Visioning for desired awesomeness [ACTIVITY]

I asked 3 questions of the educators in charge of their district’s upcoming 1:1 student computing initiative. They worked in small groups and used editable Google spreadsheets to record their responses…

  1. If our 1:1 initiative is wildly successful, what will we see? We tried to create vivid, concrete images that were emotionally resonant, thus helping with meaning-making. We took our answers and lumped them into ad hoc categories on a separate Google document (e.g., student independence and self-direction, student interaction and collaboration, learning cultures and processes, digital citizenship and information literacy, management and support). We now had a basic picture of desired awesomeness.
  2. What will we need to do to ensure our envisioned successes? We focused on the success enablers that will lead to the positive outcomes and desired results that we identified in Step 1. [Not shown in results: We also put those into an effort-impact matrix to see which ones were easy wins or were more difficult but worth the hard effort (and which ones weren’t).]
  3. Why will our 1:1 initiative fail? Instead of doing a postmortem afterward, we did a premortem up front to identify reasons that the initiative will fail. We wanted to identify the success blockers that will get in the way of what we envisioned in Step 1.

We then took the responses in Steps 2 and 3 and organized them by Bolman and Deal’s leadership frames. This helped us identify main themes, see patterns, and think about necessary action steps across the spectrum. See our final results.

See the documents that we used to facilitate our work

Tips: Two to three sentences for each response – not single words or short phrases – to facilitate depth of understanding and conversation. After each step, have them look at the other groups’ responses and discuss, first in their small group and then as a large group. Have a separate notes document ready to capture thoughts that emerge from those large group discussions. Working through the three spreadsheets takes 2 to 3 hours; this doesn’t include writing up the final results.

Thoughts, reactions, questions, or comments?

Success enablers and blockers

8 Responses to “Visioning for desired awesomeness [ACTIVITY]”

  1. I really appreciate you sharing the process and resources!

    What prior knowledge/experiences had the group had (or was assumed to have had) in regards to vision? ie Had they done site visits to 1:1 schools or watched specific videos…read specific articles?

    I’m wondering because so often when we ask a question like “what will success look like?” or “what would we see happening in classrooms?” some admin seem to really struggle to get beyond just basic replacement…just doing old things with new devices. Is your team coaching them on vision at this point or has that already happened?

    • They have been talking about moving toward 1:1 for a couple of years, slowly starting to build understanding and excitement. Some of them had the opportunity to visit other schools but most did not. The conversation about moving ‘beyond replication’ is an ongoing one, easier for some than others…

  2. Scott,

    I write reviews and adaptations of learning technology for children with autism and one of the achille’s heels I’ve found with district level 1:1 tablet implementations is the lack of a teacher level budget for educational apps. Meaning, a teacher can go to the office secretary to obtain three dollars worth of white board markers without a problem, but to buy three ninety-nine cent educational apps on the i-tunes store she has to get IT approval and/or go through Purchasing. Using Apple’s Volume Purchase Program can cut that per app cost even lower, but without a more streamlined approval process to obtaining apps that can increase learning, interest and retention, reaching the full potential of 1:1 may be constrained.

    That’s my two cents at least–you did ask for thoughts and comments 🙂

    Glenn Laniewski
    Latest post:
    Math teachers, start baking your Pi Day pies early

  3. I am a library media student in the southeast. I am taking online classes and interning at a local middle school. Neighboring school districts have a 1:1 student:computer ratio, but our local school district does not. My school and some of the other schools in my district are piloting a bring your own device campaign this semester. Thank you for posting the documents and resources from your results. They will be helpful as we implement the bring your own device program at our school. In my online class I will be visiting your blog weekly and summarizing my comments on my personal blog. Feel free to visit my EDM 510 class blog EDM 510 Class Blog or my personal class blog Anastasia Martin EDM 510 Blog. Also you can follow me on twitter @anastasia5360.

  4. Hi Scott –

    I had seen this when you originally posted it and found it extremely relevant for the work I am being asked to do in my district. Thank you so much for sharing all that you do! As I work through all of this (right now I am “leading” this on my own), I may be in touch! This post and the resources, though, give me a great starting place.

  5. Scott- I must echo what most above have said, thank you very much for sharing this exercise/protocol.
    In my experience, I have found that the open sharing that happens throughout the 1:1 community is second to none. On behalf of my students, faculty and school community, thank you posting this visioning protocol and helping us navigate our 1:1 journey.

  6. Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I’m happy to share and am glad that you’re finding these resources helpful. Please don’t hesitate to stay in touch if you have questions and/or I can be of support to you.

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