Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Time is Now.


With three full months of school left, there is plenty to be accomplished in this academic year. Teachers are providing lessons full of passion, students are gaining knowledge by the moment and the school community is thriving to the fullest. There is much yet to be done.

The reality is though that for many of us the current school year is winding down faster than the calendar suggests. As difficult as this sounds, many of us in administration are already in the planning stage of the school year that awaits. Staffing, budgeting, scheduling and more has become our focus. The 2015/2016 school year will be upon us before we know it.

The time is now.

To start next year, after an in-depth technology task force completed hours of work and reported their findings to the school district and community, our middle grade students (6th through 8th) will all start the year with Ipad mini's in their possession.  We will roll out 3600 devices in a district of 16,000 students. This is no small feat. And, for those that have already participated in something like this before, you know there is work to be done.

The time is now.

As we close in on Digital Learning Day on March 13th, there is a level of anticipation like never before. Our teachers and our students are preparing for what lies ahead. Our district is blessed that we have embraced technology integration over the years in our buildings. Each school and each teacher is incorporating the Blended Learning mindset and creating a culture that supports an online component. We have been planning, we will be ready.

The time is now.

While many of our teacher have been using Ipads over the past few years, some staff are less familiar with the opportunities that await them. Therefore, to ensure a level of readiness, my staff is doing the following as we close out this school year to prepare for next:

- Familiarizing themselves with the Ipad and it's potential with instruction.
- Discovering apps and programs to implement into learning.
- Exploring the device and it's various forms to interact with students and parents.
- Connecting globally with educators to hear of successes and failures.
- Collaborating with colleagues within the building and district to discover its layers.
- Risk taking and allowing themselves to fall forward with trial and error in the infancy stages.
- Supporting one another on this journey of teaching and learning.

As educators, we realize that in order to be ready for what lies ahead, we must plan ahead. The time is now. Each day is a celebration of our successes. Let's be ready for tomorrow and be ready to support this next layer on our professional academic journey.