Tech, Teaching and Me

Trying to turn off my brain by writing it down

Vision for the Future

on March 28, 2012

Recently the Master Curriculum Council for our Diocese of Richmond revised our Technology Standards. I am fortunate enough to be Co-Chair of this council and was a very active part in the revision. Our previous standards were written in 2007 and were very cutting edge at the time. They were in place for 5 years. In technology time, 5 years is like dog years….a lifetime!

The previous standards, that are still in place for this school year have references to floppy discs and dot matrix printers. Can you program a VCR? The previous committee had created a wonderful set of standards for the time. It was impossible for them to see into the future and create a set of standards that would still be effective, technologically speaking, five years into the future. This committee learned from that and adjusted. We put into place the NSTE standards and have put in place a yearly revision to create a living document. This document can and will be updated and edited on a yearly basis to reflect current programs, applications.

Our previous standards were very teacher driven. Can the teacher do this? Does the teacher know that? Again, we learned from those standards and in conjunction with the NSTE standards, our new standards for the Diocese and my school going forward are very student driven. Our new standards are focused and centered around students and their accomplishments.

The teacher no longer needs to be the only expert in the room, the era of the “sage on the stage” is fading. Students learn from other students, teachers learn from other teachers and teachers and students learn from each other. This learning is not confined to the classroom walls, either. Collaboration and learning among schools and classes across state lines and oceans is happening in my school and in my Diocese.

In the first minute of the above video, the frightening statistic is stated; “The US Department of Commerce ranked 55 industries in technology intensiveness. Education was ranked #55, below coal mining.” What a startling statistic! Our vision here at my school and our Diocese is to increase that ranking. To create an environment of collaboration, engagement, passionate learning and technological infusion that enables learning new things in new ways. We are not looking to trade a $.29 pencil for a $1,000 computer. New approaches, new learnings and new perspectives must be applied. We are hoping to in fact, learn new things, with new tools in new ways.

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