Full PDF of the entire Tech Plan will be out shortly with updates from those who left comments and made me think!
In the 21st Century, schools need to support locally but think globally. School’s must have a local infrastructure that supports learning but that allows students and teachers to learn and interact globally. Technology plans of the 21st Century must focus on student learning and continue to ask the questions “What do students need to learn and what skills do they need to accomplish that learning objective?”
If schools can embrace the changes of the 21st Century: The skills, learning theories, and literacies students need to be successful, then creating a system that supports learning in this new digital age should be a top priority.
A 21st Century Tech Plan looks to bring people and resources together. A system that allows all school stake holders to log on through a single system and access the information they need when they need it. It should allow stake holders to communicate more efficiently. By creating a network of users you allow them to connect to each other, forming relationships that are natural to student’s today.
Schools must embrace the changes that the digital age has brought. Schools must understand that by not creating a digital landscape for our learners that we alienate them and miss opportunities to engage them in the learning process.
No tech plan is easy to implement. Technology is a moving target. A multi year tech plan is really a year to year tech plan with a guide to the direction the school wants to go. This is why it is critical to meet the needs of the school today with an eye on tomorrow. A tech plan must be fluid, it must be adaptable. In the digital age one skill that we must teach our students is to learn, unlearn and relearn information as it changes. The same is true with a tech plan. Build it, Evaluate it, Revise it on a yearly basis. Good schools in the 21st Century always have a three year tech plan because they are constantly changing their end goals based on new emerging technologies. To say the programs that I have mentioned in this document are what a school should do would be absurd. They are merely examples of programs that are available to schools today for little or no cost that allow them to create a digital landscape ripe for learning, interacting, connecting, and conversing.
The first step is to understand that when you put students at the center of your technology plan that teaching and learning change. With an infrastructure and support model in place, and an implementation process that brings the school along in a vertical fashion so that all pieces of the plan are adequately supported, schools can change. Teaching and learning can and will change.
We are living in rapidly changing times. Our world continues to flatten and become more connected. Our students today already live and learn in this globally connected world. It is our responsibly as educators to prepare them for that connected future. In order for that to happen we must engage students in their learning spaces. A 21st Century Technology Plan puts in place a system that allows teachers to teach successfully and allows students to engage in the learning process. Only then can we continue to move forward with society into a globally connected digital future.