In a previous post, I wrote about the need for school leaders to play the “long game” – visioning beyond standardized tests scores, archaic teacher evaluation systems and ranking schools based on test scores. As leaders, we need to constantly be standing at the edge of our organization and patrolling the border between “now” and “next.” How do we stay informed about the “next” and understand what’s coming?
I’m just starting this journey of looking deep into the future, but the most valuable resource I’ve found so far to inform my thinking comes from KnowledgeWorks. KnowledgeWorks has published two documents of significance: The Future of Learning: Education in the Era of Partners in Code and Shaping the Future of Learning: A Strategy Guide. While neither is lengthy, both provide rich insights into the future context of learning that will expand your understanding.
After you’ve spent time with the KnowledgeWorks documents, be sure to watch these two quite fascinating videos. Two questions I’m thinking about: How will the rapid developments in AI and VR over the next five years help us re-engineer the educational system? And how will the role of teaching change as the work of learning becomes increasingly personalized?
Elevating the leadership conversation
After spending time with these resources, I’m sure you’ll cross paths with ideas that make sense and those you couldn’t possibly envision happening in the context of your school. Today. The takeaway should be new thinking to engage in conversations around the possible “next.” What’s a school leader to do?
- Self-study of the “next.” – Push yourself to work in this realm of the significant. It’s a change in mindset. This shift isn’t easy when our roles have the “urgent” and “important” constantly tugging at us. Carve out time to engage your own thinking with the above resources and others that cross your path. As Diamandis shares, “You have to look at where the world is going and skate to that puck.”
- Engage your stakeholders. Once you’ve confidently developed your ideas about how the future intersects with your vision for learning, find ways to engage your school stakeholders. Have conversations with students, teachers, other leaders – and even policymakers. Consider having informal conversations and formal conversations that use thinking routines to guide and uncover deeper thinking.
- Engage your PLN. Connect with the people authoring the resources that are informing your thinking. Engage them in conversation. Find those school leaders (like David Miyashiro) doing this work. Understand how their leadership is informed by a “long game” vision.
- Write about and share your journey. One of the best ways to develop our thinking around challenging topics is to write. Share your journey on social media so others can learn why and how the future plays into creating a compelling learner-centered vision for our schools. This work isn’t the norm among school leaders, and we need to hear each other’s stories.
How do you learn about what is coming in the world and education?
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