“Schools are very complicated organisms. It’s so easy to come up with a change and aspire to have a change that ultimately contributes to your school’s value proposition in the market or increases enrollment, but realizing that change takes a lot of energy with a lot of stakeholders involved and its not as simple as a few Saturday PD days and some newsletters.” - Justin Medved
Our guest today is Justin Medved. He is the Director of Learning, Innovation, and Technology at The York School - a K to 12th-grade independent day school in Toronto, Canada. Justin leads the way in professional development for faculty to ensure that technology is integrated into the classroom, and 21st-century pedagogy is developed to enhance learning. The York School was the first school in Canada to implement a 1-1 laptop program, and thereby positioned itself as a tech innovator early in the game. Justin has spent more than 10 years expanding and improving the school’s tech offering. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a Google Certified Innovator.
In this episode, Justin articulates what it means to be a 21st-century learner/teacher/school.
He gives specific strategies for how to start from the “why” technology is needed in education to the “how” it can be implemented.
Listen and take note of how a school can improve its value proposition and increase enrollment by embracing technology as a non-negotiable basic skill needed for the future. If you want to learn about the role of tech in schools, this conversation is not to be missed.
In our discussion, we cover:
02:00 Justin discusses how The York School caught the vision of technology in schools and positioned itself to expand enrollment through the tech offering.
04:25 Justin responds to Andrew’s questions about how schools can be encouraged to embrace the use of technology in education, and what The York School did after obtaining the physical equipment to launch the program.
06:40 Andrew asks Justin to tell how the value proposition of his school changed when they introduced tech.
08:00 Justin and Andrew discuss whether parents are seeing and understanding the changes in the global job market - away from the traditional goals of going to college, getting good grades, and finding a lifetime job, and towards the expected future market of a “gig economy”.
09:25 Andrew asks, “If you hadn’t had these years of building a tech program at The York School, and you were starting from scratch, how would you suggest differentiating the school brand to go after that parent who is interested in tech?”
13:00 Justin tells what a school must do next after they have thoroughly understood the “why” of needing technology in education.
16:35 Andrew asks Justin to talk about the strategic change accelerator and to give an example of how it has been used to change a school.
24:17 Justin tells what he thinks blocks many schools from embarking on a change and tells how leadership can overcome barriers and move beyond them.
28:08 Andrew and Justin discuss how schools will look in the future, and what everyone in education should be striving toward.
31:45 Justin talks about learning communities, Cohort 21, and how schools can share resources.
5:52 “We as an institution needed to figure out where tech belonged within the tried and tested traditions of the past; new pedagogy needed to be crafted and woven into the way our school operated.”
11:30 “The broad awareness of just how many skills are required to exist in the world today goes well beyond what a traditional education can deliver.”
15:30 “People want confidence that the school knows where it’s going (with technology).”
23:35 “Schools are very complicated organisms. It’s so easy to come up with a change and aspire to have a change that ultimately contributes to your school’s value proposition in the market or increases enrollment, but realizing that change takes a lot of energy with a lot of stakeholders involved and its not as simple as a few Saturday PD days and some newsletters.”
25:34 “A brave school - or a school that really ends up implementing change well doesn’t lose sight of the long-term stewardship required on some of these big initiatives.”
30:50 “The mindset you (a teacher) have to adopt is one of continuous learning; the teacher has to come to the table with a growth mindset and a willingness to ask questions, seek help, and drive towards competency.”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
Seth Godin, This Is Marketing - https://seths.blog/tim/
Dr. John Paul Kotter - the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School, and best-selling author - https://www.kotterinc.com/8-steps-process-for-leading-change/
Grant Lichtman, nationally recognized thought leader in education and author of, “Moving the Rock: Seven Levers WE Can Press to Transform Education” - http://www.grantlichtman.com/
Cohort 21 https://cohort21.com/
The Strategic Change Accelerator https://www.cais.ca/professional-development/strategicchangeaccelerator
The York School - https://www.yorkschool.com
Where to learn more about Justin Medved:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/jmedved
Blogs - http://medagogy.edublogs.org
Justin on Linkedin https://ca.linkedin.com/in/justinmedved
Tech Sessions on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/yorktechsessions
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/