@MCDPEL Innovations Lab

Has the term '21st Century' run its course?

Posted by Joe Mazza

3/9/16 9:42 PM

Do buzzwords and other forms of edujargon put up unnecessary obstacles?

This is not a new issue around the field, and using fancy words to describe teaching, learning and leadership goes back a long time. I can recall setting up my resume with great meticulation hoping to land a job as a classroom teacher right out of college. "Life-long learner" was the buzz word every one of my professors and mentors encouraged me to use to describe myself. Although it made perfect sense to me back then, I have a completely different definition of the word sixteen years into the field. Connectivity, asynchronous forms of personalized youth and adult learning has taken teaching, learning and leadership development to new levels today. One of goals of the @MCDPEL Digital Leadership module is to remove any existing enigma that comes packaged with every high and low tech buzz word heard in the field, shared in a trending TedTalk or discussed in someone's online whitepaper. They are everywhere, and, as we'll model during an upcoming class session, one could make a pretty interesting gameshow on edujargon of education's past, present and future. 

One phrase that continues to see a lot of exposure nationally, and locally here in the Philadelphia area is '21st Century Learning.' As someone who attends a decent amount of conferences during the year, I can't remember the last conference that did not have sessions titled 21st Century Leadership, 21st Century Learning, 21st Century Family and Community Engagement or another combo of the phrase you might of seen or heard on Twitter.

On this week's 14-minute Getting Schooled podcast, @PennEdEquity Jennifer MacMillan asks @MCDPEL's Leadership Innovation Manager Joe Mazza (@Joe_Mazza) the following questions:

  1. What does the term 21st Century family and community engagement mean in 2016? 
  2. You've mentioned that social media needs to be more than just a handle and a hashtag, but a personal experience. Can you talk about this?
  3. How do our own assumptions create barriers in this work?
  4. From your dual lens of a parent and an educator, what's one thing parents can do to be more connected to their child's education? 
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Topics: Family & Community Engagement (FCE), blended learning, school leadership, 21st century, teaching

US DOE Office of EdTech Director to School Leaders: "I'm Not That Tech-Savvy" No Longer Acceptable

Posted by Joe Mazza

2/16/15 3:55 PM

Today, we took 10 minutes to talk with Richard Culatta, Director of the US DOE Office of Educational Technology in Washington, DC, on the new #FutureReady effort - specifically to understand the vital role school and district leaders must play. Hear Richard below on the latest @MCDPEL Podcast.

The Office of Educational Technology (@OfficeOfEdTech) provides leadership for transforming education through the power of technology. OET develops national educational technology policy and establishes the vision for how technology can be used to support learning.  OET supports the President’s and Secretary’s priorities by:

  • Promoting equity of access by ensuring all learners are connected to broadband internet.
  • Supporting #FutureReady educators and a robust ecosystem of entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Leading cutting-edge research in learning analytics and data to provide new types of evidence and customize and improve learning.

The #FutureReady effort (linked here) builds on the momentum of the President’s ConnectED Initiative with the launch of the Future Ready "Pledge" for School Superintendents. The pledge recognizes the importance of building human capacity within schools and districts for effectively using increased connectivity and new devices to transform the teaching, learning and leadership. 

Superintendents from districts across the country have been signing the pledge, demonstrating their commitment to work collaboratively with key district stakeholders to set a vision for digital learning, to empower educators through personalized professional learning, and to mentor other district leaders in their own transition to digital learning. More resources can be found below and on the Office of Ed Tech's website.

About the Future Ready District Pledge

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Topics: school leadership, Future Ready, Department of Education

[VIDEO] Your Digital Footprint: School Leader Edition

Posted by Joe Mazza

1/24/15 2:43 PM

@MCDPEL's @TonySinanis & @Joe_Mazza discuss the school leader digital footprint in this 20 minute video podcast recorded during the 1/24 Saturday Commons. Tools discussed include LinkedIn, Twitter and About.me.


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Topics: school leadership, digital citizenship