Welcome to the wiki for our session, "Influence without Authority: Finding the Common Ground to Frame Innovation and Change."

This is a live, working agenda that will change right up until our session. So, please pardon our digital dust!
Session recording interrupted...here are the available session streams

Agenda Thoughts
Setting the Stage

Why we're here [@EduCon and this conversation] & how the session came to be
  • Did you ever go to a conference, and...
  • Many in edublogger community find that technology unlocks realization that schools must change, and find that there is a long history of school and teacher resistance to change. ie, why don't we do what we know works?
  • Peter Block - "The answer to how is yes".
  • Looking at a successful process called FS and how it has been applied to schools. What can we learn both on a large (community) and small (teacher PD or classroom) scale
  • Reached out through our networks, just made some phone calls and found expertise:
    • found FS people willing to help
    • Bernajean Porter "FS resets consensual reality"
Kevin & Sylvia
Why we're NOT here [what we WON'T be doing]
  • Selling FS as a panacea, the only way
  • Not doing a "practice" FS here
  • Not trying to create a new community made up of this group. FS says that a problem/solution must be 100% locally owned. Since this group is not tackling a singular problem, it's not an appropriate group to come up with a solution. (We may have similar problems, but they aren't the same). Failure with many working groups at conferences is that they don't own a common problem.
The Burning Platform
FS gives us a structure to bringing many visions of the future to the table and talk about what we can do that gives us the most possibilities for as many of them as possible. (not to predict the future)
  • burning platform is a metaphor for agreement that change is critical.
  • we haven't really decided (as a community) that schools must change. it's a lonely position to be yelling fire, when everyone else is happy, or at least content. (it was good enough for me...)
Why is change so hard in schools?
    1. A Nation At Risk (1983)
    2. What has been tried?
      1. Constructivism, MI Theory, Site-Based Management (SBM), Teacher Professionalization, Charter Schools, Educational Management Organizations, School Choice, Homeschooling, Accountability
    3. First, Kill all the School Boards (The Atlantic) [article expires 28-Jan-08, download now]
      1. "The Fallacy of Local Control"
      2. The Proficiency Illusion
      3. National Standards (elimination of local control) = autonomy & accountability
Future Search Background & Approach

What is FutureSearch - step by step
Kevin or Sandra
Future Search In School District Change: Connection, Community, and Results (the book) (website high-level overview)
Kevin or Skype in
  • How schools modify it - takeaways
    • 90% of the work is done before the meetings
    • we are too quick to focus on solutions before we even define the problem or gain consensus on a shared vision. creating a checklist (or in technology's case, a shopping list) is not a solution. we find ourselves on treadmills not knowing how we got there or where we are going.
    • process, not a solution
    • attitude of community-based ownership
    • if an outside expert is used, they are expert in process, not content. they are not the solution
    • all stakeholders commit (meaning be present). can't be a subcommittee.
    • create cycles of a problem-solving process
What about us? (thoughts about how this could work in our schools/districts/communities)

Starting the conversation - now we need to shift to more audience participation (about 20 min in, people will get restless)
  • explain how the rest of the hour will go?

Technology that supports collaborative group process - Nings, wikis, blogs
Ask for examples, not give them lists - these people know the technology...
  • FS is web 0.0 - paper banners, lots of discussion
  • can technology only enhance what is intrinsically a local face to face process, (like posting reports)? Does use for more than that create distance and anonymity.
  • Can you have a hybrid use - some online discussion?
  • can a community that is not physically co-located use FS techniques, for example, a virtual company?

Open discussion on tech - take notes?

Reasonable Expectations - how do you start it in a school/community, what parts can be used immediately? (this still seems out of place to me - isn't this what we want them to discuss on their own?)

Group Activity

Set up the group activity (do we need big papers, markers, etc.?) Don't sit with people you know/work with. (How many groups? Depends really on reporting. If each group takes 5 min, we can't have more than 4 groups) (can someone collect comments from ustream if that's happening?) - yes
(maybe have some groups take up the question from department/team perspective (not school/district)) - what do you think?

  • What would stop you from holding this kind of event?
  • What would give you the passion to move past these obstacles?

Share with large group - someone needs to take/collect notes
  • allow each group to report? (tell them time limit, help them stick to it)
  • report offsite comments
  • Large group discussion (will fold into next item)

Path forward

  • What follow-up activities would help/matter?
  • Time for questions and conversation




Questions/Open Issues