Cajon Valley Union School District of California, a member of the National Network, is on a mission to realign public education to meet the demands of life after graduation. They accomplish this by providing each child with a full understanding of the World of Work so that they are equipped to make career choices that reflect their strengths, interests, and values. At the heart of their efforts is a cohesive, district-wide vision: happy kids engaged in meaningful relationships on a path to gainful employment.
Recently, Cajon Valley connected with two other school districts within the Modern Teacher National Network, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Fraser Public Schools. On-site visits were scheduled to learn more about the work within each district’s schools and communities. The Cajon Valley team, made up of educators, administrators, board members, business partners, and community members, embarked on a journey to further inspire the growth of their vision of The World of Work, modern learning, and what this might look like within the classrooms and community of Cajon Valley. The Cajon Valley EduTour began with NCDC18, the inaugural conference hosted by the National Council on Digital Convergence. An understanding of Digital Convergence and innovative Keynote sessions and conference sessions laid the ground work for a deeper understanding of the road ahead.
The second stop was Baltimore County Public Schools, (BCPS). Nick Schiner of BCPS hosted the Cajon Valley educators on a Maker-Space tour of the city. The Maker Space progression included a trip to The Digital Harbor Foundation, a youth maker space utilized within BCPS, OpenWorks, a community Maker-Space, and The Foundry, an Industrial Maker Space. The last stop was to City Garage, located right next door to the Foundry. City Garage is a dynamic workplace that enriches Baltimore's manufacturing heritage and cultivates the talent of local artisans and creative entrepreneurs. City Garage's nearby access to The Foundry allows these entrepreneurs access to costly machinery. These types of spaces allow for individuals of all shapes and sizes to grow their strengths, interests, and values, a concept the team from Cajon Valley is very interested in further developing. This type of spirit gets kids excited about future opportunities inside of the World of Work and also serves to connect the community of Cajon Valley with the school district that serves them.
The last stop on the tour was Fraser Public Schools of Michigan, most recently recognized for reaching Stage 5 in the Digital Convergence Framework. In Fraser, students are becoming increasingly more motivated to take ownership of their learning, and teachers district-wide are afforded the flexibility, know-how, and resources to personalize learning for their students.
The Fraser visit began with an overview of how Fraser approached the work of Digital Convergence and included a walking tour of Success Indicator evidence. Work products and photographs related to milestone Success Indicators were posted throughout the room and the group had to opportunity to engage with district staff who were leading the work.
We then had the opportunity to tour a Middle School or Elementary School, were served a delicious lunch prepared by Fraser high school students, and concluded with a High School tour. The high school classrooms we visited incorporated both innovative classroom teaching practices that reflected the district's realized culture of Time, Pace, Path, and Place Learning at scale and Fraser's version of Maker-Spaces.
Modern Teacher's National Network represents the individual collective work of Digital Convergence across the country to give innovative educational leaders the united voice needed to move K-12 education into the future. The National Network is designed to create a forum for community, collaboration, and consensus as districts navigate the transition to modern learning facing common goals and challenges. Through Modern Teacher's online platform, districts can access useful information about other members, such as their location and helpful demographic information, Digital Convergence Framework Stage, Success Indicator completion and activity, Professional Learning progress, and Key Strategic Milestones. Drawing from these diverse experiences and Stages in the Framework creates traction and builds momentum to transition the traditional classroom to modern learning environments at scale.
Are you taking advantage of the resources available within the National Network? A good place to start is by visiting the National Network Page within the Modern Teacher platform. You can find the link under the Digital Convergence tab. Take some time to explore other districts also undergoing the challenging work of Digital Convergence and begin connecting them. Your Strategy Officers can offer assistance as you begin to explore the many available possibilities.