Michael Fullan

Motion Leadership

Topic Video: Focus

Posted April 16, 2015 in Home, Posts, Videos by admin

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 is topic 14 of 22.

Topic video 15 will be posted Thursday, April 23.

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Topic Video: Practice to Theory

Posted April 6, 2015 in Home, Posts, Videos by admin

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.

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Diffusing Tension Between Tech and Instructional Leaders

Posted March 31, 2015 in Home, Interviews, Posts, Recommended by admin

Christina Quattrocchi, staff writer, EdSurge, wrote the following article on Diffusing Tension Between Tech and Instructional Leaders:

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.

Broadband Realities

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.

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CoSN 2015: An Unstoppable Digital Revolution is Around the Corner

Posted March 17, 2015 in Home, Interviews, Posts, Recommended by admin

By D. Frank Smith

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.



For more information please see EdTech Focus On K-12

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Go Deeper with Digital Learning at CoSN

Posted March 11, 2015 in Home, Interviews, Posts by admin

Christina Quattrocchi, staff writer, EdSurge, has written a fabulous article on the 17th annual Consortium for School Networking’s conference.

“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.

Professional Development

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.

Personalized Learning

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.”


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Professional Capital as Accountability

Posted in Home, Posts, Recommended by admin

A recent paper by Michael Fullan, Santiago Rincón-Gallardo, and Andy Hargreaves has been published by the Education Policy Analysis Archives as one of their ‘Special Series.

This paper seeks to clarify and spells out the responsibilities of policy makers to create the conditions for an effective accountability system that produces substantial improvements in student learning, strengthens the teaching profession, and provides transparency of results to the public. The authors point out that U.S. policy makers will need to make a major shift from a heavy reliance on external accountability and superficial structural solutions (e.g., professional standards of practice) to investing in and building the professional capital of all teachers and leaders throughout the system. The article draws key lessons from highly effective school systems in the United States and internationally to argue that the priority for policy makers should be to lead with creating the conditions for internal accountability, that is, the collective responsibility within the teaching profession for the continuous improvement and success of all students. This approach is based on the development and circulation of professional capital that consists of three components: individual human capital, social capital (where teachers learn from each other), and decisional capital (developing judgment and expertise over time). In this new professional accountability model, the external accountability that reassures the public that the system is performing in line with societal expectations continues to be an important role of educational systems, but it is nurtured and sustained by the development of strong internal accountability.

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Michael Fullan Joins Edsby Board of Directors

Posted March 5, 2015 in Home, Interviews, Posts by admin

Ontario, Canada (PRWEB) March 04, 2015

Renowned educational researcher Dr. Michael Fullan has joined the board of directors of Edsby®, developers of an innovative learning management system built for K-12 school districts that engages teachers, parents and students using modern technologies.

Dr. Michael Fullan is the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform, he advises policymakers and local leaders around the world. Dr. Fullan received the Order of Canada in December 2012 “for his achievements in the field of education reform, as a scholar, teacher, writer and adviser to governments in Canada and abroad.” He was the author of Great to Excellent: Launching the Next Stage of Ontario’s Education Agenda, which outlined a new vision for education in the province of Ontario as Special Advisor to the Premier, and holds honorary doctorates from several universities.

“Our focus with Edsby is to provide education organizations with a powerful and unique platform that enables them to achieve tremendous gains in teacher, student and parent engagement,” said John Myers, President of Edsby. “As a leading researcher who writes widely about the importance of coordinated leadership in affecting meaningful educational change, and who works with education organizations around the world, Dr. Fullan will bring valued insights to our team and the evolution of Edsby.”

Edsby is a cloud-based platform that uses latest web and mobile technologies to connect teachers, students and parents in exciting new ways. Among its features are social learning, school news, group collaboration, assessment management, timetables and calendars, course planning, report cards, attendance and more. It enables deep customization to districts’ unique assessment and reporting standards, allowing them to implement educational policies consistently. Edsby also integrates tightly with districts’ existing data and application infrastructure, speeding deployment and easing ongoing administration.

About Edsby
Edsby is a modern, purpose-built Learning Management System (LMS) for K-12 that enables school districts and private schools to connect their teachers, students and parents using the technologies that have become pervasive in people’s lives. Edsby is developed by CoreFour, a team that has been building scalable, reliable software systems for education organizations around the world for almost 30 years using the latest technology and standards. Edsby is a registered trademark of CoreFour Inc. Learn more at http://www.edsby.com.

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Leadership in a Digital Age Workshop – Ottawa, November 2015

Posted December 19, 2014 in Home, Posts, Recommended, Workshops by admin

Based on the latest knowledge in Fullan’s newest book, Freedom to Change: Be careful what you ask for (Jossey-Bass, in press); and on the work in new pedagogies for deep learning, this institute will narrow in on the dilemmas of change: That the new digital age has provided us with free rein to change and with that comes new challenges and problems.

Leadership in a Digital Age




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