Asking the Right Questions

After my first year in a district leadership position, I now have more questions than ever about the future of teaching and learning.  I firmly believe that is a good thing.  

Throughout my years teaching, I was obsessed with asking questions about my own practice.  As a history teacher who started out with a rather traditional approach (lecture, discussion, quiz, project, test... repeat), I just wasn't satisfied with the level of engagement and achievement in my classes. The real changes started when I began dipping my toes into the digital learning waters with student-created wikis and online discussion forums in my AP US history courses.  Then the floodgates opened when I connected with Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams and began flipping my class in 2011, posting a wide range of instructional videos on a new YouTube channel for students to access anywhere at anytime.

At that point I joined Twitter and quickly connected with incredible educators from across the country that both inspired and introduced me to innovative new concepts.  I dove into approaches such as mastery learning, gamification and 20% Time, regularly blogging on my site.  Across several platforms, I posed questions about these approaches in hopes that educators in my expanding professional learning network (PLN) could provide insightful feedback. They always did.   

To me, it all starts with asking the right questions and posing them to the right people. The launch of this new blog is my attempt to spark conversations around important questions regarding the future of education and leveraging the collective expertise of those who have a common passion for learning. 

I'll wrap up with a few questions that are on the front of my mind.  As my district has adopted the powerful Future Ready Schools Framework, I'll pose them along the "gears" guiding our work.  

Vision of Teaching and Learning

What does a future ready vision of teaching and learning look like?  How do schools & districts choose which areas to focus on most? (Ex. Personalization, 3 C's, Student Voice…)

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

How can teachers leverage technology to personalize student learning?  Once successful approaches are identified, what are effective ways to scale these innovations across a school or district?

Personalized Professional Learning

How can technology expand access to relevant, job embedded professional learning for teachers and administrators?  How can districts provide support for professional learning though social media, unconferences, and other informal learning experiences? 

Robust Technology Infrastructure

How can schools and districts assess the quality and availability of network infrastructure and devices in their school?  What are the best ways to align a technology department's goals with the teaching and learning goals of each school/district?

Budget and Resources

How are teachers and school leaders evaluating the academic return on investment of digital learning resources?  Which stakeholders should be part of the edtech piloting and review process?  How should this review be conducted?

Data & Privacy

How can all educators become aware of legal and ethical responsibilities to ensure security, accuracy and privacy of student data?  What processes should be put in place to protect student data without stifling educator innovation?

Community Partnerships

In what ways can digital learning tools be leveraged to facilitate meaningful partnerships with parents, businesses, and educational organizations?

Use of Space and Time

How can technology be used to explore new designs for personalized learning where the use of time is adaptable and flexible?

Collaborative Leadership

How can we establish a school culture that encourages innovation and builds capacity of digital learning leaders?

I encourage you to ask questions, share stories, and join my PLN so that we can explore questions like these together!  Please use the comments section below or reach out to me directly on Twitter @Mr_Driscoll or