Hacking, Innovating and Failing Well—How Tech Sector Principles Can Revolutionize Education Workplaces
In recent years, school reformers, philanthropists, and venture capital investors have placed big bets on blended learning, and edtech professionals have responded with vigor. But as education historian Larry Cuban has noted, the innovative instruction envisioned by edtech advocates remains the exception to the rule—in large part because of the lack of time for teachers to “learn, experiment, and overhaul their practices in collaboration with each other.”
Operating within archaic organizational structures, very few of our nation’s teachers have opportunities to incubate and execute ideas prompted by their deep knowledge of students, families, and communities. This includes ideas about how best to integrate technology.
Google’s 9 principles of innovation for every organization, to which many attribute the company’s dominance in the market.
1. Innovation should come from everywhere
recent Harvard Business Review post enjoined, hackathons are not just for coders. At the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ), our TeacherSolutions model, like the one we used with Brevard Countyeducators, stokes creativity and prototypes promising ideas quickly.
2. 20% Time
3. Fail Well
European university researchers Oliver Baumann and Nils Stieglitz suggest that “to get more breakthroughs, the best approach is to focus on increasing the variety of ideas that are generated.” They note that some companies are experimenting with rewarding “brilliant failures that provide some sort of insights, even if they turn out not to work.”
The attitude in most schools couldn’t be more different. As education policy expert Linda Darling-Hammond has noted, our nation’s “test-and-punish approach” to accountability has tamped down much-needed innovation.
more on leadership and technology in this IMS blog
OPINION: Arne Duncan, the fallible narrator
OPINION: Arne Duncan, the fallible narrator
Aaron Pallas weighs in on Arne Duncan’s “How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education”
more on RTTT and NCLB in this IMS blog
Betsy DeVos Touts Personalized Learning, Slams Common Core and Reform Efforts
U.S. Education Secretary spared no words in her critique of education reform efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations. “I don’t think there is much we can hold onto, from a federal level, that we can say was a real success,”
This is not the first time DeVos has praised personalized learning. The education secretary visited Thomas Russell Middle School in Milpitas, Calif
Her vision of personalized learning has plenty of detractors. Educators and administrators have already begun to voice their reservations about personalized learning in schools. At a gathering of educators in Oakland last October speakers decried what they described as the privatization of public education through the introduction of technology initiatives such as personalized learning. More recently, former AltSchool educator Paul Emerich wrote a blog post titled, “Why I Left Silicon Valley, EdTech, and ‘Personalized’ Learning,” where he offered critiques of the personalized learning movement in his school. The post touched on concerns about his workload and interactions with students.
Parents are raising pressure too. In at least two states, their concerns over screen-time and digital content used in online educational platform has forced districts to suspend the implementation of technology-enabled personalized learning programs such as Summit Learning.
De Vos pointed to previous federal-led education funding programs as a “carrot” that made little or no impact. Her critique is not unfounded: A report published last year by the Education Department’s research division found that the $7 billion School Improvement Grants program made “no significant impacts” on test scores, high school graduation rates or college enrollment.
Common Core is currently adopted in 36 states, according to EdWeek’s Common Core Tracker, last updated September 2017.
DeVos: ‘Common Core Is Dead’; A Large Online Charter School Is Shut Down
One of the largest online charter schools in the country closed this week amid a financial and legal dispute with the state of Ohio.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a keynote address this week to the American Enterprise Institute.
She also cited a survey by the American Federation of Teachers that 60 percent of its teachers reported having moderate to no influence over the content and skills taught in their own classrooms.
That same survey also noted that 86 percent of teachers said they do not feel respected by DeVos.
more on personalized learning in this IMS blog
more on Common Core in this blog
Age-Based, Grade-Level System Ignores Huge Numbers of Over-Achieving Students
By Dian Schaffhauser 08/23/16
“How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level,” produced in the Institute of Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University, examined data sets from five sources: the Common Core-based Smarter Balanced assessments in Wisconsin and California, Florida’s standards assessments, the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
between 15 percent and 45 percent of students enter elementary classrooms each fall learning above grade level. The result is that they’re not challenged enough in school, and teacher time and school resources are wasted in trying to teach them stuff they already know.
The entire report is available on the institute’s website. http://education.jhu.edu/edpolicy/commentary/PerformAboveGradeLevel
more on gifted students in this IMS blog
John King is trying to repair the Obama administration’s frayed relationship with teachers
In one of his first major speeches as acting U.S. secretary of education, John King apologized to teachers for the role that the federal government has played in creating a climate in which teachers feel “attacked and unfairly blamed.”
Race to the Top, abbreviated R2T, RTTT or RTT
More on NCLB in this blog: