The Stage is Set for Learning Transformation

Transforming schools to meet the needs of today’s learners is challenging, yet rewarding work. It requires a mind shift from traditional thinking about when, where, and how students learn. Such transformation also demands new levels of collaboration with parents, community, higher education, business and industry partners to create authentic learning experiences for students and the educators who guide them.

The work of transforming learning begins by shaping a crystal clear vision of the possibilities and the conditions necessary to move from vision to reality. A tenet of Michigan’s Top 10 in Ten Years provides the rationale:

No matter where students live, they should have access to the same high-quality educational opportunities as any other student in Michigan. Likewise, teachers across the state should have equitable opportunities to learn and excel in their profession no matter where they live and teach.

Michigan must ensure that each and every child can read and do math, be a creative thinker and problem-solver, and be an informed, open-minded and engaged citizen in our society (Goals and Strategies, 2016).

Toward this end, MI Roadmap, Michigan’s educational technology plan, directs resources and efforts. The defined goals support development of a new model of learning ecosystem with opportunities for students to master competencies gained both in and outside of the traditional school classroom. It creates conditions for students to engage in deep learning, and follow individualized pathways to learn 21st century skills that equip them for career and college readiness (Figure 1):

  • use technology and tools strategically in learning and communicating;
  • use argument and reasoning to do research to construct arguments and critique the reasoning of others;
  • communicate and collaborate effectively with a variety of audiences; and
  • solve problems, construct explanations and design solutions.

Michigan Department of Education (2016).
Career & College Ready Michigan

Framed upon this foundation, the overarching vision is to support schools in graduating students who have personalized plans aligning their talents, skills, and interests with a viable career pathway leading to deep learning, active citizenship, and success in life.