This was the final week of our group project, working through the design thinking process to solve the question: How can we, as a school, use restorative justice with technology to develop a strong and supportive culture that leads students with positivity and reinforcement? We spent time discussing what success looks like, in a asynchronous setting. Our group has made great strides with our project using digital communication tools, with a heavy use of Google Docs. We have been able to communicate and collaborate through our busy year-end schedules. Where scheduling meetings may be difficult for some groups, we have been able to use technology to work together to answer our question.
This was a tough week for collaboration, simply because we are all on different schedules. For me, I spend most of the week working on three (3) Local Control Accountability Plans, wrapping up a school-year, and planning for a board Public Hearing and board Annual Meeting. We also finished our draft operating budget, held a Finance Committee meeting, and a Personnel Committee meeting (which consisted of my annual performance review), all while thinking in the back of my head, group project and EDL Exit Exam, AND ... AVID Summer Institute. However, using the tools we have I believe I have been an active participant with my group and contributed to the overall success of our project this semester.
This week has been an important reminder for me on how important collaboration and communication is. Schedules become tough to navigate, but with a variety of digital tools, you can still involve various individuals to serve on different committees, teams. Not only did that happen with this group project, but our LCAPs for Compass Charter Schools. We utilized Workplace by Facebook and Google Docs to finalize our three (3) plans this week. A tall order, with the end of our Track C the same week, and the last day for most of our staff being next Friday, June 30. We were able to manage, though, and create a great plan because of collaboration and the use of these different tools. No voice was turned away because of a lack of time.
Process is everything. There has to be one, with a goal in mind, a mind that the goal could change based on research, feedback, testing and the like. But that is what design thinking is all about - ensuring the best possible solution at the end, because time was taken to ensure all voices were heard, seen, and heard again. This has been an important lesson as I continue to lead Compass Charter Schools and strive to create an inclusive, collaborative community where everyone is a leader, and whose voice matters.
J.J. Lewis - a blog sharing the journey throughout SDSU's MA.EL. program.