Why a Leading Edge School Districts Cadre?
School district leaders attempting to chart a new course face many obstacles. Peer-to-peer linkages can enable them to identify similar challenges and responses to them and share experiences, knowledge and resources. The Cadres will support continuing progress within the participating districts by providing cross district communication and sharing of information and resources. It is particularly important that these leaders have the opportunity to learn from, and receive the support of, colleagues in other districts similarly engaged in school transformation.
Cadres will serve another important function in helping other districts integrate digital media in schools. We are continually asked where one might look to see, in action, school districts that are leading the pack in making best practice use of new digital media applications and devices to foster participatory learning for district level transformation. School leaders who believe change is needed want “real world” information rather than abstract generalizations. The two Cadres will provide such real world information. While the districts that will be represented will not have accomplished all they seek to accomplish, they are well on their way to mapping new directions for successful learning in schools.
It is important to note that while the districts in the Cadres share a common goal, we believe the specifics of how they accomplish the goal of participatory learning will vary among the districts. Learning transformation in K-12 schools can and does take many forms. Also it is understood that districts included in the cadres will have differing profiles with regard to the elements of participatory learning listed above. Some districts may emphasize some aspects of participatory learning more than other aspects.