Here was the initial drawing:
Recently, I had a coworker of mine suggest I explain an infographic that I have posted several times. That infographic, shown below, is a 2014 visual representation of several meetings and brainstorm sessions. It represents change. Meaningful change has and always will begin at the individual level. For me, individually this represents organization; for you it might look like chaos.
The District has always had a Tech Standards Committee. It was a representation of Information Management Systems Team and Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. As we have progressed forward as a District both with the Strategic Plan and Technology, we wanted to expand representation. Currently this committee is busy overseeing the approval of Apps and Hardware processed through our new tool. As you can see by the connection to the Innovation Academy, the thought was to create an "innovation loop" that allows new tools to be introduced and provide a mechinism for effectively vetting solutions in the classroom.
Professional Development is one of the most important supports a district invests in. We are producing life-long learners. We should as educators, parents, and community members model this self improvement throughout our walk. Initially the purpose of the cohort displayed above as the "Innovation Academy" was to provide the supports for our implementation of Office 365. As we have progressed, this cohort has expanded in members and the solutions we have introduced.
This term has now moved more towards "Innovation Librarians". I can't think of a more important role in the change effort to introduce project based learning activities, understand content, and the importance of inquiry in student learning. This video explains it perfectly:
Librarians are a central hub to every school. Movement to the Maker-space, 1:1 initiatives, and digital literacy all play an important part of libraries across the country.
As learning environments change, the need for systemic technology cycles for devices and other technologies becomes increasingly important. As digital equity becomes more important to all educational environments, the acquisition of technologies also becomes important. We started this process focusing on data. Introducing Brightbytes into this process was an important step to gather where we were at, and how to effectively measure where we want to go.
We are currently in Year 2 of our planned obsolescence of device strategy. In Year 1, we delivered Surface Pro tablets with wireless display adapters to every secondary teacher in the district. This year is focused on secondary students. Below is a Microsoft in Education video highlighting our Surface Pro initiative.
Year 3 and 4 will be focused on elementary schools. The emphasis of our "Innovation Acadmy" cohort will evolve into focusing on the importance of teaching digital responsibility, citizenship, and the creation of positive footprints online. This shared vision is meant to provide the necessary supports to transform classrooms and expand learning to make global connections, visualize data, expand inquiry, and engage students using technology.
I hope this post brings clarity to the infographic and an awareness to our initiatives here at Omaha Public Schools.
These posts are personal. They are not reflective of the Omaha Public Schools District.