Educational Transformation Through Vision Workshops: Rochester City School District
Last week, I wrote about a multi-phased approach that can be used by school districts to create a vision for the use of technology on their campuses and positively manage change within the district.
Today, I want to specifically talk about one school district that used this vision planning process, Rochester City School District.
Using the five-step process, Rochester City School District set up an in-person session to bring leaders and students together in the community to draft their ideal technology experience using the Day in the Life exercise.
The Day in the Life scenes created through this collaborative process were extremely telling of the shared desire to introduce new technologies into the Rochester City schools, enhancing the experience and opportunities for students.
The visions created by this district were created not by charismatic leaders or visionary vendors or geeky technicians, but by the students, teachers, and principals who work in the schools. It’s a user-centric approach. The value of collaboration among the small groups that brainstormed scenes for the Day in the Life formed the essential core of the process.
In Rochester, educators wanted to provide the best possible experience for students, which included a student portal, connectivity on school transportation, real time alerts and updates on classwork and extra-curricular activities, tools to aid in physical fitness and health and a school-to-school virtual mentor program.
We found that the relationships built during the visioning process —between the CIO and the instructional leadership, between the teachers and the technical staff, and among all levels of the school community — have served to enable progress even in difficult times. Rochester City School District found that the process further demonstrated the commitment of the technology team to the larger instructional goals of the district.
So, what’s next for Rochester?
We will use the vision as we conduct pilots of 1-to-1 learning in four schools, introduce blended learning offerings in two of these 1:1 schools, switch to digital textbooks in social studies and science, and set up student run help desks in each school.
Want to learn more about how Rochester City School District used the visioning process to transform their campuses through technology? Read more in this report.