New Standards & Basics Discussion with James Butler


James Butler is the Senior Director of Instructional Technology and Online Education at the Tucson Unified School District. In this educator discussion, Butler explains the ideas behind rapid change, fluid logistics, lost achievement and the motivation of students.

According to Butler, “This is an era of rapid change, like we've never seen before. It's incumbent upon us as educators and community of learners not to dismiss ideas that we once thought were ridiculous; ideas such as, “We can't do it, or it's too much of a heavy lift.” We need to embrace uncertainty. Because for the first time ever in my educational career we don't know what tomorrow looks like.

“In our district, we wanted input on an informal basis from parents. We wanted input from operations folks to how to craft this remote learning model, if you will, and deliver the best possible teaching and learning that we can deliver for our customers -- because they are customers.

“My concern is that when this subsides, if we're not careful, our customers are going to go away and we're going to be Sears. I refer back to my days in Chicago. Who can tell me without Googling it, What used to be the advertising theme for Sears back in the day? The answer is, Where America shops for gifts. Now does anybody in the year 2021 believe that Sears is where America shops for gifts?

“We have to factor that into whatever it is we do. We are currently fully remote at this time. However, we have hubs around the district whereby students who need a place to go to certain schools. If they need somewhere to go during the day to be fed, to be educated remotely by our teachers. We have people on campus, including principals, to facilitate learning.”

Don’t miss this very entertaining and enlightening educator discussion and get ready for even more rapid changes in your own school or district.


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