Digital Citizenship – #HaveTheTalk

“All good athletes make mistakes; the great ones learn to make that mistake only once.”
– Raul Lopez

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“The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”– Albert Einstein

This month we are launching a new parent education program aligned with our Digital Privacy, Safety, and Security (DPSS). In partnership with BrightBytes, one of our technology and data research partners, we are deeply reviewing our technology policies, practices, safety and security.

Topics for our inaugural session emerged from surveys, meetings, and input from members of our community. We’ll be joined by a high school student who has a passion for cyber security and for helping to keep families informed and children safe. We’ll host workshops on the following topics (Twitter for parents, Raising digital citizens, Growing up in the Digital Age, Digital Footprints, and more).

In addition to the parent education sessions, this year I have been sending letters with digital “tips” to our parent community. With this blog post I’m sharing excerpts from some of these letters as well as information about our upcoming parent education night. In today’s world digital literacy is essential for all, it’s not ok to leave technology knowledge “to the young people” … it’s for everyone!

 

“…On Wednesday, April 12, we will add a parent program on digital privacy, safety and security (DPSS). Before then, you’ll be hearing more about DPSS, in the schools and directly from me. In March, we will conduct our annual BrightBytes survey of students (in grades 4-8), staff and parents to evaluate the impact of our 1:1 environment and overall community technology use.”

We have been partnering with Bright Bytes since 2014 to measure the impact of our transformative 1:1 teaching & learning initiatives. Our overall scores and performance and growth have been growing since our focus on excellence transcends children, adults, school, home, and community. 

From BrightBytes:

The Technology & Learning module provides educators with insights into the factors that determine the effectiveness of technology in improving student achievement. The heart of the module is CASE™, a research-based framework developed by a team of educational researchers, higher ed statisticians, and K-12 practitioners.

Based on your data, the module calculates your organization’s overall numeric score (between 800 and 1300), which is aligned to a five-color maturity scale: Beginning, Emerging, Proficient, Advanced, and Exemplary. This same maturity scale is used to highlight your organization’s technology readiness and use in each of the framework’s domains, indicators, and variables.

As shown below, the trends are following an upward trajectory because each year’s focus on continuous improvement as well as engaged learning and teaching are having a positive effect and impact.

Sharing more tips:

DPSS in 109 Tip #1: Check your child’s phone. Do you know who your child is texting or messaging…and what they are sending and receiving? As the person paying the cell  phone bill — and as a parent in the digital age — you have a right and a responsibility to know with whom and how your child is communicating. 

The chart below compares the DPS109 results (solid) with all who use BrightBytes (several hundred schools across the country and Canada) of teachers who feel rewarded for integrating technology into teaching:

 

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.”

– Zig Ziglar

DPSS in 109 Tip #2: Conduct a computer, device and social media audit of practices in your home and include your children in the process. Here are helpful tips, many taken from the US Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation:

  • Be sure to monitor what others are posting about you or your children on their online discussions. You can set up a Google Alert to be notified when something shows up online about you or your child.
  • Change your passwords periodically, and do not reuse old passwords. Do not use the same password for more than one system or service. For example, if someone obtains the password for your email, can they access your online banking information with the same password? There are products that help you manage multiple passwords; here’s a recent list of free products.
  • Do not post anything that might embarrass you later or that you don’t want strangers to know.
  • Do not automatically download, or respond to content on a website or in an email. Do not click on links in email messages claiming to be from a social networking site. Instead go to the site directly to retrieve messages.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

DPSS in 109 Tip #3: Follow the Terms of Service for popular social media sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; wait until your child is 13 to allow him or her access. Sites that impose these rules are following the government’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). The age requirements are put in place to protect your child; children under age 13 typically aren’t emotionally ready to handle the impact, implications, and responsibility connected with social media.  


We’re looking forward to our learning experiences on April 12th and beyond! The chart below shows an example of digital citizenship; teaching students how to cite online information. The frequency of “never” is decreasing and the frequency of “weekly” is increasing!

 

Change Management – #Engage109 represents 2nd order change

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsch

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My work as a school leader brings me to change management often. From graduate school, to post doctoral leadership programs I have received a great deal of information about change management. Often I use a graphic from the Satir Model of change to illustrate the processes related to the systems view of change.

In this model shown in the image below, change is indicated as the “foreign element” intorduced into the system. Following this change or foreign element, there is chaos in the system.

 

 

This “chaos” is critical to the management of that particular change. How the change is managed determines success or failure with respect to that which is being sought. In education, as an “industry” we have often been criticized (justified in my opinion) for resisting change. TTWWADI “twadiddy” or That’s The Way We Always Do It are words that kill change – they are words that stymie change – these are words that have negative impacts on organizations including educational organizations. In the Deerfield Public Schools we have embarked on many changes since July 1, 2013.

 

 

 

 

The first change, the un blocking of Twitter on July 1, 2013, set in motion many more foreign elements that have had profoundly powerful impacts on learning and teaching for more than 3000 students, 250 teachers, 450 employees, 1850 families, and the more than 20,000 residents of the communities the District Serves. Twitter powerfully opened up the minds, hearts, creative communication skills, narrative about schooling, and branding for the school district. In 2013, it was the superintendent, assistant superintendent and a few principals leading the charge.

Some innovative, courageous teachers took the risk of using Twitter as well for professional growth, professional communication, personal learning, and for communicating about their classroom work in ways never before imagined. The foreign element of Twitter caused a bit of chaos: Some initial questions …

are we really allowed to use this? are we allowed to post photos? what if people get negative? how much time do I have to spend on this? what if I make a mistake? may I use a hashtag, etc.?

The Technical, or First Order Change, of using Twitter was fun, easy, inventive, exciting, and new. Four years later, the Adaptive, or Second Order Change, is that #Engage109 is a powerful, deliberate, intentional, and globally recognized brand of the Deerfield Public Schools. The change is not Twitter, a tool, the change is systems communication. The change is strategic and deliberate communication. The use of Twitter as one of the multiple changes, tools, representations of what we value in DPS109, is part of the bigger picture – the mindset shift that celebrates and normalizes digital, social media communication as a normal and regular part of our work.

For more on 1st/2nd order change, visit: http://www.bercgroup.com/1st-and-2nd-order-change.html, and see image/photo below:

 

 

 

For context,

Prior to 2013 there was no Twitter in DPS109.

Prior to 2013 there was no Digital Footprint for DPS109.

Prior to 2013 communication was not digital – it was traditional.

In less than four years, second order change, implementation of systematized, deliberate, and intentional communication with Twitter as a tool, mode and delivery system has transformed the view of Twitter, Social Media, Communication, #Engage109, and branding as a whole.

Change management is complex, challenging, frustrating, requires relationships, communication and accountability, and it’s the only work that makes lasting impact – in our case – on the future!

Do you have examples of change in your organization?
What else should change in schooling?

All comments are always welcome!

 

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – #engage109

“Live without pretending, love without depending, listen without defending and speak without offending.”
– Unknown

On Monday, January 16, 2017, our students have a “day off” – and in honor of this holiday honoring the great late American hero, we encourage service and reflection about the heroism and great work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His

ENGAGE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER

messages and methods and beliefs and life’s work are especially relevant in today’s reality of conflict around the world.

(shared last year in honor of Dr. King’s Birthday):From Wikipedia:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.)[1] is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King’s birthday, January 15. The holiday is images (3)similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King’s honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.


Give Where You Live –Deerfield: Participate in Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

From a note we sent to our community today:

“Dear District 109 Community Members,

While schools are closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tomorrow, we have an opportunity to come together as a community in a day of service right here in Deerfield for Give Where You Live – Deerfield. On Monday, January 16, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, round up your friends and come to Village Hall to participate in a variety of service projects available, appropriate for all ages, to benefit our area homeless. Volunteers are needed to collect and sort items, assemble gift bags, write letters and cards, along with other activities.

You also can bring items to donate, including socks, travel size hygiene products (soap, shampoo, conditioner, tissue, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.), water bottles, gift cards, and healthy snacks.

Deerfield Village Hall is located at 850 Waukegan Road.”

Click here for more information.


Excerpts from a blog post I wrote in the past:

A recommendation I have is for everyone to share the messages, teachings, precepts and principles espoused by King with their children and with their communities.

While we in the USA have come a long way since 1963 – we still have a long way to go until Dr. King’s dreams are fully realized. An educated youth and an educated populace with morals and values centered in respect, honor, and dignity can set the world free from racism and prejudice!

The transcript of the “I Have a Dream Speech”:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the histimages (5)ory of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from download (1)a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “for whites only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends — so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!”

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi — from every mountainside.

Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring — when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children — black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics — will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/27/transcript-martin-luther-king-jr-have-dream-speech/

How school superintendents explored the future of learning together

“When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb.”
– Patanjali

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This following is from a blog post I co-authored with Nick Polyak, and it is originally published on the Google EDU blog

How school superintendents explored the future of learning together

As education leaders, we’re expected to have all the answers. When we don’t, we solve problems by talking to our peers. The School Superintendents Association (AASA) invites administrators and educators to come together and talk about the challenges superintendents face, like how best to integrate technology in the classroom. This is a focus of the AASA’s digital consortium leadership cohort, which recently reached out to Google to see how they could further the AASA’s goal of leading new ways to use digital media in classrooms. We also reached out to Education Reimagined, an organization that advocates a paradigm shift to learner-centered education.

Google hosted a meeting of the AASA’s digital consortium with Education Reimagined at Google’s Chicago office in July 2016. Our discussion led us to realize we were thinking about the problem we wanted to solve in the wrong way. We had been making plans for how technology would transform our schools without considering one of the most important voices — our students! “The group’s discussion was a powerful reminder that we don’t make decisions in a vacuum,” said Mort Sherman, Associate Executive Director of the AASA. Putting student voices at the center of everything we do will help us design the future with them and for them. This will be a long journey for all of us, but one we are thrilled to embark on.

Putting student voices at the center of everything we do will help us design the future with them and for them.

Discovering student voices

At the Google office in Chicago, Education Reimagined Director Kelly Young kicked off the day by emphasizing the need to put students at the center. She advocated for a student-centered approach, where learning revolves around the needs of individual students instead of traditional classroom structures. She also encouraged us to bring students to the event to make sure that student input informed all of our discussions.

Google then worked with us to leverage their innovation methodology, informally known as “10x thinking” or “moonshot thinking” to help solve the challenges we were facing. It’s a version of “human-centered design thinking” that helps participants develop solutions while keeping the end-user at the center of the process.

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Superintendents used a design thinking process to explore learner-centered education
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In the STAT program at Deerfield Public School District 109, students facilitate a technology review committee meeting.

As we began, it occurred to us all that students are our users, and our users weren’t part of our conversation as much as they should be. Without their input, we wouldn’t be poised for success, because we weren’t empathizing with their daily experience. By going through the 10x process with the students present, we gave them a voice in a way we rarely do. As the realization of user-centric education sunk in, we were excited to share our takeaways with our schools.

After meeting in Chicago, we returned to our districts to put this learner-centric approach into action. Leyden High School District 212, for example, created two student advisory board member posts, giving students the opportunity to weigh in on meaningful decisions. Another, Deerfield Public School District 109, set up the STAT program (Student Technology Advisory Team), in which students provide their input on how technology in the classroom impacts them and what tools, devices, or practices are relevant and effective from their perspective. These are just two examples of the learner-centric transformation happening across the country.

Cementing our progress

More recently the AASA’s digital consortium re-convened in California to discuss, among other things, how we could turn this “aha” moment into action. A huge barrier to action is getting buy-in from teachers and parents, most of whom grew up in a classroom-centric education system.

Consider this: each of us spends over 16,000 hours in the classroom — that’s a lot of experience to work against. So together, we’re working to develop ways for schools to pilot learner-centric education without abruptly abandoning the classroom model. Google’s approach to innovation had us work through six questions in groups. We asked questions such as “If I look back in 12 months, how will I know I succeeded?” We ended the session with answers to some of the questions we had posed, bearing in mind our work isn’t finished.

We’re still working to implement learner-centered education in schools. And it’s not easy. When we meet next spring, our superintendents will report on progress made in individual schools and districts.

It took combining Google’s approach to problem solving, the philosophy from Education Reimagined and the amazing network of superintendents brought together by the AASA to help us think differently about the role of technology in learning. Now that we’ve identified the paradigm shift that needs to happen, we’re excited to share our moment of realization with districts, schools, and classrooms across the country.

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Vanessa Gallegos, left, of East Leyden and Noelle Lowther of West Leyden were introduced as student representatives for the school board during a meeting on May 12 at East Leyden High School.

From the Future Ready Team – “Speak Up Surveys”

“Success isn’t something that just happens. Success is learned, success is practiced, and then it is shared.”
– Sparky Anderson

 

Sharing an excerpt of an email as well as survey links on behalf of the Future Ready Schools

We want you to Speak Up! Future Ready Schools (FRS) is helping to support Project Tomorrow on the 2016 Speak Up surveys.

If you are not yet familiar, Speak Up is a national research project as well as a free service to school districts. The survey should take about 15 minutes and includes a series of multiple choice questions.

If you are interested in using any of the other Speak Up surveys (for teachers, school administrators, students, parents, librarians, community members), they are open through January 13th.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup.

Thanks for taking the time to participate.

Our Best,

The Future Ready Team
Sara Hall, Tom Murray and Lia Dossin