What if we used a Management By Solutions approach to solve education related issues?
Would it work?
You’d be surprised at how easy the process can be from start to finish.
COVID continues to wreak havoc on the world, especially for providing answers for implementing distance learning.
Teachers want to return to their classroom; parents wish their work routines were back in place, and children want to be with their friends.
All of us have the same goal, but our viewpoints can become detached.
We all must be prepared for every scenario possible for whatever the future holds.
Regardless of our perspectives, everyone must have a unified belief where all decisions are made in the best interest of the staff and students.
This goal makes it particularly challenging to make the best decisions when so many compounding variables determine the result.
Questions like “if a person is suspected of having caught the virus, will the individual just be quarantined, or will others have to be quarantined?”
Decisions will not be easy.
So there has to be an approach to making the best decision. A process that makes it easier to come to a consensus with all the details laid out on the table.
It’s here where I discovered Dr. Kuttan’s Management By Systems (MBS). The philanthropist and National Education Founder (NEF) Founder uses a simple approach to tackle difficult tasks.
The father of Cyberlearning has even created the National Education Foundation University, where it has over 8,000 courses for any K-12 to learn almost any topic. (Side note – contact me if you have questions about these courses. They are amazing!)
While thinking about the Distance Learning dilemma over the summer, I used the MBS approach to gain better insight.
In this example, I picked out one problem with distance learning.
8 Steps to Apply MBS
1. Clearly define the vision.
We want all students and staff members to conduct the school safely and in an orderly fashion where teaching and learning can be enhanced regardless of location.
To make this goal become a reality, all children must connect to their classes at home.
2. Map existing resources.
All available resources within your reach or the network must be identified.
· Who and what can we utilize that is not with our district’s resources to make any learning format readily accessible?
3. Assess additional resources needed to achieve the goals.
Consider what’s missing in the resources that must be added to help bridge the impossible to possible.
· Does the district need more equipment? Is there enough bandwidth for connectivity?
· How can all children receive the technology and Wi-Fi needed to conduct their work?
· Can our city collaborate on this project so city employees or even workers at local companies can e-commute?
4. Develop creative solutions.
Here’s where one gets to think of the impossible solutions and list them out—a chance to dream in a situation that otherwise may not occur.
I recommend using data to see specific places identified as weaknesses and use those points to create unique solutions.
With the digital divide for students with Internet capability and those who do not have access, consider a way to add hot-spots to areas within the district so children can log in to their classrooms.
Here’s a perfect example. I read one place using school buses as mobile hot spots. They configured the bus to be a portable server and have significantly increased the number of students connected.
5. Prioritizing the solutions.
Just as easy as it sounds, list them out.
· Identify the neighborhoods with the most significant disparity of connectivity issues.
· Determine the signal strength and pilot the device on a bus.
· Gather data and feedback.
· Reconfigure to maximize.
· Now assess how many buses will be needed and how many devices will be needed.
· Assemble the process to implement.
· Inform the public, help them understand the importance of this initiative and the next steps.
o Ask for assistance from the community to help monitor, provide suggestions.
· Deploy the buses.
6. Develop a launch plan.
Take the steps from prioritizing the solutions and add a timeline to them.
Include which teams and personnel are individually responsible for all action items.
Please take a moment to celebrate, as it is a great time to recognize others for their contributions and dedication to the project.
8. Monitor and adjust.
Take data from every aspect possible. From student, teacher, and parent survey, gather as much data as feasible.
Consider looking at the bandwidth at certain times of the day and how many students still can’t connect even with laptops.
With the teams responsible for developing and deploying the mobile buses, share the data with them. Invite solutions for better performance and ways to reduce costs while maintaining the capacity desired, possibly.
The Driving Force behind MBS
It’s the people and the imagination that turn multifaceted tasks into achievable solutions.
With our children, failure is not an option. We must strive with every resource available to give them the best chance at learning.
That’s how we should roll or should I say, make the wheels on the bus goes round and round.
Do you have a complicated issue surrounding distance learning?
Are you stuck and can’t seem to find any reasonable answers?
Let’s work on it together! Contact me for a free consult call, and let’s get started.
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