Building an IT Plan and a 21st Century Learning Environment

Let’s say that your school board has created a new vision that states:

By 2012, (your school) will be recognized as a leading international school in Asia and the world by providing a rich cultural and social learning environment for families who seek an exemplary core American educational program. (Your school) will prepare each child for academic and personal success in higher education and life in a global society.
To accomplish this vision, (your school) will:

The vision then goes on to list the core values that the school will focus on to make this happen. One of them being:

Use technology in innovative and authentic ways to enhance learning and communication.

You then form a task force to put this plan into action. Now pretend that you had unlimited resources and the full backing from your School Board, your Superintendent and everyone else on the Administrative team. What would this school look like in 2012? What would this school need to be thinking about now to head it in a direction that in 2012 it could be considered one of the best schools?

There is a line in the epic 2015 video that I love to show that says “2004 will be remembered as the year everything changed.”

Could you create or make change in 2006 so that it could be called “The year to remember”?

What would you do? Where would you put your money? Where would you put your support? All exciting questions with 100 different possibilities.

In my mind I’m thinking flexibility. The system needs to remain flexible so that we can change and evolve as the technology does. To be able to adapt to an unstable environment. Be able to grow with technology and not fight against it.

Next it needs to be supportive. Educators should have support both from the IT department and from the Educational Technology side.

The IT Dept. needs to have knowledgeable people willing and able to fix printers within the hour, to back up systems nightly. To have extra parts laying around so that replacement of printers, mice, keyboards, and computers is easy and seamless. To have a robust network with enough hard drive space to not have to worry about limiting users. To keep systems updates and continually looking for new ways to make classroom use easier and more efficient.

On the educational side there should be Information Specialists that roam the schools helping teachers teach information literacy skills, helping to brainstorm lessons and using tools in new and innovative ways. These Information Specialists would have specialties of there own be it Video editing, Web tools, Publishing Software, Networking, etc. They would not be tied to one school but would use their skills where needed depending on the teachers needs. They would float between all grade levels K-12 working with teachers where their particular skills were needed. Teach lessons if need be or teach skills that are needed to complete a project. I see a support system forming like the one below:

Support Plan

What do you think, what am I missing?

[tags]21st Century Learning[t/tags]