Why it’s critical for institutions to get away from the “just a project” mentality

In his interview with Dan Greenstein, director postsecondary success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Green delves into how education can successful transition from pilot and small programs and projects to large-scale implementations. He also asks Greenstein what makes some projects successful and sustainable versus those that don’t make it past a year or two.

“What we’ve found in working with institutions that are at-scale with innovative and successful programs is that those who find the most success are those that realize these aren’t ‘projects,’ but critical components to the institution’s and students’ success—the ‘project’ or ‘projects’ aren’t one-offs or scattered pieces outside of a whole, but rather part of the overall strategic institutional objective to improve outcomes and retention,” said Greenstein. “We’ve also noticed that institutions that have been trying to implement innovation for 5 to 10 years have staff at the ground-level speak in terms leadership often uses; and that’s a great indicator of sustainability and a deep infrastructure in place for innovation-based successes.”

 

The role of today’s conference as a catalyst for innovation

Ron Reed, founder of SXSWEDU, says most of SXSWEDU’s success comes from the ability to converge a diverse audience that’s passionate about teaching and learning.

“SXSW is about creativity, innovation and cultural drivers. SXSWEDU just completed its sixth event and we aspire to be an international convergence zone of those passionate about teaching and learning, both in K-12 and higher education. The more diverse the community we convene, the more impactful the conversations.”

Green also asks Reed some audience questions, including “what’s a ‘big wow’ you’ve witnessed during SXSW events?” And though there are some big names Reed could drop, it’s an organization’s name that has exploded within educational technology that he says he’s most excited to discuss, thanks to its recent traction in the education realm.

 

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury is the Managing Editor of eCampus News, and was formerly the Associate Editor of eSchool News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated cum laude from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.