Jennifer Groff is an educational engineer, designer, and researcher, whose work focuses on redesigning learning environments and experiences through educational innovations and technologies. Currently, she is a PhD Candidate at the MIT Media Lab, and is the co-founder of the international NGO, Center for Curriculum Redesign. Previously, she was the technology SME (Subject-Matter Expert) on the OECD Innovative Learning Environments project, and a US-UK Fulbright Scholar at Futurelab Education, UK, where she continued her work on system innovation. Previously, Jen was the VP of Learning & Program Development for the Learning Games Network—a non-profit spin-off from the MIT Education Arcade, where she led the development of assessment-based game design and the national Playful Learning movement. A former K-12 educator, named one of 12 Microsoft Innovative Teacher Leaders in 2005, she is the author of numerous frameworks on innovation in education systems, transformation, and design over educational reform—including the i5 framework and the ‘whole-mindedness’ pedagogical approach.
In this interview, part of the Lead the Change Series of the American Educational Research Association Educational Change Special Interest Group, Groff talks about her work in technology and schooling. As she puts it:
For far too long we’ve drilled down into the data and science of education, at the cost of the larger vision of the ship and course we are sailing on. You might visit a school seeing significant gains in literacy achievement, yet learners there are developing very little in
other critical competencies such as critical thinking, design thinking, systems thinking, and collaborative problem- solving. Yet perhaps even more importantly, are the learners in that school passionate? Excited about their learning? Able to articulate why they’re learning what they are, and how they intend to apply it in their lives?
This Lead the Change interview appears as part of a series that features experts from around the globe, highlights promising research and practice, and offers expert insight on small- and large-scale educational change. Recently Lead the Change has also interviewed Mel Ainscow and Charlene Tan.