Rapid Prototyping and Analytical Tools Drive NAIS Conference Buzz

National Association of Independent Schools
Image: nais.org

A respected Boston professional, Dr. Ari Betof (EdD) serves as founder and president of Organizational Sustainability Consulting and works closely with senior executives at nonprofits. In his article “Three organizational sustainability takeaways from NAIS Annual Conference 2019,” Dr. Ari Betof brought focus to his experience in Long Beach at the flagship event of the National Association of Independent Schools.

One current buzzword is “rapid prototyping,” a concept most commonly associated with 3D printing and the efficient creation of scale models of physical objects. The use within an NAIS context involves incorporating flexibility and speed into program development and organizational design.

One “large-scale paradigm shifting initiative” incorporating this approach is the Mastery Transcript Consortium, which brings together high schools in creating school transcripts that better reflect each learner’s specific strengths, skills, and interests.

Another take home was that, while data analytics-driven initiatives and tools are coming online such as DASL Databook and Marketview, many schools do not have the capacity to make best use of their insights. The ability to make data-informed, mission-driven decisions is only possible if school leaders can access platforms and if the underlying data is sound. This is not yet possible for a number of smaller and under-resourced institutions.

Fortunately, designers are making efforts to create products that better meet the needs of end-users. At the same time, associations such as NAIS are creating a sense of common purpose that enables smaller schools to catch up.

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