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ALF Weekend Fall 2015 Debrief

Starting last Thursday—October  8th, 2015—a number of ALFs embarked on a zany adventure to get a bunch of work stuff done. This post is the second of two posts about ALF Weekend, read about the organization of the weekend here on my blog. I will cover what we did over the long weekend in the text that follows. This post’s intended audience is Agile Learning Facilitators.

ALF Membrane

Understanding and defining the ALF membrane has been going on since last fall, as you can see from @nancy’s followup post after the first fall’s ALF Weekend:

We created a diagram of membranes that newcomers pass through as they come in contact with our network – mapping a path for those who have never heard of us –> to newcomers –> to participants –> supporters (including volunteers) –> stakeholders (including parents, interns, staff).  We have started documentation on this, but need to fine-tune and add more to the diagram as a part of our growing compilation of ALF Network Resources.

— October 13, 2014 on @nancy’s blog

On the Thursday morning session a number of ALFs collaborated on expanding on this work and discussions that were had over ALF Summer. You can see notes from the ALF Summer session on this spreadsheet. Over the summer we came up with some working titles for the different levels based around the metaphor of baking.

  • Egg
  • Kneaded
  • Baked
  • Holder
  • Muffin Tin
  • Lil’ Debbie

These names began to take on a life of their own, lucky we had @alex to share his voice:

These names, when translated to Spanish, might lose the essence and meaning of what they are trying to represent.

— July 29 comment on a CMB card by Alex

It was clear that our fun little names would have to change. The Thursday group landed on:

  • Novice/Declared ALF
  • Apprentice/Rising ALF
  • Agile Learning Facilitator
  • Holder
  • Multiple Holder
  • Network Holder

These have been submitted as a proposal to the Community Mastery Board and will probably discussed at the next Change Up Meeting on Oct 26th.

Next step: You can add your comments on the card, found here.

Peer Review Process

After tackling membranes the ALFs moved on to peer review process, or the process that acts to move AFLs from one level of trust to another. Two main points were discussed:

  1. Peer Review for areas of competency beyond Kneaded/Baked
  2. Virtual Peer Review

The former has to do with figuring out what to “test” for when moving ALFs to the Holder, Multi-Holder, and Network Holder distinctions. This discussion didn’t really get very far and ended with the next step of defining a rubric for each membrane that will be used in the peer review process.

Virtual Peer Review didn’t require too much time either, who ever wants to be reviewed gathers the 4+ people and facilitates a virtual meeting.

Next steps: Both of these topics require documentation, who will do it? Maybe you?


Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.59.10 PMThe ALC Lexicon was a very popular project over the weekend. It started as a blog post by @abbyo and was later added to the Network’s Google Drive Folder. Within the past few days it’s grown to encomaps many of the weird things we say to each other. You can find an embedded version with links on the ALF newbie guide.

I’ve created a short link to the published doc: agilelearningcenters.org/lexicon

ALF Accountabilities

Friday morning saw a group of people working on @bear’s document ALC Domains and Responsibilities. In an effort to better understand where people are putting their energy. The current spreadsheet shows communication channels, areas of work (domains), and current projects within those domains.

It prompted blog posts from @ryanshollenberger (see post here), @abbyo (see post here) and me to describe what they do in the network. They both invite other ALFs to blog about what the do with the tag “alfaccountability”. It also inspired me creating a visual outlining network communication.

Next Step: Write about what you do (see ryan’s post for a prompt) and tag it alfaccountability.

This conversation came from an exercise we did at last year where each person shared the following:

  • What they do
  • What gives them juice
  • What they want to do
  • What actions will be taken to achieve the above?

Which was followed up by the whole group filling in the blanks for them. I was there and it was a powerful experience. I wish we could have done the same this over this ALF weekend but it never materialized, maybe next time?

More information can be found on this Trello card.

Virtual Culture Committee process

This conversation focused on two areas. The first being about offering a space for students to ask the network for support when their conflicts are too big or unwieldily for their community. You can read notes from that discussion on the ALF Weekend Notes document.

@ryanshollenberger agreed to hold coherence around this topic and to create the culture committee working group that fields submissions to the virtual culture committee request form (thanks @abbyo for putting together this form). A working group card has been created on the CMB and is up for discussion.

The other focus was on inter-ALF culture committee functionality. @bear wrote out a simple process that is currently up on the CMB titled ALF Culture Committee Process.

Next Steps: Leave your comments on the ALC CC process card and email [email protected] if you want to work with @ryanshollenberger on the culture committee process.

Communication Channels, Slack

Slack is a service that creates chatrooms, its where many of the Network Holder type people have been collaborating recently. We’ve been trying it out and after a Saturday discussion between @liam and myself we are ready to put forward a proposal for how to use and integrate Slack into our communication infrastructure.

Next Steps: You can view the proposal and comment on it here.

We’ve outlined suggested naming conventions for channels along with suggestions around the kind of communication that Slack should be used for.

Discussion on XQ school project

There is a murmurs around a project grant that ALC could very well win called the XQ School Project.

XQ: The Super School Project is a national movement to reimagine high school. In the last hundred years, America has gone from a Model T to a Tesla and from a switchboard to a smartphone, but our public high schools have stayed frozen in time. We believe American ingenuity can and must move education forward. This is a challenge, open to all, to build the Super Schools that will lead the way.

— xqsuperschool.org

A group of ALFs discussed the idea of using this as an opportunity to write a grant application and get more firm on what ALC’s Network vision and goals are. The conversation quickly went towards getting more clear on the ALC Network vision where new ALF @sarataleff offered to hold coherence for creating a process to gather information about everyone’s thoughts on this and work that into a collective vision.

Next Steps: A Trello card has been added to the Network Growth board, see it here and add to the conversation.

Next Steps