While so many schools want to embrace technology, the challenge of doing so leaves principals and school staff wondering:
- How can we effectively use technology in instruction and administration?
- How can we increase access for every student?
- How can we build capacity in our staff and students?
- How can we improve connectivity in our school and community?
- How do we measure success?
- How can we afford it?
Review the readings to follow the journey of two principals who embraced technology to change and reinvigorate their schools, then use the resources in this discussion guide to begin the conversation that can lead you from asking how you begin, to planning how your school becomes “future ready.”
- Reading A: “Embracing Technology to Reinvigorate Rural Schools,” Principal Leadership, January 2016, pp. 42-45.
- Reading B: “#EdTech: 2016 National Education Technology Plan Gets Schools “Future Ready,” Principal Leadership, March 2016, p. 23.
- The Future Ready Planning Tool: Future Ready Schools, www.futureready.org.
How do we begin?
All participants should read closely and highlight pertinent information in reading A. Discuss the impact that each of the following had on the development of a schoolwide commitment to technology at Pea Ridge High School. Substantiate your answers with specific information from the article:
- Data and statistics
- Community and business partnerships
- Academic curriculum aligned with real-world applications
- Funding for increased technology purchases
- Professional development for staff and students
- Student involvement
- “Flex-Mod” schedule
A closer look—continue the conversation:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” —Henry Ford
Follow the Discussion Prompts.
National standards—updates for the future.
Have participants carefully read and highlight important information in Reading B. If you are wondering, “How do we get there?” the 2016 National Education Technology Plan and the Future Ready website planning tools in the reading will build the foundation for an equitable and active culture of digital learning now and in the future.
Use the question prompts to begin a conversation about the 2016 National Technology Plan elements that directly impact your school and students:
Create or update your plan.
Set up a viewing station with a computer and internet connection to explore the website. Use a video screen depending on the size of your team.
Website: 5 Step Process, Future Ready Schools, www.futureready.org. Select the dashboard and click on the 5 step collaborative planning process link.
Use the instructional and administrative strategies from the readings, your local school data, and the 5 Step Planning Process on the Future Ready website to create or update your existing technology plan. The Discussion Guide Planning Templates also have initiative planning tools.