POWER ON TEXAS
We set out to make a documentary about technology integration in the classroom. We ended up fostering a movement—POWER ON TEXAS—and igniting a statewide campaign for 21st Century learning. POWER ON TEXAS is an excellent example of how in-depth research and highly engaging digital storytelling by AMS Pictures helped our partner, the Texas Education Agency, see firsthand the degree to which digital learning is transforming education in classrooms throughout Texas. With that realization came an expanded vision of what POWER ON TEXAS could be.
POWER ON TEXAS began as a professional development initiative, a way to showcase promising practices by teachers who were effectively using technology in the classroom. Early in our research we found a tremendous level of excitement and enthusiasm among teachers and administrators who had discovered the power of digital learning to engage students, elevate academic achievement and boost teacher effectiveness. The AMS Pictures and TEA project teams knew that something special was happening at schools that embrace technology integration. We soon realized that we had unearthed the beginnings of a quiet revolution in Texas education—a digital learning revolution.
Working in close collaboration with TEA, we created not only a powerful one-hour documentary, but also a website (www.powerontexas.com) that includes videos of seven featured school districts, background information on why and how each began its digital learning initiative, sample lesson plans, tips for sustaining a successful program and other helpful resource materials.
In the second year of the project, we created videos and supporting materials that explore what it takes to prepare future teachers for the 21st Century classroom. Specially created for this phase of the project is a motion graphics video entitled I Have a Question: What is 21st Century Learning? The iconic video challenges educators and all education stakeholders to look ahead, plan ahead, and help today’s students get ahead by preparing them for the jobs and challenges they face in today’s rapidly changing networked world.
To help raise awareness about POWER ON TEXAS, the AMS Pictures team also created an array of outreach strategies and tools to increase stakeholder awareness of the benefits of digital learning and encourage greater use of educational technology. Over a two-year period, the AMS team and TEA thought leaders worked side by side to spread the word about POWER ON TEXAS at major education conferences throughout the state.
Today, other organizations including the Texas Association of School Administrators, SXSWedu, National Digital Learning Day, and the Alliance for Excellence in Education, have also embraced the POWER ON TEXAS message and are helping increase awareness of the rapidly expanding digital learning revolution.