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"I'm From the Education Department and Am Here to Help" and other bedtime stories: A conversation about how to make and influence policy with some who do.

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon15

Session One: Saturday 10:00am–11:30am
Room Drama Studio
Jonathan Becker, Julia Fallon, Cathy Higgins, Doug Levin
Affiliation: Virginia Commonwealth University (Becker), Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, EdTech (Fallon), New Hampshire Department of Education, EdTech (Higgins), State Educational Technology Directors Association (Levin)
Conversational Focus/Audience:
All School Levels
Conversation Description:

Education policy doesn't happen overnight or in a vacuum. Many people and things (e.g. time, money, social trends) influence what form policies take and how they are made. Because policy development is often neither fun or sexy, folks forget that everyone has a stake in the process. But at the end of the day, policy can have a huge impact on what we do everyday in our classrooms and workplaces. And the kicker? It's not always good policy. That said, how do we become better educational advocates and help policy makers make less bad policy? How do you decide what hill are you going to die on and what you willing to compromise to move an agenda or message forward?

Jon, Julia, Cathy and Doug are very familiar with the education policy development process and all the layers involved (sometimes against their better judgement). Jon and Doug will introduce a "case" (i.e., technology literacy for 8th grade students) and give it some policy context. Julia and Cathy will trace the path the policy took when it was implemented at the state level in both Washington and New Hampshire. We'll play some games so folks can try on different policy maker hats and brainstorm ideas to encourage educational activism (e.g., creating networks of people and organizations) at the local, regional, state and federal levels.

Conversational Practice:
After dissecting a policy "case," we'll play some policy development games with folks breaking into small groups. They'll then have to make decisions serially (i.e., one group will make some key decisions and then the next group will have to take that decision and act upon it.. and so on) until we peel back the layers of the policy onion. Together we'll also build a GDoc page with ideas and links for those interested in EdTech-specific advocacy.


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