District leadership has recently started to study Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn's Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems. Chapter four makes the argument that pedagogy drives technology, so I thought it would be useful to highlight some key points. I think it is a good reference for our conversations:
- "There is a learning revolution under way because of the confluence of forces. These forces are urgency, knowledge, and capacity ... Schooling as we have known it is outdated ... Imagine a school where all of the students are so excited that they can't wait to get there and want to carry on their learning at the end of the school day."
- "We have cast technology as a wrong driver - not because it is always wrong but because without precise pedagogy it is ineffective."
- "Education has been giving lip service to 21st century skills (communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, character, citizenship) without much concerted action or impact ... Deep learning involves using new knowledge to solve real life problems and incorporates a range of skills and attributes."
- The mark of an educated person is that of a doer (a doing-thinker; a thinker-doer) - they learn to do and do to learn. They are impatient with lack of action. Doing is not something they decide to do - daily life is doing, as natural as breathing the air." "Education is not preparation for life, it is life."
- "[We] have been focused on developing basic literacy and numeracy skills. These are foundational for learning, and they continue to be essential but are not sufficient to prepare our students for the complex world they will face.
- Deep Learning (new pedagogies) = pedagogical partnerships + learning environments + leveraging digital
- Pedagogical Partnerships - The first step in building precision in pedagogical practices begin with a culture that fosters learning for all ... Two underused strategies with tremendous power are giving feedback and student expectations ... One of the most distinctive differences between traditional learning and the new pedagogies is the role students play and "the new learning partnerships" that emerge student to student, student to teacher, and student to the external world."
- Learning Environments - "A quality learning environment ... needs to meet four criteria: be irresistibly engaging for students and teachers, allow 24/7 access to learning, cultivate social learning, and foster risk taking and innovation."
- Leveraging Digital - "This discussion is not about devices but about learning that can be amplified, accelerated, and facilitated by interaction with the digital world. This demands a rethinking of the ways we use technology ... The challenge for leaders is to help educators move from uses of technology as substitution to uses of digital that provide value."
- We can shift practices through capacity building if we "model being leaders ... shape a culture that fosters an expectation of learning for everyone, taking risks and making mistakes but learning from them ... and build capacity vertically and horizontally in the organization with persistence and single-mindedness until it affects learning."
We are represented by learning artists and professionals from Windsor Creek Elementary, Brooks Elementary, and Windsor Middle School (Grades 2-8). The typical classroom in our cohort has a classroom workstation computer connected to a document camera and large screen TV. Our classrooms are equipped with a 1:4 ratio of Chromebooks to students. The teacher workstation uses Mirroring360 to share the classroom display when appropriate. Classrooms also have 1-4 student Windows workstations.
I welcome feedback and encouragement and we begin our process of discovery in moving education forward at Windsor schools.