What does it mean to engage in Innovative Learning? What does it mean to be part of the Innovative Learning Designs (ILD) project? How can we have the greatest impact on student learning?  Over four years ago, sixteen schools set out on a collaborative journey to explore new practices for 21st century learning. Another forty schools are followed this lead. Then more schools (125 in total) began playing with ideas about their practice, exploring, sharing learning.

Our learning was built on some of the essential work of The Numeracy Project along with The Developing Readers’ model.  ILD was similar in design. What we know about inviting teachers to experiment, explore and take risks within a supported inquiry team, was consistent in all the projects. We followed our guiding principles of ensuring initiatives were teacher-led, teacher-driven and school-housed focused. Deeply embedded are our district priority practices of Curriculum Design, Quality Assessment, Instructional Strategies. and Social Emotional Learning.

Our Learning Commons transformation was also part of our innovative work in exploring new structures for learning, new teaching strategies and new ways of working together in a connected community.

Our work is now celebrated under our district’s Learning by Design refreshed vision. You can see our district journey to adapt and change our learning structures, make more use of tools, and a renewed focus on intentionally redesigning learning.

Our learning stories are documented in this blog. We hope you find something of value here.

We all share a commitment to students, a passion for teaching, and a love for learning.


Elisa Carlson, Ed. D.

2 responses to “About

  1. Elisa, wonderful to hear of the passion for teaching in your district, and the journey to explore new practices for 21st century learning. Would that journey extend as far as Courtenay?

    There, I could take you to Mesa Verde to live amongst the indigenous peoples, learning their culture and the interaction between them and their environment. Or you could navigate to an asteroid headed to Earth to drill core samples, live as a wolf, negotiate the survival of a wildlife preserve amongst various Kenyan stakeholders, or traverse the scientific ethics of experimentation on one for the sake of the many in a town afflicted by a plague. My First Nations students could take you into the recreation of their ancestral village, where they have learned how to preserve their heritage and rediscover their identity. My FSL students could take you for a walk through a French-Canadian town where you can shop for household goods, visit a museum of French impressionistic artists, or sample some French cuisine. If you prefer, you could visit Ancient Rome with my grade 7 or 8 students, racing chariots in the Circus Maximus, or explore the divergent perspectives of a pillaging Attila the Hun and his victims. For a more local history lesson, you might want to ride the newly constructed CPR rails to Port Moody from Toronto, or visit the House of Commons, or the BC legislature. All this can be done from both my computer my students, who have not simply reading about these things, but recreating them in contextual virtual environments where the knowledge can be learned experientially.

    The possibilities envisioned by Jules Verne took many years to emerge from the fiction he created into reality. I hope it will not take as long for us to grasp the potential for learning demonstrated in the movie “Avatar.” It’s a methodology and technology that promotes a profoundly deeper learning experience, is available, and awaits a revolution in education rather than yet another revision. I thought you might like to hear about it.

  2. Ann-Marie Hunter

    Hi Elisa,
    I like your focus for early Math learning! It matches what I’ve used for years in the Intermediate/Secondary classroom!

    Your website was recommended to me by Ray Myrtle – I work with him on the StartUP! Your Class Cooperative group, planning professional development support for early career teachers! It looks to me like you would be a wonderful addition to our presenters’ group, if you’re interested.

    I’m sure that Ray will be in touch with you to check out your willingness to become involved.

    Ann-Marie Hunter

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