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Free Isn't a Feature -- Deploying Ed Tech in the Age of Coronavirus

Reposted from her LinkedIn post of 4 July 2020, Jennifer Carey's thought leadership assesses the value of "free" tools offered to technology leaders during the coronavirus pandemic. Carey, Director of Technology & Innovation at Temple Beth Am Day School in Miami, FL, and member of the ATLIS Board, provides guidance for a community that has been deluged with complications from the numerous offerings of online tools made to teachers and schools. [10-minute read] -- SD

Jennifer Carey
When Coronavirus first impacted US Schools in March, educational institutions scrambled to deploy distance learning with little to no planning or training for faculty. During the rash of school closures, numerous technology companies stepped forward to offer their services for "free."

Initially, many viewed this as a generous, self-sacrificing offer to help schools over the hump of going virtual. Many schools, driven in desperation, quickly took these companies up on their offers, rapidly (often without vetting) deploying numerous new resources to teachers and students. However, the results of this haphazard deployment resulted in numerous problems that at best created confusion through new complexity and at worst, created a privacy and data security nightmare for schools.

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ATLIS Summit: Making Informed Decisions for the Journey Ahead

Informed Summit banner

For this  ATLIS Summit, we crowdsourced ways to access and leverage data to address the many decisions that are confronting schools as they plan to continue to meet the needs of students in the months ahead. Access the archived video for the complete Summit that is outlined in brief in this post. -- SD

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Don’t forget about bandwidth in your remote and hybrid learning plans

There is a lot of talk about what school is going to look like in September and a lot of questions that have come with it. Will we open online? What will our schedule look like? Will we have some kids or teachers in the building and some at home? Blended? Hybrid? Synchronous? Asynchronous? The questions go on and on…

Cross-posted from the blog of William Stites, Technology Director at Montclair Kimberley Academy and ATLIS Pillar Award Winner

One clear thing is that we will be using some form of technology to connect people that are in one place to those in another. With this, there are many hardware pieces to consider and how they will fit a school’s unique learning plan.

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5 Reflection Protocols to Cement Learning and Iterate Innovations

In this post, we make the argument for building reflection into your end-of-year practices, especially after the major disruptions and changes we have encountered during COVID-19. Continued innovation and improvement needs this reinforcement to become sticky. Technology leaders can use the examples provided here for their own reflection to to guide the reflections at their schools. -- SD  [15-minute read]


Dewey on ReflectionAs we wrap up the school year drive-by graduation ceremonies and teleconferenced  awards celebrations, we need to take a deep breath and make time to reflect on the rapid changes and developments that have occurred in the past few weeks as schools responded to the global pandemic of COVID-19. 

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Sustaining Innovation Summit

Numerous innovations have evolved out of necessity as independent schools responded to COVID-19. The harder question remains, How can we sustain those innovations into the future?  In this blog post, we recap the innovations and ideas for sustaining them that grew from our recent summit. - SD  [10-minute Read]

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ATLIS Virtual Town Hall , 15 April 2020

As we wrap up this extraordinary school year, technology leaders are being drafted to discuss end-of-year community rituals and how to address assessments in a virtual landscape. They also face planning for “after school” offerings, summer programs and projects and a very uncertain school year ahead. Participants also provided frank feedback on the ways vendors can best support technology leaders’ efforts to manage and deliver online the many components of their school communities. Finally, their thoughts turned to the leadership role they can play at their schools if they are included in the right conversations and if others understand better all that they do. -- SD

[15-minute read; 1-hour video]

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Partnering with Parents to Support E-Learning

During a recent ATLIS Virtual Town Hall, technology leaders discussed ways their schools are supporting distance learning for their students, in particular, by reaching out to parents. This post shares some of the insights from that gathering, along with some resources for the parent (and grand-parent or other caregiver) partners at home. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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ATLIS Provides a Wealth of Resources for Technology Leaders Addressing COVID-19

coronavirus clearinghouse page banner

The ATLIS staff has been curating resources gleaned from technology leaders around the world for the ATLIS Clearinghouse: Coronavirus Resources for Technology Leaders. The web resource, which is updated frequently throughout each day, provides needed information, templates, instructional plans, and vendor materials in one centralized space for your convenience. If you have a resource you wish to share, please contact Susan Davis, Professional Development Director for ATLIS, at [email protected].
Collected below are the newest resources added to the Clearinghouse in the past week.

General

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Spotlight Speaker George Aye Designs the Future for Independent Schools

We are pleased to present the final post in our series of interviews with our Spotlight Speakers for the ATLIS Annual Conference 2020. Here we share insights from George Aye, Co-Founder and Director of Innovation, Greater Good Studio; Full Professor, Adj., The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Aye co-founded Greater Good Studio with the belief that design can elevate the voices of people with the least power. Previously, he spent seven years at global innovation firm IDEO before being hired as the first human-centered designer at the Chicago Transit Authority. Since founding Greater Good, he has worked across complex social issues such as criminal justice, civic engagement, public education, public health, and youth development. He speaks frequently across the US and internationally.  For Monday's Spotlight Speaker format at the Annual Conference, we ask the same question of three experts for them to address from different perspectives. This post provides a glimpse of Aye's response to "How would you design the future for independent schools?" -- SD

ATLIS Annual Conference 2020



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Spotlight Speaker Devorah Heitner Designs the Future for Independent Schools

Welcome to the second in our series of interviews with our Spotlight Speakers for the ATLIS Annual Conference. Here we share insights from Dr. Devorah Heitner, founder of Raising Digital Natives and author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital WorldHer mission is to cultivate a culture of empathy in the digital age. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, TheWall Street Journal and Real Simple magazine. She has a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Northwestern University and she is delighted to be raising her own digital native. For Monday's Spotlight Speaker format at the Annual Conference, we ask the same question of three experts for them to address from different perspectives. This post provides a glimpse of Heitner's response to "How would you design the future for independent schools?" -- SD


ATLIS ANNUAL CONFERENCE logo

How would you design the future for independent schools?

[10-minute read]


Devorah Heitner headshotSpotlight Topic (Opening Session, Monday, April 6): 
Empathy Is the App








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Crucial Tech Leadership for Business Continuity in Schools

 Jennifer Carey, Director of Technology and Innovation at the Temple Beth Am Day School, FL, is among the many leaders in independent schools who are considering next steps for their communities should the coronavirus require school closure. In this post, she shares her thinking about the steps technology leaders can take now to prepare for the possibility for emergency procedures. Jennifer also serves on the ATLIS Board. -- SD

[15-minute read]

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Spotlight Speaker Scott McLeod Designs the Future for Independent Schools

Welcome to the first in our series of interviews with our Spotlight Speakers for the ATLIS Annual Conference. Here we share insights from Dr. Scott McLeod, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Colorado Denver and author of Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning and the blog Dangerously Irrelevant. McLeod is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on P-12 school technology leadership issues. For Monday's Spotlight Speaker format at the Annual Conference, we ask the same question of three experts for them to address from different perspectives. This post provides a glimpse of McLeod's response to "How would you design the future for independent schools?" -- SD

Annual Conference 2020 Logo

How would you design the future for independent schools?

[10-minute read]



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You Can Do It: Online and Blended Learning When You Need It Most

As schools begin to address possible concerns of undertaking their mission to teach even in the midst of a possible shut-down due to health concerns, Susan Davis, Professional Development Director for ATLIS and an educator who has been comfortable in online or blended learning environments for decades, offers some basic advice drawing upon her experiences. Her message to independent schools: You can do this. 

[10-minute read]

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ATLIS Reads: The Algorithmic Leader by Mike Walsh

In this post, Vinnie Vrotny, Director of Technology at the Kinkaid School, TX, and a 2019 ATLIS Pillar Award honoree, wraps up our year of inquiry into the the leadership literacies needed for effective technology programs and teams at independent schools. Join us for the final book discussion of the year on February 26 at 1 pm Eastern, as well as for a culminating conversation about our initial book series at a special "Think Tank: ATLIS Reads Redux" at the ATLIS Annual Conference in Chicago, April 5-8. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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When the Shovel Hits the Dirt

ATLIS research on the Role of Technology Leaders in Educational Capital Improvement Projects demonstrates that technology leaders can make a positive impact on school construction projects. A new report and an upcoming webinar make the case for positioning tech leaders to make the best use of their skills and expertise as schools take on the kinds of projects that can define a school’s future. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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ATLIS Reads: The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier

Coaching is an essential skill in almost any aspect of technology education, whether you are working with your IT team, moving other administrators towards innovation, or reaching out to a classroom teacher. Here Connie White, Director of  Learning and Innovation at Woodward Academy, GA, previews The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier for our ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar for Technology Thought Leaders. Register  for our two remaining webinar conversations, both centered around the theme of leadership literacies. You can catch up with our seminar archive of previous conversations in our micro-course (ATLIS members: no charge; non-members, $129). Learn more about the seminar here. -- SD

[5-minute] read

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ATLIS Reads: The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins

In this blog post, Lisa Lamont helps us unpack the key principles of The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins, which technology leaders can use to launch a program, initiative, or new job. Lamont, who is the Director of Innovation and Institutional Learning at Hopkins School (CT), shares her discussion questions for the next conversation for our new seminar, ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar for Technology Thought Leaders, scheduled for October 23 at 1 pm EDT. Register  for one of the few remaining spots in this series of live webinar conversations around the theme of leadership literacies, augmented with a reflective seminar micro-course (ATLIS members: no charge; non-members, $129). Learn more about the seminar here. -- SD

[10-minute read]

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Technology’s Role in Capital Improvement Projects

ATLIS is launching an important research project into the ways technology leaders are leveraged for capital improvement projects. In this blog post, Christina Lewellen, Executive Director of ATLIS, outlines the research project and invites your participation in our survey. -- SD

[5-minute read, 10-minute survey]

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ATLIS Reads: The Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People

For the opening of the school year, ATLIS inaugurates ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar for Technology Thought Leaders, a series of four webinar conversations and a companion micro-course. Our first year-long book study seminar will address the theme of Leadership Literacies. In this blog post, Jared Colley of Oakridge School (TX) introduces the first book in the series, The Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People, and offers a series of questions to consider before joining our discussion online. Registration for the full seminar is required (no individual registrations will be offered) and limited to the first 30 participants, starting August 27, 2019. Registration is complimentary for ATLIS members, $129 for non-members. Register here for the book study seminar designed specifically by and for technology thought leaders in independent schools. -- SD

ATLIS Reads: A Book Seminar of Technology Thought Leaders
The Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony C Greenwald.

Webinar Conversation: September 25, 1 pm Eastern

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Keeping Tech People-Focused

What do floating highways, destination travel stops, and quality vending machine coffee have in to do with independent schools and the learners they serve? Creativity, choice, and user-centric customization. As part of the NWAIS IT Summit on January 25-26, in Seattle, Washington, Joey Tanaka, Edtech and Robotics Specialist at Bertschi School (WA), offered a vision of the future for independent schools based on his recent experiences with human-centered design while traveling in Japan. This blog post is adapted from that talk. -- SD  [15-minute read]

What if you could travel into the future, but you could only bring back whatever was in your head?  What would you bring? Insights? A new vision?

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