In a State Support Network Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange, leaders from state education agencies and districts convene to share their experiences and build on one another’s successes and challenges to achieve collective and continuous growth. P2P exchanges leverage opportunities created when several states or districts request similar support, want to hear what other states or districts are doing, or seek to partner across states and regions to address shared challenges.
What are the objectives of a P2P exchange?
- Foster the adoption and adaptation of effective implementation practices through professional learning experiences that are differentiated based on the knowledge, skills, and needs of participants.
- Support innovation and the development of new ideas.
- Develop ongoing relationships among states and districts to support school improvement planning and implementation.
- Grow state and district capacity to support continuous improvement through the exchange of relevant knowledge, best practices, and successful processes.
- Develop the knowledge base on state and district improvement policies, systems, and strategies as states and districts develop and implement policies and practices.
What does a P2P exchange look like?
P2P exchanges can occur within one of three structures: virtual, one-to-one, or peer-hosted. These opportunities may be scheduled as stand-alone events, or a few opportunities may be combined during a specific time frame to create a P2P exchange series. Each session ends with a request to all participants to share a series of next steps they plan to take to address the problem of practice in their respective states or districts.
- Virtual: This exchange is the most common and popular form of P2P facilitated by the Network. Each session is typically one to two hours in length and is conducted through a virtual meeting platform. Participants collaborate in the context of a roundtable format that consists of open dialogue and opportunities to provide feedback and share insights on common challenges or effective practices in their states or districts.
- One-to-one: This structure is designed to be more flexible and informal than the in-person and virtual events that consist of more participants. During these exchange opportunities, a P2P facilitator or subject matter expert will facilitate the initial conversation between two states or districts that are working on a similar topic or problem of practice.
- Peer-hosted: During a one-day, in-person exchange, a host state or district presents a problem of practice that is common to all participants. The group collaborates in a roundtable format in which peers provide feedback and share insights on effective practices from research or experiences in their states or districts. Each group has the opportunity to share and provide feedback to other participants relative to the specific problem of practice or topic of the event.
What topics are covered?
P2P exchanges will focus on topics identified by state and district participants related to school improvement implementation and support. Initial P2P topics have included developing comprehensive needs assessments, developing long-term goals for state accountability systems, and implementing evidence-based practices. The list of topics addressed each year will reflect the expressed needs and interests of states and district leaders.
What is the difference between a community of practice and a P2P exchange?
These two forms of technical assistance are quite similar in that they both bring together groups of individuals for the purpose of collaborative learning. While P2P exchanges often bring together more than two peers, they typically engage a smaller set of participants than does a CoP. Also, P2P exchanges typically focus on a single event or a limited series of events, while CoPs engage their participants over a longer period of time. In addition, a P2P exchange is a synchronous event during which all activity occurs in real time in a place, either virtual or physical. A CoP uses synchronous collaboration as well, but it also features asynchronous interaction through various mechanism such as online discussion forums, blogs, and collaborative workspaces.
Who should participate in a P2P exchange?
State and district leaders who are interested in actively engaging in discussions with peers and subject matter experts to solve common problems can request to participate in a P2P exchange. P2P exchange participants should be self-motivated and prepared to apply what they learn in each session to address their specific challenges. Finally, P2P exchange participants should be interested in sharing what they have learned and developed as a result of their interactions with other state and district leaders.
How can I join a P2P exchange?
If there is a challenge that you are facing, or if you can benefit from learning how other states or districts are addressing particular topics, please contact the State Support Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact the State Support Network at email@example.com.