World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
Building a Community of Learners

Building a Community of Learners

We Do This Every Day, Season 3, episode 69

Greetings WOL Friends,

This week the WOL Institute will gather with some of our Virtual Learning Specialists face-to-face as we host our 2nd Annual Design Space. As most of you know - our teachers work remotely, and while we have a robust and positive community it is ALWAYS fun to see our team in person. 

The purpose of our work will be to look at our current body of learning experiences in the digital world - our asynchronous course component - and learn how we can be sure that we are making ALL the inroads for our learners to connect with the content, the teacher, and each other. We will also dive into how we are engaging families and our community. 

At the start of our journey, we will assess the educational terrain ahead of us. From AI-powered tools to global collaborations, possibilities are endless, but we know that our learners need human connection more than ever. Dr. Christine Davis, IU8 VLS JoltEdu

Our guests in this episode are Dr. Sam Mormando and Olivia Grugan, who will join us on our adventure of Re-imagining, Re-inventing, and Re-Engineering the learning experience. Olivia and Sam are leaders in their respective organizations in supporting their teams in considering how our children learn - and how we can best support them in that journey. 


Here are a few of the takeaways from the conversation: 

The conversation underscored the importance of balancing human expertise and AI capabilities.

  1. Strategic Integration of AI - Sam Mormando, Director of Technology Innovation and Online Learning at Garnet Valley School District, highlighted the strategic integration of AI to augment administrative tasks. He talked about how in education there is this thing called ‘educator guilt’ that sometimes keeps us from using tools that might ease our burden. He recognizes the overwhelming workload faced by educators, and the ability of AI to alleviate mundane tasks, allowing our folks to focus more on meaningful interactions with students and each other. We look forward to hearing more about how he is helping his teachers and administrative team streamline workflows and prioritize essential responsibilities with AI tools.

  2. Balancing Human Connection and AI - Olivia Grugan, Supervisor at the World of Learning Institute, emphasized the value of constructive struggle and human involvement in the learning process. While AI can offer support in tasks like drafting documents or providing feedback, it cannot replace the nuanced understanding and empathy inherent in human interactions. By leveraging AI as a thought partner and tool for efficiency, we can enhance our productivity without compromising the authenticity and depth of our work.

  3. Community of Learners and Thought Partners - I emphasized the role of our 2nd Annual Design Space as a platform for fostering collaboration and learning among educators. By creating a community of thought partners, we can share insights, exchange best practices, and collectively explore the opportunities and challenges associated with AI integration, building meaningful learner experiences, and the value of our human connection. Through ongoing dialogue and mutual support, we can harness our HUMAN potential and the potential of AI to enhance teaching and learning experiences while preserving our humanity in the education space.

When it comes down to it, at the World of Learning, we value the art of collaboration and the building of community in navigating the integration of any new tool or technology. We often say - pick the tool last!

Stay tuned for more from Dr. Sam Mormando as he launches his book in May - Navigating the AI Revolution in our Schools - Ethical Insights, Policy Innovations, and Personalized Learning Strategies from K to College, with his collaborators Christine Gumpart and Julie Devine.

I am grateful to have good companions on this journey from our IU8 and WOL team to you, our network of friends.

As always, if you can’t find a teacher or just want to bounce some ideas around - reach out. 


World of Learning Institute Podcast and Newsletter
We Do This Everyday!
We do our best each day to be authentic, relevant and engaging in the virtual education space. This podcast will help you see that you, too, can survive and thrive in the new and evolving world of blended and hybrid platforms for learning.
For many years the WOL Institute has provided the BEST in online virtual learning for K-12 schools. We hope our experience in the virtual world will help you navigate and succeed.