Archives For 21st century schools

Kurt Steinhaus is Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Education in New Mexico. (He’s also a marathoner who ran 4:38 at the 2007 Duke City Marathon.) The title of his talk is “Enjoying T-Time by the Sip or by the Gulp?”. His slides will be available on the conference wiki.

Kurt wants us to take action in three areas:

  • 21st Century Skills
  • Robust support systems that function “just in time.”
  • Innovative teaching and learning to keep pace in an increasingly digital world.

Kurt visited Minnesota a couple weeks before his keynote (something I’ve never seen before) and stopped to visit some schools.

What trends did he see?

  • Relentless, intense passion
  • Support system (technical and teching and learning)
  • More school-wide integration

Kurt observed some transitions underway in Minnesota and elsewhere:

  • From purchased licenses to Web 2.0 and open source
  • Application-based to Web-based and mobile learning
  • Isolated and offline to collaborative and online
  • Copyrighted content to shared content
  • Submitting reports to blogs and web publishing

What is the future of technology in education? It’s already here, it’s just not in every school yet.

How can we move forward?

  • Step 1: Where are we?
  • Step 2: Reach a broad consensus on a clear message (vision or goal).
  • Step 3: Meet them where they are and use your “bag of tricks” to move resources toward achieving the vision.

Kurt talked about how to advocate for your vision. Prepare a “One-pager” that you can give to key decision makers. Include the following things and customize your one-pager for each audience.

  • Name
  • Compelling vision
  • Brief overview of history
  • Rationale (why is this essential)
  • Funding request (include recurring and non-recurring costs)
  • Research base

Also, develop an “elevator pitch” that you can deliver to a decision maker in 30 seconds in any setting. One of Kurt’s recommendations: “Make your friends before you need them.”