About The Knowledge Loom
What is The Knowledge Loom?
The Knowledge Loom: What Works in Teaching & Learning
(http://knowledgeloom.org) is an online resource designed for interactive use by
educators and education leaders, professional development coordinators,
technical assistance organizations, and policymakers. This Guidebook is a
companion to The Knowledge Loom Web site. It is primarily a tool to help
education leaders facilitate professional development through collaborative
activities that use Knowledge Loom content to guide and improve teaching and
learning. On The Knowledge Loom, users can:
* Review research that identifies best practices related to various themes.
* View stories about the practices in schools/districts.
* Learn to replicate the success of these practices in their own organizations.
* Add stories, knowledge, and questions to the collections.
* Participate in online events and discussions.
* Discover supporting organizations and resources.
What is in it for you?
Use The Knowledge Loom collections to locate specific information when you
need it for school improvement planning and inspiration. Pose important
questions and get answers from others knowledgeable in the field. Contribute
your own expertise via the many interactive components. The Knowledge Loom is
a place where researchers and practitioners come together to exchange ideas
and information about what works in teaching and learning. All educators can
benefit from studying the stories and practices, exploring the links to other sites,
and reviewing the ideas presented in the panel discussions and other online tools.
Sometimes professional growth simply means finding colleagues with whom you
can discuss and develop ideas and inspirations. The Knowledge Loom presents
many opportunities to exchange ideas with colleagues and broaden your
understanding about effective education practice, whether the colleagues are
in your own school/district or across the country.
Why a Knowledge Loom?
The loom as a metaphor suggests a work in progress, a workspace where
selected and varied threads are drawn together to craft a cohesive, unique, and
The Knowledge Loom* Web site presents an online workspace where education-
minded users can select and weave distributed threads of information and
experience in such a way as to create a fabric of best practices most suited to
their own conditions, needs, and visions for excellence in teaching and learning.
The Knowledge Loom provides the content that supports collaborative
professional development initiatives.
* The name Knowledge Loom is used with permission from the Kellogg Foundation.
Where does The Knowledge Loom content originate?
The content comes from many places:
* Technical assistance partner organizations, some funded by the United States
Department of Education;
* Private educational products and services developers/providers;
* Individual teachers and administrators in schools and districts nationwide; and
* You! The Knowledge Loom is available for all its users to add their own threads
of wisdom and experience to the content through online interactive tools.
The Knowledge Loom regularly develops and spotlights best-practices
information about topics that concern educators today. These include literacy,
equity, technology, math/science, school organization, community involvement,
professional development, and others.
How did we get started?
In October 1998 the United States Department of Education assigned resources
to the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University
(LAB), a program of The Education Alliance, to develop a "...sustainable,
customer-driven, distributed repository/database of information on best practices
in teaching and learning."
After talking to many educators, we realized that a repository was not enough.
Our vision was The Knowledge Loom-a comprehensive electronic environment
that moves from information delivery to information creation, from data to people,
from a learning library to a learning community. This Guidebook is a continuation
of that work as it aims to bring the best-practices content presented on The
Knowledge Loom to districts, schools, and classrooms through collaborative
professional development activities that are both practical and innovative.