michael and Heather, and of course a copy of the book in hard copy or digital format.

Click HERE to express your interest in participating in the April 2015 Practitioners’ Circle or to receive more information.


If you are a current Alvo client please email Rebecca at  directly for your discounted access to this extraordinary opportunity.

Spaces are filling up quickly. 

If you have any difficulties please email [email protected].     

A special thanks to the Circle’s first Gold Sponsor: Illuminate Education.




Other Alvo Online Professional Development Options

Blend Your PD: Alvo’s Online Innovation & Support Portal 

Do you like to work online? Enjoy the ability to log on when you feel ready? When it is quiet? Consider joining Alvo’s Online Professional Development delivered on Moodlerooms. The Online Professional Development is organized by themes and topics that are aligned to Alvo’s Personalized Instructional Competencies™ and Alvo’s Personalized Leadership Competencies™.

Alvo’s online Innovation and Support portal is now open! If you are an Alvo client or if access to the portal is included in your PD package, click here to login: If you are not yet a client, but would like to access the first topic in Alvo’s Innovation and Support Portal, “Blended Learning 101″, it’s easy to sign up. Starting November 1, 2014, you can visit the Portal at and follow the directions there to register. Once you’ve received a user name and password, log in on that same page and scroll down to “Available Courses” and click on “Blended Learning 101”. Follow the prompts to complete enrollment. With any questions, please contact [email protected].

Resources in the online PD include a combination of asynchronous resources (do on your own, on your own time) including activities, planning templates, rubrics, articles, forums, and recordings, and synchronous activities (real-time) such as webinars, live discussions and forums. These online options are ideal for schools with tight budgets and for educators who want to learn without sacrificing instructional time. Some topics covered through the Online PD include:

  • Blended 101 “What Does BL Look Like?”
  • Developing The Innovator’s Mindset
  • Personalized PD Planning For Educators
  • Technology Infrastructure For A BL Setting
  • Selecting The Appropriate End User Devices
  • Selecting On-Line Learning Providers (OLPs)
  • Classroom Procedures
  • Lesson Planning In A BL Environment
  • Teacher Led Small Group Instruction
  • Releasing Instructional Authority To Students In Small Group Instruction
  • Using Exit Tickets And Other Data To Inform BL Class Instruction
  • Moving Towards Personalization
  • Integrating PLB Into A BL Setting
  • Competency Based Grading And Assessment
  • Teaching Students To Be Innovators In Your Classroom
  • How BL Supports Social And Emotional Learning