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COSN 2015 Open Plenary Session with Michael Fullan

Michael Fullan on Rethinking Pedagogy
Michael Fullan, was the kickoff speaker at the 2015 Consortium for School Networking Conference in Atlanta. His talk was on, "The Stratosphere Agenda: Rethinking Pedagogy for Deeper Learning." Fullan believes that we need a new pedagogy to leverage the opportunities digital technologies present.

Here are some of my notes from the session. 

2015 will be a breakout year, and we are in a three year window where the transformational change is moving and won't go back. It is an "unplanned digital revolution!"

In 2011, he wrote an article on the "wrong drivers" of policy:
Right Drivers                 Wrong Drivers
Internal                        External Accountability
Collaboration                 Individualism
Pedagogy                      Digital
Systemness                   Ad Hoc Policies

Push and Pull Factors
Traditional School is boring for students and boring for teachers
These three things are changing that:

  1. Pedagogical partnerships
  2. Digital Allure 
  3. Collective Efficacy

If you want change, you must build trust with a social agenda.

A new strategy:
Leadership from the Middle, where districts are working together in collaboration
The system gets stronger when the middle grows

New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning (See Link for more detail)

  • Clusters
  • Countries
  • Action Learning

700 of 1000 districts are part of the study are producing video demonstrating this

The New Pedagogy is a learning partnership between students, teachers and families.

New Learning: 
Irresistibly engaging for students and teachers
Elegantly Efficient to Use

Teachers and Students as Pedagogical Partners

  • Teacher as Facilitator only .17 impact 
  • Simulations, gaming, small sizes, individual instruction, Cuban notes this
  • "Guide on the side is a poor pedagog. Need to be teacher as ACTIVATOR!"
  • Teacher as Activator has .72 impact!
  • Reciprocal teaching, feedback, teacher-student self-verbalization, meta-cognition 

Student Agency
My learning, My Belonging, My Aspirations a nice model for "Personalized Learning!"

Ethical Enterprenurialism is very similar to Edina's Educational Competencies!

Change Leadership-Effective Change processes shape and reshape the quality of ideas as they build capacity and ownership. Being "right," is not a reason to change! Voluntary but inevitable change is the best.

Principals role needs to be the "Lead Learner," participating as a learner with the staff to move the school forward!

Technology cannot do everything! Being judgmental is not a motivator!

The SWAMP Index
System Change

Positive change can happen when...
Instead of thinking only of the kids in my class, think of all kids in the school. Instead of thinking of only the kids in my district, think of partner districts as well...

After Fullan spoke, Jhone Ebert from Clark County Schools and Dr. Terry Grier from Houston Independent School District shared the practical application of Fullan's work.

Ebert mentioned the importance of trust in the process to affect change. She talked about her district of over 300,000 people where changing their LMS was going to impact 1,000,000 people! They had 125 people working on the project gathering input from all stakeholders. She uses students as "reverse mentors" to get input. 

Grier worked with Fullan when he was in North Carolina from 2003-2006. Houston is an open enrollment district, where site based decision making is the norm. Much like the "wild west!" The challenge, especially in big districts is bringing it to scale. He identifies a "highly effective" teacher as someone who can get 1 1/2 years of growth out of a class of students sometimes 3-4 years behind. We can't just put content on the computer and say we're good with digital! 

Fullan notes that the first half of the solution is to get the devices and infrastructure in place, but there is a point when we need to switch horses to the "pedagogical horse," to move the system forward. People in the system need to be driven by deep learning and pedagogy in order to keep things going.
We know more about school improvement than network improvement. Garden Grove, Sanger, and Long Beach in California have seen growth without digital. By marrying digital with pedagogy, we can accelerate the process. Schools are joining his networks in clusters to grow together. Use the group to change the group. If you don't get combinations of districts and combinations of schools working together, you won't see transformational growth. You can read more about his work here on his blog.

To wrap up, they each gave a piece of advice to school leaders:
Fullan: No more one school at a time, no more one district at a time!
Grier: Go slow or go fast, but JUST GO! You need a critical mass in order to affect change. Pilots need to be at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the district.
Ebert: Organized abandonment! What is coming off the plate? Have people in and around your district and world to connect and support you!


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