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Ecosys Planning Page



What is EcoSYS?

It's an ongoing conversation on the dynamics of social ecosystems, now focused on K12 Education. more


Framing of this Resource Topic:

What appears below are the major themes identified for future ECOSYS discussions and prioritization. Contact Chris or Jenna if you have questions or input, or provide your feedback via comment, below .. and feel free to reference these Planning Transcripts captured Summer 2012 ..






Jenna, Rachel & Chris to add Framing (BOLD) & Initial Takeaways (Italics) here


Capturing guidance from all

Where should we focus, and why?

F1. Bright Spots

We've focused on Science Learning Academy, Bertie Co. NC, Finland, EDUKARE, Avid

Where do we go from here?  What remains unexplored?

Emerged from other topics

How implemented in different contexts, really need to understand

In-depth articles, papers, blogs by us & others

Needs an owner

will be opportunistic, especially during Summer 2012 to pick up more Bright Spots 


blog focus

F2. Social Contract (Spring 2012)





Significant cross-over with other themes

Clear +/- aspects

closely related to and aligned with F3; must F3 happen first?

F3. Purpose of Education (Fall 2011)

Q1. Who else should we circle back to as we establish our framing/vision?

Linked to F4 Thought Leaders (below)

Q2. Looking at our R1 brainstorm lists, what's changed in last 400 years?

Q3. How might we synthesize views of Thought Leaders with our own input "from the trenches"? (our detailed, accumulated brainstorm of desired elements and outcomes of Education appears on our R1 page)

Q4. R1 Target Education Outcomes

Must be careful not to romanticize: Jefferson, Dewey

Historically a discussion of citizenship

Modern context often about jobs & workforce, 21st-C skills, etc.

Many practitioners (teachers !!) lament lost of learning focus

Should be higher on list ++

Q5. How do different stakeholders (teachers, students, parents, administrators, community, state and federal authorities) define education? school? teachers? students? learning?

Closely linked to F7 Ecosystem

STRONG CONSENSUS building that this should move closer to top; should this be our next major multi-week series? (CJ, RP)

F4. Thought Leadership in Ed (Fall 2011)

See R1 for list of key influencers; coverage to date: Mitra, Zhao, Christensen

Focus on: Montessori, Robinson, Gladwell, Pink

On-going, opportunistic, mix with other topics .. 

will be opportunistic, especially during Summer 2012 to pick up more Thought Leaders.


blog focus

F5. Jurisdictional Comparison (Summer 2012 - NEW)

Q1. ABED vs. BCED (What is it that the Canadians keeping doing right)?

Q2. What if we don't just look at data, but take more of a qualitative approach for comparison?

Very hard to do at the higher level; requires deeper dive.


F6. Politics in Ed (Summer 2012 - NEW)

Q1. Does 2-Party Politics create unnecessary divisions? 

Q2. Are we focusing on the wrong issues?

Q3. What is a healthy role for Politics in the K12 Ecosystem?

Seek to uncover influential ideas

What are major patterns and themes? Influencers?

Important to unpack special interests ..


F7. Dynamics of Social Ecosystems (2010,2011,2012)

Q1. Building on MED-ED, similarities in dysfunctional stakeholder outcomes

Exploring functional and dysfunctional aspects of our social ecosystems

Interesting similarities between patients & students

Use MED-ED for comparison

Bring Politics and R&D Parties and Special Interests into focus

Q2. How are schools funded? What is the structure? How does it play out state by state? Community by community? What are the implications of local fundraising- how does that shift the funding model and impact equity? (one perspective-


Q2a. Similar or different to med funding?


Historically our sweet spot, since it is our overarching focus (baked into our name!) and we believe quite unique among other K12 & EDU communities.


Important to check-in here periodically, maybe 1X/month? (CJ)

F8. K12 Learning Models - NEW

For each of several areas, we could contrast the impact of traditional factory model approaches .. ie., "sage on the stage" teaching from a textbook .. with more advanced, innovative models for teaching and learning. We'd index each of 7 Learning Model themes with the "LM" prefix, as follows: 


LM1. What can we learn from the strengths and challenges of advanced approaches at primary levels? (Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, International Baccalaureate PYP, Dual Immersion)

LM2. What can we learn from the strengths and challenges of advanced approaches at secondary levels? (International Baccalaureate MYP, Big Picture, Small Schools, Magnet schools, Career/Talent focused schools)

LM3. How does rhizomatic learning aka "connectivism" change the game?

LM4. What about Experiential and project-based learning (PBL)?

LM5. What about Teacher-focused and Student-focused initiatives?

LM6. How does Location impact learning? (flipped classroom, blended learning, online schools, expeditionary schools, VPS, in-school and out-of-school workload and focus .. )

LM7. Traditional Factory-model, Classroom style teaching. In comparison with above models, what are the gaps?


Currently planning to use this as our ECOSYS focus for 1Q13 (cj)

Very, very rich area of focus (CJ, JR)


Visit our F8 Learning Model Framework, now under construction.

F9. Accountability - NEW (Summer 2012)

Q1. Current political context- how does it affect the conversations?

Generally very divisive

Factions often use blame "as weapon" to incite teachers, school systems

Q2. Unpacking 'elephants'(What terms/words/phrases are being 'co-opted' to talk about ideas counter to the initial meanings of those words- and what are the implications for the conversation?)





Q3. What are the 'healthy outcomes' and 'definitions of success' that schools/teachers/students/communities need to be accountable for (aligned with F3- Purpose??)

Q4. How does this align with or differ from current laws and reform initiatives?

VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC, launched TUES 7/3; will likely stay with this next several weeks (CJ, JR) 


May want to introduce RACI concept in context of K12 Ecosystem, to make various roles more clear (CJ, JB 7/3)


We have added new R6. Semantics page to capture definitions of key words and additional insights.

F10. Essential Questions - NEW (Fall 2012)

EQ1. What do educators need to know or do to build resilient classrooms?

Understanding by Design (or UBDTM) Concepts Wiggins & McTighe (1998, 2005)

Need to post further insights on this

Layered curriculum, in practice G.Miller ABED

Layered curriculum Resource Site: Help4Teachers K.Nunley

Personalization v. Differentiation v. Individualization  B.Bray & K.McCluskey

What other areas may prove valuable?

 EQ2. What do collaborative, innovative classrooms have in common?


Differentiated from EQ1?


VERY USEFUL HIGH-LEVEL FRAME, launched TUES 8/14; can allow us to define chats on Thought Leaders, Brights Spots and EDU Topics through this frame to expose different ideas (RP) - big thanks to Rachel Pickett for bringing these insights to the table



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