What is LearningFront?

LearningFront is a free online learning community for connecting people and professional tools to advance the frontier of learning. LearningFront members can build a network of colleagues, create or join a team, use professional tools for developing and sharing learning resources, participate in professional development, and communicate worldwide.

What is LearningFront's vision and mission?

LearningFront is committed to achieving the vision of:

"Advancing the frontier of learning through online learning communities!"

The LearningFront frontier is the outer edge of current ways of teaching and learning. It's where teaching and learning evolve into new and better ways of learning by connecting people, teaching, and technology.

How children, youth, and adults learn in the 21st century is the key to their success. Our mission is to help you connect with people and tools to learn, create, and share your ideas and resources to meet the learning expectations of the 21st century.

Who are LearningFront members?

LearningFront welcomes and facilitates collaboration, information sharing, and problem solving among public, independent, charter, virtual, and home school teachers and administrators; college and university faculty and administrators; corporate leaders, managers, and trainers; professional organization specialists, government personnel, online educators; and individuals interested in becoming teachers -- anywhere, anytime.

Adults aged 18 and above may sign-up to become members of the LearningFront online community. Members are encouraged to invite other adults to become LearningFront members. Then, members can invite and accept each other as colleagues and share profiles. Both members and colleagues can join teams to collaborate on topics of interest or needs related to teaching and learning.

What are LearningFront's unique features?

LearningFront is unique because it combines social and professional networking with web-based development tools for teaching and learning any subject, with any person, anytime, anywhere with a computer connected to the Internet. It helps members and teams to learn, develop, co-create, mash and remix, and share on demand. For example, using LearningFront's tools for instant messaging, member and team messages, WikiTask™, TaskBuilderOnline™, and Programs:

  • A home school teacher might form a team with other home school teachers throughout the nation to co-create and share effective teaching strategies for grade three mathematics and complete online professional development programs to improve their mathematics assessments.
     
  • A middle school sixth grade team might collaborate with a feeder elementary  school fifth grade team on planning data-driven lessons and, then, post their results in WikiTask™ to serve as prototypes for other LearningFront members in their district and worldwide.

  • A high school department chairperson might identify priority content standards for an instructional unit, clone them to teachers requesting lessons co-created to achieve the standards, and, then, WikiTask™ the lessons with the most promise for worldwide application.

  • A principal might create a team of other principals to exchange messages about the month-to-month tasks needed to implement an instructional improvement strategy to increase student achievement. Then, they could clone best practices and effective lessons from their teachers to each other to act as prototypes for instructional improvement.

  • Student teachers might develop standards-based lessons for their classes and clone them to their supervising teacher and teacher education coordinator prior to their observation of the lessons for insights and improvements. And, then, the supervisors could clone their coaching tips back to the student teachers.

  • A corporate trainer might collaborate with a team of developers of a new product, conduct a needs analysis, develop a training program and evaluation procedures, and deliver the product training online with sales representatives.

  • A state department curriculum specialist might develop and clone samples of new content standards and sample assessments to local school district counterparts for co-development and post their improvements on a moderated WikiTask™ for broader input and insights from other state or international curriculum specialists.

  • Virtual classroom teachers might clone lessons to parents to support their children in the home, seek their ideas for home-based activities, and post the lessons as WikiTasks™ for parents throughout a local school district.

  • A parent/guardian might develop a lesson for teaching his or her children how to save and invest their allowances and send messages to colleagues to encourage their children to try the lesson and share results.

All members in each scenario above can use instant messaging, send and receive colleague and team messages, invite friends and associates to join a team, form a network of colleagues, and locate colleagues with similar backgrounds and passions for teaching and learning. These examples demonstrate how LearningFront breaks down content, communication, time, and location barriers as colleagues collaborate, co-create, and share to expand the frontier of learning.

LearningFront isn’t a static web site offering just information and web links -- it’s a dynamic web-based application for advancing the frontier of learning through online learning communities!

What happens when you join LearningFront?

People. When you join LearningFront, your homepage opens the way to an online community of people, tools, and actions for advancing the frontier of learning. On the people menu, members use their profile, colleagues, and team features to communicate and collaborate.

  • Profile. The Profile feature summarizes your location, experiences, and passions for teaching and learning. Your profile helps you to find and be found by other members.

  • Colleagues. The Colleagues feature helps you to find and invite other members to become your colleagues. This leads to opportunities to expand your colleagues network with "colleagues of your colleagues." And you can invite other people you know to join LearningFront and network with you.

  • Teams The teams feature helps a member to organize and leverage the knowledge, skills, and experiences of two or more members and colleagues on a common goal related to teaching and learning. Teams are aimed primarily at putting together LearningFront members who share the same interests or development goals. Teams co-create, share, and seek feedback about learning resources and stimulate relevant discussion all in one spot.

Your LearningFront community consists of your colleagues and their colleagues and your teams, networking you to potentially thousands of professionals dedicated to new and better ways of learning.

Tool Box. In the LearningFront tool box menu, members use the following tools to create and share new and better ways of learning:

  • TaskBuilderOnline™ is a web-based application for improving teaching and learning. It helps you to learn and practice what successful teachers do to help all learners reach high expectations. By using it now, you can build a repertoire of skills and resources for helping all learners -- children, youth, and adults -- to learn basic skills, rigorous academic standards, job expectations, and technical skills. TaskBuilderOnline™ implements research on effective teaching and aligns with local, state, national, and industry standards of learning. With TaskBuilderOnline, you can complete the following “Tasks” of teaching:
    1. Plan standards-based units, lessons, and training plans
    2. Construct formative and summative assessments
    3. Align standards, instruction or training, and assessment
    4. Teach a skill, concept, process, or principle
    5. Integrate graphic organizers
    6. Differentiate instruction, training, and assessment
    7. Evaluate learner performances with scoring tools such as rubrics
    8. Analyze learner performance data and act on results
    9. Clone and WikiTask™ lessons and other teaching tasks to colleagues
    10. Communicate with colleagues and other members
  • Programs is a web-based application for delivering professional development programs to improve teaching and learning. Programs delivers professional development anytime, anywhere to individuals using a computer connected to the Internet.  For example, it has been used to deliver training and coaching to beginning and experienced teachers on the job, to prepare graduate teacher education students, to help individuals prepare for the Professional Teaching Knowledge exam administered by the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence, and to assist individual users to improve their knowledge and skills related to quality teaching and to acquire continuing education or inservice credits to renew teaching certificates. TaskBuilderOnline™ is available as an integrated feature on the Programs tool bar.

  • WikiTasks™ helps members to post and access teaching and learning tasks developed with TaskBuilderOnline. WikiTasks™ allows members to access, clone, and edit available content independently or collaboratively. The "Wiki It" option makes your task available to all LearningFront members without any restrictions for making changes to your WikiTask content and format. This option works best for getting feedback from the broadest audience in the WikiTask space of LearningFront. The "Moderate It" option makes your task available to all LearningFront members with restrictions for making changes to your WikiTask content and format. This option requires your approval to changes anyone suggests before the revised task appears in the WikiTask space of LearningFront. This option works best for ensuring control over changes made to your WikiTask.

  • Messages help members, colleagues, and teams to carry out their roles and keep in touch on LearningFront. For example, "Member News" offers important information about LearningFront features and benefits. "My Messages" sends and receives communications among members and colleagues and  “Team Messages” does the same for Team members.

  • Instant Messaging is a text-based conversation over the Internet between two colleagues who must be logged in to LearningFront at the same time. Unlike email, instant messaging allows colleagues to "talk" to each other in real time by entering and receiving text messages.

Learning Community Actions. LearningFront also offers Scheduling, Networking, Inviting, and Locating actions to inform your colleagues about your status and to build your learning community.

  • Scheduling allows you to share what you are doing as you use LearningFront. This tool uses a pop-up menu of status actions that lets your colleagues know if you are planning, teaching, browsing and so forth. The status action you select shows up on your homepage and in your colleagues' My Colleagues list.

  • Networking identifies colleagues of your new colleagues. Using this tool, you can view potential colleagues' profiles and invite them to be your colleagues. If accepted, a new colleague will be added to your My Colleagues list. This tool helps you to expand your learning community as far as you wish.

  • Inviting provides a way for you to invite people you know to join LearningFront. By using valid email addresses and extending invitations, you will connect the people you know and trust with the LearningFront sign-up web page. 

  • Locating helps members to find a colleague in LearningFront. When you and other members complete the "Locate Me" feature in your profile, you provide searchable information about your location, experiences, and passions related to teaching and learning. Other members use this information when they attempt to locate a new colleague.

Who owns LearningFront?

LearningFront is privately owned and operated by LearningFront™ and was launched on 1 January 2009.