Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Device Rollout 101: Learning from others!

This past week I had an opportunity to sit down with a group of individuals passionate about our schools and engage in a meaningful conversation.  The topic: Instructional Technology and Devices for Student Learning.  At the lead of the conversation was our Central Office Administration, led by the Superintendent, and his delegation of committee work to his Assistants and his Directors.  A key voice was from our Director of Technology.  The audience was comprised of: students (4-12), parents from various demographics, teachers, administrators and other community members.

To understand the scope of the conversation, keep in mind that teachers and administrators have been on sight visits across the Midwest to discover what works and what does not work.  Students have been a part of Advisory Groups led by one of the Assistant Superintendents and parents and community members had been brought together for multiple conversations by another Assistant Superintendent.  In essence, our bases have been covered.

This past evening was the culmination of all of that work.  Names and faces and perspectives came together in the hopes of offering and providing a direction for the district to take when it comes to the framework for Instructional Technology and the use of devices.

My take away is what I had predicted, what I had hoped.
  • Parents want our students to have the greatest advantages possible to prepare them for their child’s future, regardless of cost.
  • Students are craving and expecting more technology into their school day and a part of their learning process.
  • When it comes to the technology itself, it is not a matter of what students will end up using (BYOD, 1:1 or Hybrid), it is a matter of when.  Yesterday was too late.
  • Teachers will be expected to embrace and understand that they too are learners and that even though some may be behind the curve, the district, and even the students, will help in their grow and their understanding and implementation of technology. 
  • Our community supports our work.  Our community knows that our schools are the reason behind our enrollment and that we deliver a quality educational experience.

As a leader who embraces, encourages and expects its teachers to incorporate technology into both the instruction of their students and the communication to its community, I am appreciative of the conversation and its findings.  It is reassuring to know that our community too values the need to get the resources into the hands of our learners to prepare them for tomorrow.

The district in which I work continues to be on the forefront of implementation of best practice.  I am excited for our kids, my kids and our community.