Sunday, February 15, 2015

Research and Development in Schools?

I've written in the past about how, starting in 2011, ASB has "superstructed".  This was not a term I'd heard before I came to ASB, but it is based on the ideas of Jane McGonigal for reorganizing systems and structures by building on the foundations that already exist. At ASB, the first thing to be superstructed was the teaming structure, where two new teams were established: Teaching and Learning (T&L) and Research and Development (R&D). The teams are open to those who are interested and many teachers volunteer to be on them. 

The T&L team's role is to make end results happen now, while the R&D team is looking ahead of the curve at what is possible or what could make a difference to education in the future. The T&L team set up different task forces to look at current issues such as 21st century skills, high student achievement, assessment, differentiation and so on - these are the things that ASB has to implement now as they impact on the teaching and learning of today's students. The R&D core team set up other task forces to look at project based learning, multi-age classrooms, online/blended learning, BYOD, games based learning, green education. mobile devices internship, news forms of PD, recruitment and so on.  ASB prototyped a number of these - and since 2011 many of these have in fact been implemented. 

In addition to this ASB has its own R&D Department, known as Re.D Studio.  The Research and Development Department explores, studies, prototypes, researches, and scales new teaching and learning approaches, practices, and systems that advance relevant learning in an accelerating change environment.  Re.D Studio is a sandbox space for creating perpetual beta prototypes that have been researched and developed through an action research process.

Last week 3 members of ASB's leadership made a presentation about the important of innovation to more than a hundred heads of top international schools.  I was really interested to read that the feedback from these indicates that there may well be an R&D movement in international schools in the coming years.  The video below is one that was used at the presentation.  It highlights some of the R&D initiatives that have impacted student learning at ASB in recent years, including Maker, TRAI (Technology, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence), Intersessions and Studios.

To find out more about ASB's R&D, including links to Facebook, Twitter, the Findings blog, Re.D Studio and MakerMinds please click here.

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