Educon 2.3 – Foster Change by Leading and Sharing

What has changed in your school or district in the last year? This is the question I mulled over on my ride home from Educon.

There were two sessions that I thought of as I drove. The Same as it Ever Was, but Does it Have to Be with Leo Brehm and Beth Knittle and The Ethical Obligation to Teach, Learn & Share Globally with Dean Shareski and Alec Couros.

Why these sessions?

Well, I’m concerned as to why I’ve been going to Educon for four years, yet I am still hearing all the same concerns from the attendees.

Beth and Leo

 

If our schools are not doing things correctly, what is it that we want?

We attempted to answer this question in Beth and Leo’s session. They put together a wiki and I’m hoping to see the folks that were there add to it. Here’s what we talked about together:

  • We want learners who can troubleshooting/problem solve
  • We want to focus on thinking skills rather than just skills
  • We want to look at what’s working and clone it rather than work on fixing what’s broken
  • We want self-motivated learners
  • We want the school community to be filled with adult learners (we are all learners)
  • We want to cultivate a lifelong love of learning

Beth recommended viewing  The Tribes We Lead TED Talk by Seth Godin as a resource for inspiration. What he says makes sense to me:

  • You can make change by leading
  • You should connect with people for ideas
  • What we do for a living now is finding something we want to change and assembling a group of people to change it
  • We should organize people who want to talk about something and have the same desires
  • One person can’t do this alone, but together we can get it done. We just need someone to lead us
  • We’re waiting for someone to show us where to go next

What is it that we need?

The group shared examples of what was happening in their schools. Some stories were encouraging and others were what seemed to be a recurring theme of schools in need of help. Here’s what we brainstormed:

  • Learners need to know it’s okay to fail
  • All learners should be empowered in a school
  • Schools should provide/allow for flexible learning environments
  • Learners should be encouraged to be passionate problem solvers
  • We need more time
  • Let’s not focus on the minute details, but work towards a common goal
  • Realize that it may be curriculum redesign that is needed

How are we going to get there?

This brings me back to Alec and Dean’s session as in both our small group and large group discussions, people shared stories.  Is this the solution to our bringing on change? Should we all just talk about what is working and then replicate it? I’m thinking so. What do you think?

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11 thoughts on “Educon 2.3 – Foster Change by Leading and Sharing

  1. Lisa, your comments and reflections also connected with what I was thinking/feeling during Chris Lehmann’s presentation on how we turn all of this into action. The problem I think is that we never quite get to the point of actually doing. Perhaps that can change this year. Will Richardson had an interesting thought about how to do that (or at least do a piece of it) in his own closing session, in which he is contemplating organizing a national Parent Back To School Night where we begin having these conversations not just with educators but also with parents.

    What was perhaps most telling though, and may be an indicator of the general wheel-spinning you allude to is that despite some energetic conversation about what this night might look like and how we could get parents to attend, etc., when Will asked, “How do we actually make this happen? How do we keep this conversation going?” there was complete silence for a painfully long time.

    I think we’re really good at wrestling with these questions, and we’re really good at talking about them, but we don’t really know how to do something about it. That’s actually one of my big takeaways this year: I need to do what I can in my slice of the world and stay connected with other people who are doing the same so that the energy doesn’t evaporate.

    1. Great thoughts Gerald – thanks for sharing here.
      I am working today to put together an action plan for a school I am working with. If I want to foster change, I need to take even more action. I’m going to being by sharing stories of what’s working elsewhere.

      Thanks again.
      Lisa

      1. Lisa, I love the action plan idea. I wonder if sharing those plans somewhere might be worthwhile? I’m sure they would be highly individual, but it still might be interesting to see what others are thinking and collaborate.

  2. Kirk Downing says:

    Dear Lisa,

    While I was not at the conference I followed on Twitter. Your reflections are well stated with purpose. Rather than coming back to have the same conversation again, what steps do we need to take to move forward. Next year the conversation should be about applying what was learned and sharing that practice. Nicely done.

    Kirk

    1. Thanks Kirk.
      You gave me an idea for a session next year. What has changed in your teaching, school, district since Educon 2.3? I may just go ahead and propose it when the time comes.

  3. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for the nice summary of the conversation. I think many of us struggle with how to make change how to lead. Leading by example is a good way to start. Teachers often feel powerless which is such a contrast to the reality. Our actions not only affect individuals but communities and societies. I did want to point out that it was a participant, whose name escapes me, that suggested the video. It is well worth a look.

  4. Sharing experiences among teachers is certainly the first step in making change! Too often people miss opportunities to collaborate; I think that sometimes the ideas of competition and of ‘ownership’ of knowledge and ideas in our culture makes sharing less common. But like in any profession, whether it’s teaching, retail, finance, or service industry, knowing your colleague’s best tips and approaches are invaluable to improving your own work.

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