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Relationships and Communication

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Last updated by Glen


Develop and enhance relationships both within the cluster and outside the cluster.


The sharing and reciprocity of ideas and knowledge with other clusters/schools is a mark of a mature cluster. This can be achieved through a variety of channels, including:

  • Attending Virtual Learning Network (VLN) monthly meetings.
  • Sharing documentation via VLN website.
  • Participation in the online community (VLNc).
  • Working with other schools through the 4 Ps (Projects, Programmes, Professional Learning, Participation).


  • Ensure all staff are involved in some level of participation in the cluster community.
  • Broaden relationships to include schools and clusters outside the immediate cluster.
  • Ensure there are induction processes in place for new staff.

Supporting Resources

The Importance of Vision: Examples from the VLN

In this illustration, Wayne State University faculty member Michael Barbour describes the importance of a mature cluster having a clear vision. His views are based upon a three month tour of New Zealand where he visited nine of the current and emerging e-learning clusters, interviewed dozens of cluster ePrincipals; school Principals and deputy Principals; eTeachers; eDeans, Coordinators, and Facilitators; and students, and observed several video conferencing lessons and tutorials in a variety of subject areas.

Michael describes the visions of some of the more sustainable clusters throughout the country, as examples where those clusters are able to provide a clear trajectory for the cluster, its member schools, and other schools who are potential members. He makes the distinction between a vision, which he describes as the mission of the cluster, and the strategic planning, which he describes as the steps necessary to implement that vision. Many struggling and emerging clusters have a strategic plan, without first having a clear vision.