This note is for all those committed to and interested in how California can improve its education performance statewide over the next four years—improvements across the entire system and all of its levels. We believe that there are enough forces aligned to make this result a distinct possibility. The actions and coordinated efforts we outline in this paper are practical and realistic. Our team is working in partnership with a number of groups at all levels of the state. It will be the internal leadership within the state that will lead and cause the change to happen. We are fortunate and proud to be participants in this unprecedented endeavor. This is indeed a golden opportunity for system transformation that occurs once in a lifetime at best.
To raise the bar and close the gap for students means improving ALL schools in the system—not just a few. Piecemeal or small-scale reform doesn’t work. What does work is focusing on the three core components of deep learning: learning & teaching, change knowledge, and the culture of learning. Using the whole system change strategies in this framework (Fullan, Quinn, Adam, 2013) we have found that we can get great results in a reasonably short period of time.
At William G. Davis Senior Public School, when the idea of BYOB came up, principal Andrea Meyer gave every teacher an iPod and said ‘Have fun!’. He knew that capacity building requires skill, knowledge and motivation. View this video to see how teachers teamed up and reached out to each other in a brilliant fashion to develop the strategies they needed to reach their goals.
In this video filmed at Park Manor Public School in Ontario, Vice Principal Liz Anderson describes the importance of focusing on the student. The Accelerated Learning Framework, developed at Park Manor to provide clarity about what learning needs to be, uses pedagogy as the driver and digital to accelerate learning.
This video is an excellent example of a motion leader in action. Central Peel Secondary School principal, Lawrence DeMaeyer talks with Michael about how his school collaborates between and among other schools.
This is topic video 13 of 22.
Topic video 14 will be posted Thursday, April 16th.
When in doubt, it’s better to examine your practice and that of others who seem to be getting somewhere than it is to reach for the bookshelf. New work on understanding the brain bears out this idea. We know that the brain is best fed through experience. When people experience something new, it connects with their feelings first, then their minds. When this leads to new behavior, the latter sticks because it has emotional meaning. This is why I have stressed going from practice to theory. (Change Leader, 2011, p. 112)
This is topic video 12 of 22.
Topic video 13 will be posted Thursday, April 9th.
One might expect bandwidth, data privacy and device rollouts to dominate discussions at this year’s Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) conference, where over 900 chief technology officers (CTO) and other administrators gathered.
But the opening message was quite the opposite. Keynote speaker Michael Fullan, Canadian education writer and researcher shared one simple message: “It’s time to shift focus from the digital to the pedagogical.”
Attendees hung on Fullan’s every word as he outlined a new purpose for their work: deeper learning. “Digital is the wrong driver,” Fullan says, “At a certain point, you have to switch to the pedagogical horse.”
For Fullan, student agency, as well as deeper connection and independence between families, teachers and students are at the heart of deeper learning. Still, there’s a role for technology to come in. New learning solutions should be “irresistibly engaging, elegant and easy to use, ubiquitous 24/7 and steeped in real life problem solving,” he says.
A House Divided
Still, CTOs expressed plenty of concerns around data privacy and their districts’ insatiable demand for broadband access.
Sessions such as “What CTOs Need to Know About Education” uncovered the tension between instructors and technical officers. Some CTOs expressed frustration at being left out of conversations about instructional needs that ultimately affect their work. One attendee explained, “Instructional staff goes out and just picks new things to use without including IT in the discussion, but we are responsible for implementing it. I need to be preparing things such as infrastructure, servers, platforms. I need to know what’s coming.”
According to Pete Just, Chief Technology Officer atMSD Wayne Township in Indiana, “CTOs need to have the equivalent level of cabinet positions. I have to be shoulder to shoulder with the people who are making the education decisions in order to have the impact around the details,” he states. “We are at a crossroads right now.”
Keeping It Private
There were also the usual suspects on people’s minds: data privacy and bandwidth. The conference hosted several sessions on data privacy, highlighting both legal and ethical issues.
So why the recent obsession with data privacy? Candidly, Vincent Scheivert, Chief Innovation Officer from Albemarle County Public Schoolsand the Withrow CTO Award Winner shares that school districts weren’t monitoring the tools being used by teachers as closely and the collection of student data wasn’t as prevalent in the past. “For a while people pretended these policies didn’t exist. We protected student data, we just didn’t do it right,” he explains. “We were either following COPPA and not FERPA, or the other way around.”
Now his district, along with hundreds across the country, are narrowing down what their data policy means for teachers. In Albemarle, if a teacher wishes to use a tool, they simply notify the tech department. The tech team reads through the terms of service and shares back the requirements with the teacher, along with any paperwork they will need to share with parents.
The bandwidth crunch is a reality that no CTO can escape. As technology leaders become more involved in the instructional side of the house, meeting the relentless demand for broadband access is still at the top of the CTO’s list. According to CoSN leaders, the demand for broadband access in districts, in terms of the number of megabytes per student, doubles every 18 months. The question is, who will foot the bill and how will CTOs do more with less?
School technology leaders face a seemingly impossible job, juggling demands to maximize resources, set district policies and systems for keeping data safe, insert themselves into instructional conversations, and help usher in a pedagogical revolution. But one thing is clear: They’ll only succeed if they work closely with instructional leaders.
Frank is a social media journalist for the CDW family of technology magazine websites.
To embrace a deeper learning landscape, educators must work together to make digital pedagogy appetizing.
That’s the takeaway from the opening keynote at CoSN 2015 in Atlanta, led by Michael Fullan, an education researcher and a former dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Fullan has spent years studying the horizon of education technology in schools all over the world, and he sees stratospheric leaps ahead in education, but leaders need to help make it happen.
“2015 is going to be a breakout year,” Fullan said early in his talk. “You will not be able to stop this transformation, even if you try.”
Fullan said that while touring the world, he has witnessed digital learning innovation at work, but under the wrong leadership — often stymied by bureaucracy. To take the next step in education, schools and districts must learn to share successful technology strategies, resources and lessons with their neighbors.
Fullan calls this technique “leadership from the middle.” The success of a single school won’t be enough to cause significant change.
“No more one school at a time; no more one district at a time,” he says.
Technology governance keeps people in certain lanes, says fellow keynote speaker Jhone Ebert, chief innovation officer of Clark County, Ga. Growing beyond that takes unilateral collaboration — from the school board to associations and teachers.
Referencing the keynote’s circular room, Ebert says it’s important to take a 360-degree view of your potential collaborators.
“Are you really looking and listening — do you know what’s going on beside and behind you?” she asked.
Finally, education is reaching the point where leaders must “change horses,” Fullan said. The digital transformation has to be driven by more than the IT department. Digital pedagogy in the right hands will whet the appetite for a full-on evolution.
“You’ve got to change to the pedagogical horse, rather than the digital investment horse,” Fullan said. “The pedagogical horse will eat up digital, because there’s so much appetite for it, once you start to use it.”
EdTech is providing constant coverage of CoSN 2015, including video interviews, and session reviews. Keep up-to-date on all of our coverage by visiting our CoSN 2015 conference page.
“While the edtech glitterati nurse their hangovers from SXSWedu next week, Chief Technology Officers, Instructional Technology Directors and Superintendents will meet at the 17th annual Consortium for School Networking’s (CoSN) conference. This year, CoSN will bring together 900 district tech leaders to Atlanta to talk shop over mobile technology, personalized learning, data and privacy, and the new kid on the edtech buzzword block: Deeper Learning.
The concept, developed by the Hewlett Foundation to describe the skills and student outcomes achieved from non-traditional school models, will be under the spotlight during CoSN’s opening keynote delivered by Michael Fullan. Fullan is a Canadian ed researcher, former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and recipient of the Order of Canada (that’s just cool!). Fullan could be called the Canadian Diane Ravitch, focused less on politics and more on culture, change management and pedagogy.
His keynote, ‘Rethinking Pedagogy for Deeper Learning,’ should be both provocative and refreshing for CoSN veterans and newbies alike. Deeper Learning is a non-traditional topic for a tech conference, and a heady one, too –more about the type of students schools want to develop than the tools used to get them there.
Fullan will also be joined on stage to tackle this non-techy, pedagogical topic by district heavyweights: Jhone Ebert (Chief of Innovation and Productivity Officer at Clark County School District) and Dr. Terry Grier (Superintendent at Houston Independent School District).
If the opening chat leaves you wanting more on Deeper Learning, grab audience member and presenter Chris Dede for a deeper chat. Dede is a learning technology professor at Harvard University who has written extensively on Deeper Learning and the role technology will play to scale and support it.
Once the opening keynote and reception on Monday night have your brain spinning, here are a few familiar topics to dive back into for the rest of the week.
EdSurge will host a session at 9:15 am on Tuesday on ‘Disrupting Professional Development.’ We will dive into a discussion on the landscape of tools available, discuss what’s missing and what it will take to shake up PD.
Data and Privacy
Trust and data should be synonymous. That’s why we are excited about this workshop from Jules Plonetsky Executive Director at the Future of Privacy Forum and Bob Moore at RJM Strategies on ‘Education Data and Student Privacy–The Trust Imperative.’ This session takes place at 8:00 am on Monday. Only the early birds will get the worm on this one.
Diving in deeper to the logistics of data and privacy, Mike Lorion from Common Sense Media will moderate a panel on ‘Protecting Student Privacy in Digital Tools for Learning’ at 8 am on Tuesday. Leaders from Houston ISD, Clark County School District will join Kecia Ray, President of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to talk about the how to read through data privacy policies, the role districts can play to support teachers, how schools can inform parents of privacy issues. Mobile Learning
Want to learn all about how mega-district Houston Independent School District went 1:1 in 11 pilot schools. Chief Academic Officer, Daniel Gohl and Chief Information Technology Officer, Lenny Schad will layout their process and share their execution strategy. The sharing begins at 9:15 am on Tuesday.
Also, don’t miss Dede and Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow present on ‘The Eight Essentials for Success in Mobile Learning.’ They will share their eight keys to making the most out of mobile learning. The action starts at 9:15 on Tuesday.
What would an edtech conference be like these days without a session on personalized learning? Learn more from the Lewisville Independent School District technology team about how they built a new learning model that gives their students choice over content and time, through individual course playlists. But you’ll have to stick around till Wednesday for this one, which starts at 9:14 am.
Of course, EdSurge will be in Hotlanta to bring you all the news and all the side-room conversations that we can get out of CoSN this year. Stay tuned to find out what these edtech leaders are really talking about.”