Changing education is not new. This has been a recurrent theme since the beginning of formal education. The difference in recent years is the call for a revolution in education; not simply tweaking it but rather a complete overhaul. The call to change is coming from educators, industry, students, parents. We’re all familiar with the TED Talk from Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms. The question we’re left with is how? Instigating change is hard. Being a change maker can be a thankless and long process. There are lots of walls to break down. It requires patience, persistence, empathy and resilience. So how do we do it?
As learning technology coaches we are in the perfect position to affect change. So many of the changes being called for in education can’t happen without using technology as a tool for learning. The new literacies or the NOW literacies (as Sylvia Tolisano calls them) offer a way in for those in our role to coach, train, teach and model. Small shifts in teaching practice facilitated with a good learning technology coach can be the seeds for a movement. Transdisciplinary units in MYP, for instance, can hardly be successful without the thread of technology to connect them. It’s not about integrating technology anymore, it’s about good teaching practice. Technology is now embedded in teaching and learning.
This morning I had the pleasure of participating in a Twitter chat for Learning2 hosted by Tricia Friedman and moderated by Sonya Terborg. (Click HERE to see the Storify of the L2 chat) Sonya will be leading an extended session at the upcoming Learning2 Conference in Warsaw. Sonya’s extended session is titled ‘Change Makers‘ and will focus on the ‘how’ part of the change. Our L2 chat today also included tips and resources for creating change so be sure to have a look at the Storify link.
The common messages and wisdom shared from the group included:
- Work with the willing and the rest will follow
- Choose your battles
- Find tools that help with teacher productivity to get buy-in
- Start small
- Coaching and co-teaching/modelling can be a turning point
- Share articles and inspiration with leadership and support them in bringing in changes
- Make room for sharing and celebrating success as part of staff meetings–make it part of the community
If you need some inspiration for change, Sonya wrote a short book called ‘Imagine a School‘ based on her work with Seth Godin and his manifesto entitled ‘Stop Stealing Dreams‘ on why education needs to change. If you’d like to get a kickstart on his manifesto you can watch Seth’s TED Talk as well.
What have you found to be effective in instigating change in your school? Any resources or inspiration to share? What is one area where you see yourself affecting change? Start a conversation!