Three Lessons from Travis Warren's UC20 Kick-Off

July 7, 2020 Trip Kucera

This morning, Blackbaud K–12 Solutions President & GM kicked off K–12 UC, the private school tech conference, with observations about the current moment for private K–12 schools and what the road ahead may hold.  

Lesson 1 – History’s Guide 

Travis shared three key dates as markers of historical backdrops to the current COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • 1908: The year the Poliovirus was identified. Polio had wide-ranging impact on the way Americans lived their lives, from fleeing cities in summer to admonishments for children to drink from water fountains or play in parks.  
  • 1945: The Battle of Britain. As Londoners took refuge from the bombing in the London Underground, teachers demonstrated that quintessential “Carry On” resilience by conducting lessons in the midst of the chaos.
  • 1969: Social unrest and technological progress. Protesters marched while the US witnessed the remarkable technological milestone of landing a man on the moon.  

Lesson 2 – “When technology becomes boring” 

Travis shared a quote from Clay Shirky (from UC 2009!): "When technology becomes boring, it becomes socially interesting,” observing that the ubiquity of internet, mobile devices, webcams, etc., along with the near limitless scalability of the cloud, allowed schools to rapidly transition to distance learning this spring.   

Lesson 3 – Schools already on a “war footing” 

Finally, Travis observed that private K–12 schools have really been grappling with and overcoming challenges for quite some time. With long term enrollment projected to decline, schools have invested in delivering an exceptional digital, parent-first experience, focused on their core value proposition and “job to be done” and turned to data-driven insights to help guide strategic decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic may accelerate some of these trends, but many schools have been preparing for a crisis like this for years.  

Missed Travis’ opening remarks? Tune into the replay here.

About the Author

Trip Kucera

Trip is the director of marketing for Blackbaud K–12 solutions where he combines a love of learning with a passion for technology marketing.

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