NOTE FROM DIRECTOR
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic stressed students and teachers in new ways, causing an immediate global experiment with educational technology and self-directed learning as school doors closed and teachers, students, and parents were forced to learn at least partially online. The need to pivot quickly and develop new learning systems was a problem all school leaders faced.
Andreas Schleicher, head of education at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was quoted in the March 2020 Quartz article “How the Coronavirus Pandemic is Reshaping Education” as saying, “Real change takes place in deep crisis,” and predicting that, “You will not stop the momentum that will build.” In the article, Schleicher was optimistic about educational technology improvements, and pessimistic about equity issues. “It is clear that [technology improvements] will not reach everyone and it’s not just a matter of access to devices. If you don’t know how to learn on your own, if you don’t know how to manage your time, if you don’t have any intrinsic motivation, you won’t be very successful in this environment.” (Anderson, 2020)
Enter EdVisions. EdVisions schools have been better prepared than most during the pandemic as our students are known well, each with a personalized learning plan. Students are intrinsically motivated, and, working through their plans, they grow continually in collaboration, self-direction, and time management. They learn to find answers, going after expertise beyond the classroom wherever it lives.
Over the last four years we led a Bush Foundation supported Midwest School Transformation Project, helping existing schools examine current practices and move toward greater student-centered, personalized education. That has been a tremendous learning experience, allowing us to work closely with a powerful small network of schools as they addressed change during the pandemic. Their commitment and perseverance was inspirational and we learned much about our own innovation diffusion and coaching models.
Building on the EdVisions legacy of successful schools across the country, and a reputation as a regional and national leader in education innovation, we are in the process of retooling, strengthening our infrastructure and services, and reinvigorating our existing network. We intend to increase our reach and our impact as we continue to advocate for quality, personalized public education for all.
We are in the process of rebuilding our site and I look forward to sharing it with you in October.
Dr. Tracy Money
A taste of what’s to come:
- A regularly updated Practitioner’s Toolkit with key resources from schools in the network. These resources support the development of the Ed°Essentials.
- Ed°Essential #1 – Building an authentic learning community
- Ed°Essential #2 – Designing personalized learning practices supportive of self-directed project-based learning
- Ed°Essential #3 – Using authentic assessment to strengthen learning
- Ed°Essential #4 – Ensuring democratic governance that empowers students and teachers
- Virtual and face-to-face professional development modules addressing the Ed°Essentials
- Virtual sessions addressing problems of practice facilitated by teacher leaders and administrators from schools across the network.
- Summer Institutes at which teams from our schools can connect, refresh, create, and collaborate.