During this next year, MACUL will be seeing a big change in the way we function and interact with our membership. Our goal is to increase our connections with our members, along with additional professional learning opportunities. At the same time, we promise not to diminish d the outstanding MACUL Conference you’ve all come to expect from us every year.
I want to thank the Special Interest Group Leadership Teams for the service they have provided to MACUL for nearly 20 years. MACUL is a stronger organization thanks to their participation. However, the evolving educational landscape in Michigan has led us to structurally change our organization moving forward. After this year MACUL will no longer have Special Interest Groups.
The main focus of our SIGs has always been to run our Pre-Conference workshops. We have worked to try to change our current structure to increase the impact of SIGs beyond the conference. Unfortunately our current structure, not the people, but the design of the structure has hindered this reality.
The Board will be reframing their work into four Learning Areas. Board Members will be joined by other MACUL members to chart the course of work for each of these Learning Areas. This course of work will change yearly in response to our membership’s need and the changing landscape of education in Michigan. By design, Learning Area Teams will work to provide not only Conference workshops, but other events throughout the year as well.
Learning Area teams will have a set, predictable budget every year. This will make it possible to plan and run events throughout the year for MACUL members. These may include stand alone full/half day workshops, workshops at other conferences, virtual events, or a combination of these. They will also find, provide, or commission more content for the MACUL Community.
MACUL members may self identify more strongly with one Learning Area than another. However, members will not join a Learning Area as they joined SIGs. The board found the previous structure had created competition within the organization and inhibited organizational collaboration.
The four Learning Areas:
• Technology Leadership – Tech Directors, Ed Tech Coaches, Education Leaders responsible for Technology Integration
• Technology in Education – Integrating Educational technology in all areas of education, Advocacy opportunities, Coalition/Collaborations for Statewide work
• Technology for All Learners – Focus is on inclusion, equity, meaningful access to technology-based resources, UDL, accessibility, ADA compliance, broadband for HW Gap and the digital divide
• Technology for Tomorrow – What’s hot right now or on the verge of being hot? MakerEd, VR/AR, CS and Computational Thinking, AI, STEM
The Learning Area teams will each be composed of current MACUL Board members and 2-3 MACUL Delegates drawn from MACUL members who have an expertise and passion for technology’s role in supporting and improving education in Michigan.
If you’re interested in serving in this role the Learning Area page will tell you about the time commitment we’re asking for and responsibilities of MACUL Delegates. As a part of the application process, we will ask you to tell us a little bit about why you feel called to serve and what you hope your participation can bring to MACUL. You’ll attach your responses to the application form that you can find our Learning Area page. Applications are due by noon on April 22nd.
We are excited about the change and know it will bring a fresh energy to MACUL. Our Delegates will be working with the Board at the May Leadership Retreat to fully flesh out the Learning Area missions and goals for the year. Keep an eye on the MACUL Community for more news related to this exciting new initiative.