In this blog post for the Innosight Institute (now the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation), Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel argue that “schools – and nations – that excel in the digital age will be those that use digital tools both to make teaching more manageable for the average teacher, and to give massively […]
We’re excited about the prospects, but we all know it will take time for digital learning to transform education. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of teachers will continue to be the single most important school factor in student learning.
That doesn’t mean innovation isn’t important. On the contrary, it’s vital for moving from today’s reality–in which only a fraction of students have excellent teachers–to what students need: consistent access to excellence. Here’s a prediction: Digital developers whose products are used to enable excellent teachers to reach more students successfully will be rewarded with positive results and avoid the dreaded “Cheaper but No Better” headlines.
As more schools use technology and new staffing models to reach more students with personalized learning and excellent teachers, how will evaluation systems keep up? It’s been a heavy lift for pioneering states and districts—examples here—just to begin measuring the basics in a one-teacher-one-classroom mode. What can schools do to select, develop, and evaluate teachers in new roles—such as those working in elementary specialist teams, blending technology and face-to-face instruction, leading other teachers, or using any of these models while reaching students in remote locations via webcams?
Follow the money. Usually good advice to find out what’s actually important—or not—to people or organizations, regardless of the values they profess. In education, what’s most striking is where the money doesn’t go: to a variety of engaging roles and opportunities for education professionals, and expanded impact and opportunity for those who demonstrate excellence. In everyday lingo, that’s called “career paths.”
Public Impact has published new career paths stemming from our school models that use job redesign and technology to reach more students with excellent teaching. These models enable excellent teachers to expand their positive impact on students, and many allow additional time for planning, collaboration, and development—so all teachers can improve.
Everybody loves a good infographic (even you wonky researchers – just wait ‘til nobody’s looking), and we hope this one will change how you view education reform efforts.