“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”
A major emphasis in public education is accountability and ROI (Return on Investment). Unlike a business, we do not have “profit margins” and tangible, concrete “returns on our investments” so to speak. We do have test scores, teacher evaluation, climate and culture surveys, satisfaction surveys, observational data, high school performance and rankings and other measures or metrics about how well we are doing and in what areas we need to concentrate.
Often in education our ROI comes back to us years later – notes, cards, calls and visits from former students. Or in the real estate rankings of the local school district – i.e. great schools=high property values and sustained property values. Or/and in the job market, economy, etc. The Return On Investment from the 1957 “Sputnik” situation for example can be tied to America’s landing on the Moon in 1969.
The Return on Investment for all of the current, modern day 1:1 Transformative Learning Environments may not show for a few years in terms of jobs/careers that do not exist today but will exist in 3, 5, 10, 20 years.
How then do we make decisions in the present knowing that we are impacting the future – a future which is changing almost by the mili-second? Well, we study research, trends, data, case studies, practices in neighboring areas, states, nations. We engage in Twitter, professional development, graduate studies, etc. We also make decisions based upon what we did that worked (for example when I was a teacher, I did x, y, z – and this is how it worked!).
Among other reasons we also look to the future, and we look at common culture videos like the one I’m sharing below and like others shared in this blog and from other leaders. Using and leveraging technology tools in support of excellent teaching and effective pedagogy works for student and adult learners. Teaching students how to solve problems, work together, communicate, write, read, listen, speak, learn math, science, history, geography, philosophy, arts, music, physical education and health – all of this is amplified and accelerated by with and through technology tools, connectivity, high expectations and student voice and choice in demonstrating learning. These are challenging yet exciting times in education.
And as Horace Mann is quoted as saying in the mid 19th Century: “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” We aim to Engage, Inspire, Empower each and every student – each and every day! Please check out the video for some re-affirmations as to why it is different today than it was in the past and it’s incumbent upon us all to prepare our nation’s students for their future – not for our past!
A “Did You Know” Remix video – 2014 – always worth watching and contemplating!