The Educator Learning Model

THeory + Practice + Data


To achieve our vision, we created an educator learning model to bridge competencies and content

The conceptual model is made up of seven Skill Areas, which map to both educator competence standards as well as the learning content created by our human capital providers. Each Skill Area has a group of Tags. The specific Tags within each area can be used across a wide range of platforms, mediums, and experiences. They are linked directly to the more granular learning Elements of the iNACOL Blended Learning Educator Competency Framework standards. These Elements serve as the bridge between the larger Competencies, Tags, and learning data collected.

We have created a structure for professional learning content that bridges the theoretical and aspirational learning competencies (such as the iNACOL framework) with the day-to-day, grounded practice perspective of working educators.

The graphic above and details below outline the seven Skill Areas and nested learning Tags. Each of these Areas and its related Tags are described further below. These Tags represent content categories educators engage in as they build competency in Skill Areas. Each Tag is divided into a set of key learning Elements that represent the actions educators take that lead to the development of competency in the Skill Areas. 

Click here to explore the Elements and connections between iNACOL's Framework and TLA's Educator Learning Model in depth here

Note, while the model connects back to blended learning focused-competencies and content given the nature of the Initiative work, it is organized to be more universal by using larger, more general Skill categories that could expand and link to other competency frameworks as well.


This Area involves all the competencies educators use to gather, track, make sense of, plan, and act upon information about learning.

  • Data Collection: Collecting various formal and informal data sets on student learning over time.
  • Data Analysis: Using various data sets collected over time to make assessments on student learning.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Using collected data to make informed instructional decisions.


This Area involves all the competencies educators use to execute instruction in the classroom.

  • Responsive Content: Adapting content to individualized student needs.
  • Technology Integration: Using technology to improve the student learning experience.
  • Competency Tracking: Documenting student competencies through formal and informal evidence on an ongoing basis.
  • Engagement Strategies: Delivering instructional content in ways that increase student buy-in and ownership.
  • Delivery Mechanics: Using appropriate delivery mechanics, modalities, and time management to enhance instruction.        


This Area involves all the competencies educators use behind-the-scenes to create plans for student learning. 

  • Instructional Design: Planning, choosing, and developing instructional methods.
  • Content Development: Choosing, creating, and adapting instructional content.
  • Alignment to Standards: Aligning instructional content to appropriate learning standards.


This Area involves all the competencies used by educators to get better at their jobs.    

  • Adaptation: Having a growth mindset and willingness to adopt new technologies, modalities, and change.
  • Independent Learning: Independently pursued professional learning.
  • Professional Practices: Contributing to school, community, and profession.
  • Reflective Practices: Written or verbal reflection on learning, practice, and improvement.
  • Learning Communities: Online PLN, in-person peer gatherings, alumni programs, etc.    
  • Development Mechanics: Engagement in workshops, self-paced learning, mentorship, and training.


This Area involves all the competencies educators use to create the environments within and outside of school walls that are most appropriate for and conducive to learning. 

  • Physical Structure: Design, layout, and use of physical learning environment. 
  • Digital Structure: Design, implementation, and use of digital learning environment.
  • Extended Structure: Design opportunities to use resources outside the classroom.


This Area involves all the foundational, non-instructional competencies educators use to nurture a healthy learning environment. 

  • Routines: Consistent processes for student and teacher workflows.    
  • Expectations: Establishing positive behaviors for classroom culture.
  • Support: Structures, strategies, and facilitation to create a constructive learning environment.


This Area involves all the competencies educators use to work effectively with other stakeholders in and outside of school.

  • Communication: Using current tools and modalities to communicate with students, parents, teachers, community, and peers.    
  • Family Engagement: Building the relationship between learning in the classroom and learning at home.    
  • Student Engagement: Developing ownership and agency in students.
  • Community Engagement: Building the relationship between the classroom, community, and school.
  • Feedback: Providing opportunities for feedback between students, parents, teachers, peers, and community.
  • Teamwork: Actively collaborating with peers, students, parents, teachers, or community members.