As our school district is entering into the rebranding and strategic planning initiatives, I thought it would be a proper exercise to determine what the future should look like of technology in Pickerington. So what does (or should) the future of instructional technology look like.
To start this process out, I needed a catch phrase or something that we can hold onto throughout this process. My motto for this year (and the next few years) is Future Ready. Future Ready is task started by the federal EdTech office to provide equitable access to technology to all students in the United States. This process though needs to go further and truly show the power of fully embedded technology into the hands of our students and teachers.
So what does Future Ready mean? Future Ready meanings more then just the devices or how many devices you have. Future Ready is about altering the teaching and learning that goes in our schools to ultimately improve student achievement and student growth. Future Ready is making everyday a digital learning day, not just some random day that the teacher signs out the computer lab or cart of iPads. It is determining what the student needs to learn, and using the device in powerful ways to create brilliant lessons that will have the impact that is needed. Future Ready is a change in culture and mindset. Teachers and students should have the ability to use technology without the fear of failure and take a risk. Leadership needs to allow that to happen without punishment. Failure is going to happen with technology, it is all about how you handle those little bumps in the road and learn from them that is important. Future Ready is also about making connections through technology. The connections that are built will be stronger then any curriculum or lesson ever created. You will learn more then ever by the increased connections that technology can bring. Through Twitter teachers and students can have access to top level professionals and colleagues to help create wonderful things. Gone are the days of teachers alone on islands, social media has brought everyone closer and increased our resources. Future Ready is not about learning how to use one or two specific pieces of technology or software, but it is about the skills learned through that piece of technology. The problem solving, critical thinking and reading are truly the important things learned.
So what does this mean for the school district? Are we on the path to be Future Ready? Will we ever truly get there? What needs to change? What support systems are needed? How will it change traditional education?
“We are not preparing students for the future, we are preparing them for THEIR future. A future that most of the adults making the decisions will never see.