(Pictured: Dr. Drew Hinds, Technology Director and CTE Instructor, Silver Falls School District, Oregon )
Schools are not typically transitioning their organizational structure to be truly digital, but they've gotten very good at augmenting classrooms. The real reason a deeper transition is hard to make happen in many education institutions is that leaders and teachers do not understand context from inside the greater tech and economic reality. Captured by the shiny objects and vendor ingenuity, digital change has been fraught with peril. It has added cost, added stress, and in many cases subverted learning. Something had to be done about this because it also leads to hurt for the ed-tech industry.
When schools focus on being “future ready,” they’re not in the present. Administrators and teachers join a constant try-anything parade of new products, anxious half-way implementations, and increasing technology complexity without real change in results. Being “edgy” and counting accomplishment as a computer-for-everyone guarantees returns for corporations – but not necessarily schools. Eventually, the pain spreads to company sales representatives who find they "can't get in" no matter what they do.
Schools need authentic arrival in the new “Experience Economy,” and skillful leadership. Stable new basics are the solution to the barrage of products, distracting frameworks, and risky freebies. A proper “fit” in the local-global consumer culture makes for a sustainable school that has mastered the tech reality. Thus was born the idea to turn all of the Learning Counsel years of workshop into a set of training and a new "pact." Becoming tech-relevant can be simplified, and it has been. As Jess Borjorn, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction, at Roseville High School in California said, "You helped me make sense of things I wasn’t aware I needed to understand.”
Introduced to the concept of true systems leadership, schools and educators are signing the new EduJedi Pact Membership Agreement in droves. What does it mean to sign the Pact? Here is the full text:
The EduJedi Pact
We pledge to transformative relevance by co-opting the best of digital learning technologies, organizing people and resources for a student-centric and highly personalized experience, and to most importantly, leverage our human empathy to the best advantage for learners. We are EduJedi.
The 5 R’s: Our reasons for making this Pact include giving our schools and teachers a chance to:
- Reset. Computing device deployments and random software usage is insufficient to realize the efficiency and greater service that can be unleashed because of tech reliance. Joining the future requires a mindset change that compliments new social dynamics and economic drivers.
- Retool. Take practical steps for individual teachers and administrations to get to alignment across the bridge of change and retain relevance.
- Redesign. The entire experience of learning to provide sufficient core subject understanding while eliciting creativity, curiosity and a high degree of interaction.
- Reorganize. To change structure, schedules, and personnel in an orchestration that leads forward with challenging environments attractive to learners and parents.
- Rehumanize. By not compromising on the technologies, we highlight the most important asset, our ingenuity and humanity.
The full EduJedi Leadership training is a total of 21 hours of real professional development, in eight different modules that schools can grade themselves from answer keys and grant digital certificates. Sponsors can even be involved with making sure schools have the print resources and game pieces for the exersizes, and be on-site live with school or district executives for the formal Pact signing with the honorary light sabers.
What the whole EduJedi membership program really means is a gain for both education institutions and the industry.