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Saved by Chris Jones
on January 8, 2012 at 11:09:32 pm

EcoSys: Exploring the future of K12 Education

new time SUNDAY 9-10p ET


First, we'll share our resource links. This is where our work is being captured:


PLANNING HORIZON: How we frame the Challenges in K12 Education - a framework for mapping our efforts. 


2011 TOPIC AGENDA - key conversations in Education, w/ progress in these areas:

    T1 Parent Engagement

    T2 Standards

    T5 Teacher Preparation (CURRENT - 2012)

    T10 Activism 

    R1 Purpose of Education ("Social Contract" work; recent - Fall 2011)

Focus on BRIGHT SPOTS - examining solutions and patterns that are working

Thought Leadership - engaging on important papers and books

News Room - suggest and investigate links on key articles

Live Chat - connecting on the above themes in succession. Click here for LIVE CHAT each SUN 8pET, or any time to catch up on the conversation. Please, jump in; we need your input. 


IDEA SPOTLIGHT: Critical Thinking - exploring dynamics of deep learning (framing) - UPDATED 3/9

INNOVATION SPOTLIGHT: EduKare - a new paradigm for service consolidation in urban schools - UPDATED 2/2



Now, a little bit about why we're here.


A social ecosystem - in our case, K12 Education - is complex and intertwined.  To understand it better, we might view it as a series of exchanges among a variety of closely knit stakeholders.  A teacher leads a class in Des Moines.  A student home schools with his mom down the road in Cedar Rapids.  The main 'actors' in the K12 Education ecosystem are teachers, parents and students, but there are many others, ranging from school boards to legislatures to text book companies.  All too often, ecosystem outcomes don’t align with our intentions.


Reared in a simple world of ’cause and effect’, we tend to expect simple answers to all our problems - often, by throwing money at them. Why can’t we just fix schools? Or healthcare? Or the economy?  


What we’re learning is that complex systems – especially the human variety – work and behave very differently. We must study and define these problems in a different way.


Who are we?  At the core, we are a group of interested, engaged stakeholders who support high quality education for all children.  We believe that a clear path to improving education is through social change.  With focus and positive energy people can to come together to drive that change, working to solve hard problems like these. Public conversation intentionally draws in a variety of viewpoints. This broad perspective is critical for articulating and supporting change at an ecosystem level.


How do we frame the challenge?  Change is hard.  Systemic change is complex, and is therefore even harder. The science of complexity tells us that studying interactions helps us understand the patterns that work. How do people across the ecosystem behave? What motivates them?  What ultimately drives outcomes? Once we understand those forces and patterns, we can identify potential solutions and move on to investigate and support their implementation.  


What do we do?  We're using the collaborative potential of social media to connect & interact publicly, as a means to better understand the complex education ecosystem in the U.S. We're documenting our takeaways and the evolution of our thinking via this wiki, an approach we haven't seen other chats taking.


We think we may be onto something.


Each week for the past year, the Ecosys group has been meeting via Twitter chat (hashtag: #ecosys) to brainstorm the approach, and at the same time working to frame foundational challenges within the education ecosystem itself. We seek to expand our community and refine our thinking, as we continue to drive new insights, and to identify avenues for change.


There is no one answer, one solution, or one way to attack problems. Diversity of thinking is a fundamental tenet of addressing complexity. So, on our one-year anniversary, we're expanding our portfolio of collaborative resources.  We believe this will create more ways for new stakeholders to engage, attacking challenges on many fronts at once.




One-year Anniversary (in perspective)

Foundations: 2010 Issues P1-P9

Inception: Original 2009 Ecosys Framing posts (the idea is born)






Many who participate in Twitter Chats use Tweetchat.  We meet each WEDNESDAY night at 9pET. To join the conversation, have your Twitter account setup and join us at the appointed time.  Or watch for conversation any time at the #ecosys hashtag.  Our ground rules are posted here and if you'd like to weigh in, contact us about being a contributor.



All contents of this wiki are published under Creative Commons 3.0 license, using the "share and share-alike" convention. Content may be re-used and expanded, but original attribution to ECOSYS and the Content Author/Contributor is required. 

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