When I read this local district’s vision I immediately thought of School 2.0. First, this vision was created for and by the entire school community. That is the entire community, faculty, students, parents, administration, local organinzations like the Chamber of Commerce, local experts from local universities and businesses totalling over 500 people.
This community sought answers to the following questions:
- What should our schools look like in 2020?
- What do students do in those schools?
- What do teachers do in those schools?
- What do we need to do now to get there?
The central themes of this vision, Safe, Healthy Environments; Strong Starts; Global Perspectives; Active and Engaged Learning; Effective Communication; Individual Flexibility; Collaborative Work; and Real World Applications, describe an environment each of us would love to work in.
A few of the areas really resonated with me, such as how they will teach foreign language, “Asian as well as Euro-centric languages, history, arts and culture” in elementary school. The vision of Global Perspective proclaims:
We will make use of the resources of our community as a microcosm of the globe and offer students exposure to the many varied cultures with which they likely will interact in the course of their lifetimes.
The part that really caught my attention was the Effective Communication theme:
The world is our classroom in 2020, and technology helps make that so. Students are no longer bound by location or time; knowledge is transmitted instantaneously, as are learning resources and opportunities. Teachers, students and their parents will use technology seamlessly in communicating expectations, strategies, performance, and assessment. Teacher lessons, units and instructional resources will be digital, web-based, and available asynchronously to students and parents throughout the school year and beyond. Computers, Smartboards (TM), media storage and projection, email, blogs, podcasts, and other means of utilizing technology as a tool for inquiry, storage, exposition, and reporting will be the commonplace elements of communication between the teacher, the learner and the learner’s support network.
Finally, I think that a district willing to address questions it may not be able to answer by itself is an indication that a shift IS happening. One quote, “Transparency in expectations and acheivement will be commonplace“, proves true as the district is posts updates on progress on the web. This district is a local district for my organization so I’m excited to learn more about their vision and the plans that they have for the future. Not to mention some of the cool projects in which I might help.
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