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

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How would you design the future for independent schools?

[10-minute read]

Scott McLeodDr. Scott McLeod

Spotlight Topic (Opening Session, Monday, April 6): Sharks, Frogs, and Outer Space: The Possibilities of Authentic Work

Spotlight Break-Out (Session 1, Monday, April 6): Really Tough Questions about Technology Integration and Implementation

Afternoon Deep Dive (Monday, April 6): (re)Designing Lessons for Deeper Learning. 
Bring a computing device and be ready to dive in.


Why do ATLIS attendees need to hear about your design?

The future of independent schools will involve more project- and inquiry-based learning; work-based, place-based, and community-based service learning; standards-based grading and competency-based progressions; redesigned learning spaces and schedules; robust technology integration; and much, much more. How to get there is a big challenge for many schools, however. I will spend my time with ATLIS attendees discussing organizational alignment! 

What’s the critical problem your design will solve?

We must create structures and supports that enable the learning, teaching, and schooling that we say we desire. Otherwise our dreams and visions for our students, staff, and communities are just empty rhetoric. Right now legacy structures and cultures -- and historical inertia -- often impede our progress and success. If we want present and future student learning to be different, we have to design for it. My sessions at ATLIS will address the challenges of organizational and instructional (re)design.

How will you empower our attendees to design the future for their schools?

My morning breakout session will focus on the disconnects between what we say we want for our students and graduates and what we often actually do in our schools with technology. Organizational misalignments send mixed messages to educators, students, and educators, and they compromise our ability to create comprehensive, effective systems of support.

My afternoon deep dive session also is concerned with alignment, this time around day-to-day technology-infused classroom instruction. If we want future-ready graduates, we often have to rethink some key components of learning and teaching. In our afternoon time together, we will work with an instructional protocol that helps educators redesign lessons and units for deeper learning, greater student agency, more authentic work, and rich technology infusion.

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