Silver Falls School District’s Tech Director, Drew Hinds Speaks at Portland Learning Counsel Event, Sept. 20, 2018

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Silver Falls School District’s Tech Director, Drew Hinds Speaks at
Portland Learning Counsel Event, Sept. 20, 2018


Speaking at the Portland Digital Transition Discussion event presented by Learning Counsel on Sept. 20, 2018, Hinds mentions that even though they graduate over 90% of their students, they wanted to do even better and established a “vision and five-year plan.”   Hinds said he “drank the koolaid” three years ago of the Learning Counsel’s change continuum from strategy, tactics, sustainability and more. As part of drafting the district’s vision Hinds says that even though he isn’t the Superintendent, he is a stakeholder, and the things he put into the vision were accepted even by their School Board in the locally-controlled education structure of Oregon.  Becoming an “Expo Center of Learning” as a destination where students get great wi-fi, a device and curated content was central to what Hinds put into the vision.  The district built the infrastructure, service agreements, and then built the “infrastructure” of all the software pieces using the Learning Counsel’s lego-brick method of selection of all the pieces they would  need.  The district now thinks of all their new Apps and add-ons as another “brick” being added to their overall infrastructure, with Hinds reminding other leaders with new asks that “that’s another brick.”  This interesting metaphor has helped the District in looking at their overall digital architecture. 

Hinds also mentioned that with all the new technology, they’ve “doubled-down on classified staff” to help teachers directly “pass some of that work, duties and data-collection.”  It’s a “sub-teacher” model to help with larger classrooms, like a kindergarten that may have thirty-five students.  This shift is part of what Learning Counsel is seeing more and more as schools head into the next level of being designed for digital with shifts in staffing structure. 

The tech plan for Silver Falls School District is available on their tech website, which “David and LeiLani (of Learning Counsel) helped pull together.”  It includes the new ISTE standards for students, but also identifies other standards for teachers and ones that focus on students learning coding.   

The  next major focus for the district is new subject areas covered by digital resources including social studies, and more attention to student-data privacy and security.  The district is also presently working on single-sign-on deployment and ongoing training. 



Watch the video of Mr Hinds speaking here


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