Today the president will host an event at the White House with school district leaders and other educational leaders. Though full details about today’s event have not yet been released, the message is clear; emerging technology is a key part of our educational landscape and the innovative use of such resources is an obligation (albeit an exciting one) that we are embracing collectively. Granted it’s a broad continuum but indeed it’s an exciting time to be an educator. The focus on personalized and passion-based learning benefits all learners–including our experienced lead learners–and the resources to support innovative implementations and exploration provides us with an unparalleled opportunity. The pledge spells out specific commitments that superintendents, teachers, administrators, parents, and students can sign and articulate to others.
Professional development is one of the seven items in the pledge, and by including it the president has underscored its value and necessity.
Future Ready districts strive to provide everyone with access to personalized learning opportunities and instructional experts that give teachers and leaders the individual support they need, when they need it. Future Ready districts provide tools to help teachers effectively leverage learning data to make better instructional decisions.
As we continue our work, it’s clear that emerging technologies is a misnomer, as many of these have matured in a short time frame. Google Apps for Education has become a standard for many districts (in fact, a Google form is the medium for signing the pledge), opening collaborative projects in ways that were previously impossible. Google’s commitment to offering the platform at no cost benefits us all (though they are “free like a puppy”). Other movement in this space was shared at this week’s Open edX conference hosted at Harvard University, with more than 160 programmers, administrators, and educational leaders participating in conversations regarding the global impact of this technology platform. Its open source nature parallels the collaborative learning and creation we are encouraging in our schools.
We are experiencing a perfect storm. Hang on tightly and contribute to the journey!