Planning For Tomorrow: Aligning Technology Initiatives is designed to help educational leaders and decision-makers wade through the complexities of effective planning. This presentation outlines a simple yet comprehensive multi-point strategy of alignment that will enable technology initiatives to become effectively linked and in tandem with instructional goals. Participants will come away from this presentation with a clear understanding of how to address standards, improve test scores, meet their curricular requirements, provide relevant staff development, and provide measurable accountability for expenditures. They’ll also ensure that students are effectively prepared with the skills and knowledge they will need to cope with the new realities of the 21st Century.
In a constantly changing world, students require a fundamentally new set of skills needed to compete in the global economy. To meet this challenge, educational leaders require a new set of competencies and abilities to address the realities of today’s digital leadership landscape. Today’s schools are continually driven by the tyranny of the urgent. As a result, school leaders constantly find themselves in reaction mode, unable to look to the future to meet the learning needs of their students beyond the curricular standards. This has occurred partly due to an increasing emphasis on accountability and high stakes testing, we tend to focus on short term goals – we focus on the now. We focus on getting our students ready for the next topic, the next test, the next term, the next level of education.
We use the test data from the previous year’s AYP to drive our instructional decisions and learning strategies for the coming year, we look at the data in order figure out how we can get our students ready to perform better on this year’s tests. Year after year, grade after grade, standards revision after standards revision, we find ourselves in a never-ending loop check last year’s test scores, adjust what we teach, how we teach it, determine which areas need more emphasis in order to prepare them for this year’s test…then we start again. But education must also be about our long-term goals, education is about more than just identifying skills and knowledge, and habits of mind beyond being able to do well on a bubble test and beyond being able to do well on a written exam. It is the 21st Century Fluencies that all of our students will need in order to be ready to succeed after they leave our schools.
So what are the 21st Century skills that our school leaders and students will need once they graduate and how do we address both the short and long terms at the same time. This workshop is about a shift in leadership – educational leadership in the Digital Age. How do we ensure that educational leaders move beyond the traditional assumptions about leadership, decision-making, collaboration, communication, professional development, teaching, learning and assessment? Participants will come away with specific, strategies for engaging educators, students, parents, and communities to transform their schools into 21st Century places of learning.
This presentation identifies why the 2 by 4 by 6 classroom (2 covers of a book, 4 walls of a classroom, 6 periods a day) is no longer enough for today’s digital learners. We can’t expect our teachers to teach 21st Century learners in 20th Century schools. It identifies how instruction must change; and makes the case for looking at new ways for students and teachers to interact. It examines new ways to re-organize the physical space of school facilities that will turn them into 21st Century learning environments that will engage the digital generations. The presentation is based on the forthcoming book Learning Without Classrooms: Moving Schools From Here To the Future.