Becoming a Different Type of Education


Every year, the Learning Counsel travels to cities across America to hold Digital Transition Discussion events. These one-day events help you tackle the tough questions about what’s happening inside the digital shift, and what that means for the actual teaching and learning.

The point of these free professional development days is to help all learners everywhere become more engaged in knowledge acquisition for life success.

Each of these events features a Panel Discussion, where area leaders talk frankly and share what is working, what is not, and what’s in-store for the future. In this year’s Digital Transition Discussion in San Diego, area education leaders tacked a variety of subjects, including what we should actually be teaching, and how.

Matthew Cordes, Associate Director of Schools at the Diocese of San Diego, said “Our students' learning really needs to be experienced-based. The content is not as important as the skills that they're learning. The content is something that they can drive themselves and they can go Google almost anything now, but how do we set up those experiences so they're really becoming the people we want them to be in the world? We look at how we create leaders that the world needs most in our schools and we're seeing that's becoming a different type of education. It’s not just a pathway anymore to success. It's about being able to think differently and construct new meaning out of things. And that is an unbelievably exciting place to be in education right now.

Paulette Donnellon, San Diego County office of Education’s Board of Education President, said, “There was a report that was put out by Newsweek. They talk about, on average, 98 percent of our three- year-olds have genius levels of creative thinking. And then by the time we get to age 25, it's down to maybe two percent. If I were to put up a picture of a circle, you guys would tell me it's a circle, right? But if I were to ask a three-year-old, what is that picture? What would they tell me? It could be a ball, it could be a sun. There's also a report that comes out yearly from the World Economic Forum. There are trending skills that employers are looking for. There is a lot of creativity involved in the top four spots. As educators, we need to keep in mind that this is something that are their employers are looking for and we need to maintain that genius levels of creative thinking in our students.”

Matt Doyle, Superintendent of Vista Unified School District, continued the thought on creativity and said, “When you think of a traditional high school, they actually teach the opposite of that (creativity) right? Content, follow the rules, do your homework, has of infuse into the school system, unless you're in theater, dance, music or fine arts. And so how do we infuse creativity into social studies? How do we infuse creative and flexible nimble thinkers into mathematics and English? That's an area that we're really noodling with, and a super heavy challenge but really fun.”

Click on the video below

The discussion continued, as the three leaders talked about the challenges of working through the central office, and the relative value of today’s typical American education. The panel shared what they have tried – and what is working. When you watch the video, you’ll gain valuable insight, and learn strategy today that you can use in your own district tomorrow.


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