Saturday, December 08, 2007

Planning the School of Today (and Tomorrow)

One of my new charges is to facilitate, through the district instructional technology committee, the creation of a recommendation for bringing our schools and classrooms into the 21st century. What hardware, software, and web access do our teachers need in order to prepare students to be responsible citizens in the world today (and tomorrow)? What are the similarities and differences in the needs of K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 educators and students?

Along the way, we will also need to discuss professional development, and I would like to see a mix of formal and informal opportunities. Since so much of web 2.0 is about literacy and learning, shouldn't teachers be allowed to get professional development credit for creating and engaging in their own personal learning environments?

What is your district doing? Is there a plan, a systematic approach, to developing the integration of technology into all classrooms across the district? How is PD handled? Are teachers provided a way of getting credit for their own, informal, explorations of technology?


Scott S. Floyd said...

Have you tried

Matt said...

I have been looking at that site, and it is certainly a good starting point. I'm curious to find examples of other districts actively trying to make these changes happen, especially in the professional development arena. Otherwise, technology is just so many toys on a shelf.

Scott S. Floyd said...

I have to say we are trying to do many innovative things in our district, but to say there is a plan in place is a stretch. My position this year (moving from the classroom after a decade) is as instructional technologist. It is a new one for us, but it is an investment in our superintendent's vision. Our plan will be clearer next year after having done this for a full year by then. Until then, we will keep working with teachers who are interested and offering solutions via technology where we can. We have added a podcast server, linux server to host WordPress blogs, a DimDim virtual meeting server, and tons of other ideas int he works. We have written grants that would infuse the science and math curriculum with technology to help gather data outdoors and then to help process the data once back in the classroom. We have used our virtual meeting space with a homebound student for the past few weeks which has gotten the attention of several surrounding school districts.

Again, though, we are taking shots at a very large target. Next year we hope to narrow the vision to make the best possible changes for the largest number of students. Thanks for beginning the conversation.