What is Change School?
Change School is a totally online coaching and community experience for educational leaders who are serious about reimagining their schools and their personal practice to reflect the realities of the fast changing, networked world. Founded and designed by long-time educator/consultants Bruce Dixon, Will Richardson, and Melissa Emler, Change School is grounded in the belief that we learn by doing, and that modern technologies can amplify our learning through connection, collaboration, and reach.
What do you mean by “serious?”
Current “change" efforts in schools are punctuated by layering technology on top of traditional practice in classrooms, isolated additions like “Genius Hour” or “Makerspaces,” or the use of words like “flipped” or “blended” or “personalized” to suggest a new approach to teaching. While we acknowledge the good intentions of most of these “innovations,” we believe that real change must begin at a much more foundational level, one which challenges long-standing narratives and systems of schooling. That’s where the truly serious work begins.
We ask “What change in schools can we create by putting together a group of courageous, committed, educational leaders to push that conversation to a higher level?” Maybe you’ll help us find out.
What's the structure?
Over an 8-week period, cohorts of up to 100 leaders from around the world are coached to build their capacity to understand and lead change in their school communities via an intense inquiry-based process. We challenge traditional beliefs and systems of schooling, reflect deeply on the mission and vision of our work, contend with the barriers to change, and understand more deeply the new contexts for learning through modern innovations.
Working with other leaders in our ongoing Change School community, each participant creates a unique, comprehensive “playbook” for change that will guide the reimagination process in their schools moving forward. We develop strategies and plans for changing school culture, communicating with parents and community members, dealing with perpetual change, and embracing the future, among other topics.
In addition to asynchronous discussions around "explorations" in our online community, participants learn through weekly live Zoom discussion sessions, curated resources, personal coaching sessions, and small group projects. Online sessions will be held at times that maximize the potential for live discussion with participants, but Change School may be completed totally asynchronously as all sessions will be archived.
Importantly, once the 8-week cohort experience ends, participants have lifetime access to the coaches, the online community and all of the resources and archives that were generated. That means you can continue to interact with the coaches and community members in your work to change your school
When are the live sessions held?
Right now, we have a live discussion on Wednesday nights at 8 pm US Eastern time that we hope everyone in the community attends. That's when we frame the conversation for the coming week.
Live coaching sessions are available for dropping into at the follow times throughout the 8 weeks (all times US Eastern):
Monday at 5 pm and 8 pm
Tuesday at 7 am
Thursday at 5 pm and 8 pm
Friday at 7 am
These may be subject to change depending on participants' general availability and location. Links to all sessions are shared in the community.
What is the cost?
The enrollment fee for Change School is $US1,200, and each cohort is open to a limited number of participants. Key features:
--Direct access to internationally respected coaches.
--Lifetime membership in a constantly growing global community of change leaders.
--Over 50+ hours of live coaching/discussion sessions that you can choose to attend.
--Over 25+ "Explorations" you can use to deepen your understanding and planning.
--Creation of a unique "Change Playbook" for moving change forward in your school or district.
--Lifetime access to archived live sessions, asynchronous discussions, and resources.
Does it really work?
As with anything else, the impact of Change School on your thinking and practice will depend on your level of commitment and interaction. But if you're asking "Can Change School change me?" the answer is yes:
"This experience has enabled me to meet great educators from all over the world who are committed and are doing this work. Will, Bruce and Melissa have created an interactive forum where they pose provocative questions, challenge assumptions, provide great resources and allow us to learn together in a supportive environment. If you put in the time and effort you can also create your personal playbook to organize your change efforts with feedback form the consultants and your peers. That has been a great exercise for me, and exactly what I needed in this journey!" ~Steve Freedman, Headmaster, Hillel School, MI
How much of my time will this require?
Our alumni report spending anywhere from two to seven or eight hours a week in Change School activities. Again, the time commitment is up to you.
What are the important dates?
Change School 1-SOLD OUT!
March 14 - Enrollment Period Opens
March 24- Enrollment Closes
March 27 - Welcome Session
March 29 -Cohort begins
May 24 - Cohort ends
Change School 2-SOLD OUT!
May 16 - Enrollment Period Opens
May 26- Enrollment Closes
May 31- Welcome Session
June 7 -Cohort begins
August 2 - Cohort ends
Change School 3 - September 2017
Dates to be announced in early August.
Enrollment period opens in late August for a mid-September through mid-November cohort. Use the form at the top of our homepage to add your name to the list to get notified.
Can I get credit?
Currently, Change.School is not affiliated with a credit-granting institution.
Do I lose access to the community when the workshop ends?
As an alumni of Change School, you will have lifetime access to our online community. You may also participate in future cohort activities to reflect on and refine your work.
What technology is required? What technology skills are necessary?
Participants can access and participate in community discussions via computer, tablet, or phone. (Yes, there’s an app for that.) Live sessions are more effective with a full-fledged computer and fast Internet connection.
Change School does not require a sophisticated knowledge of technology. Tutorials will be available regarding access and participation in the community, tuning into Zoom sessions, and other tools as required.
How do I know if Change School is for me?
We created Change School to serve the fast-growing group of educational leaders who have become convinced that reimagination of schools is now required, but who are unsure as to how to best lead a reimagination effort in their districts. If you are concerned about the increasing gaps between learning in school and learning and living in a complex world of accelerating change, and you have the courage and commitment to bridge those gaps over time, we urge you to join us.
How can I change my school in eight weeks?
You can’t, and that is not our intent. Change School is about building your capacity to do the long-term work of change with more focus, more depth, and more success once the workshop experience ends. (You certainly can start before the end of the workshop if you like.)
In the eight weeks you spend in Change School here’s what you will change:
- how connected you are to other educational leaders who are engaged in high-bar change from around the world.
- the way you think about learning in your classrooms and schools.
- the lens of the world through which you make decisions for your students and teachers.
- the story you tell about learning in your schools and the way you tell it.
- the way you understand and prepare for the future.
- your ability to lead your school community through a complex process of change.
- and perhaps, ever so slightly (or maybe ever so bigly), the direction of education writ large.
Any other questions? Just let us know.
Susan Rizzo, Director of Instructional Technology, Park Hill (KS) Schools