WeThinkBig took big steps in the third year of its start-up phase, laying a strong foundation for continued education innovation and community partnerships. Recognizing the needs of educators, interests of learners, and the availability of valuable learning resources throughout the community, WTB introduced a new collaboration initiative — LRNG:Badgerland – to engage and unite students and stakeholders in exploring deeper ways of learning together.
LRNG:Badgerland builds on WTB’s success in the education community and provides the 21st century infrastructure to advance student achievement, support innovation and strengthen educational partnerships, creating a bright horizon for education in Wisconsin.
Last year’s “Next Big Idea: Cities of LRNG” proved pivotal for WeThinkBig and paved the way for its work and transition over the 2017-2018 program year.
In late 2017 WTB was invited to spearhead and serve as backbone organization for the nationally-acclaimed LRNG initiative in Wisconsin. WTB created LRNG:Badgerland as a framework to support collaboration among Wisconsin schools, employers and community experts. Through the initiative, stakeholders collaborate to develop integrated academic and community-based learning activities, and work together to recognize student competencies with micro-credentials and advancement opportunities.
In early 2018 WTB launched a pilot study with select partners. The 6-month pilot project engaged five diverse educational organizations and stakeholders to explore how LRNG might address current resource challenges, support innovation and improve educational impact. The results were encouraging.
Recognizing its potential as a powerful tool for all Wisconsin educators, employers and learners, WI-DPI has stepped up and generously agreed to take the reins for hosting the LRNG:Badgerland Network for Wisconsin.
#1) INSPIRING INNOVATION – Spearheaded efforts to engage educators and community in fresh ways of thinking about education
#2) EMPOWERING EDUCATORS — Created unique professional development opportunities and resources for educators.
#3) ENGAGING COMMUNITY – Continued conversations with educators, students and key stakeholders in the region.