One year later, nothing has changed

Did you ever start telling a story and part way through you are trying to remember if you've told the story before?  I feel that way a lot when I blog and wonder if maybe it's a sign to shut up but I'll likely just repeat the story. But I digress…

Yesterday's blog post was eerily similar to the one I wrote about the same conference a year earlier. Even the title was the same. I'm starting to steal from myself.  After a conversation with a disgruntled principal I realized I had had the same thought a year earlier. I still basically feel the same way.

If they’re just achieving better grades, better study habits and better test taking skills, it doesn’t seem all that important to me.  Now I realize that none of these speakers would say that’s what this does and they even reference rigorous standards and I think I heard the term 21st century learning (whatever that really is), I’m still fearful that the zeal to improve scores and test results leads to the perpetuation of school as we knew it and still know it.  The strategies of PLC’s and assessment, if not combined with

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A Missing Piece

The Ahead of the Curve conference features some major players in educational research. Thomas Guskey and Doug Reeves to name a few.

For me, it’s more of the same in the area of assessment and learning and change. All good but really nothing new. As a leader in a school division I’m reminded of what is needed for change to occur.  Reeves sites these 4 as the main strategies:

  1. Compelling Questions…trust teachers to ask good questions about what needs to be done. Answers need to address, “What’s in it for me?”
  2. Action Research…teacher practice improves when you implement and reflect
  3. Public Exposition…sharing successes
  4. Evidence-Based Decisions….use your own data and successes to inform next steps

The glaring omission was the referencing of technology to achieve this change. While each of these strategies lend themselves to some obvious uses of technology, I was particularly focused on number 3. Reeves talked about the power of celebration and recognition for achievement. He talked about filling trophy cases with more than athletic trophies and including science projects or other student work. I thought of this:

There’s no question that technology, when used correctly amplifies these change strategies. This is the place where digital learning concepts … Read the rest