Last week I was honored to be able to attend the Future Ready Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. The summit was available to all school districts in which the superintendent had signed the Future Ready Pledge. The Future Ready Pledge recognizes the importance of building human capacity within schools and districts for effectively using increased connectivity and new devices to transform teaching and learning. The Future Ready Summit allowed our team time to hear from other school districts and other EdTech leaders in the region.
So what does Future Ready mean? Future Ready means 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.