Future Ready is an effort intended to bring about digital learning opportunities designed to prepare students for college, career and citizenship. It provides a framework, resources, training and support. Districts that sign the Future Ready pledge "commit to foster and lead a culture of digital learning in their districts" (Dept. of Education). Academy School District 20 is one of those districts.
What does this mean for the classroom teacher? Much of what happens in this effort is behind the scenes in support of our students and the learning experience. To support districts committed to this effort, Future Ready Schools has a created number of programs:
At the heart of Future Ready Schools is a Framework. The framework consists of 7 gears focused around Personalized Student Learning:
At Pine Creek High School we've already taken a number of steps down this road. We have improved our infrastructure; we have established common planning for much of our staff; we have a path to determine if digital resources ensure our student's data privacy; we are developing assessment literacy and digital leaders; our professional learning weaves together our site plan with department needs; and, we are working though our assessment process and honors project. We're already taking great steps forward to be Future Ready and we're just beginning!
The start of a new semester is the perfect time to review, reinforce, practice and even establish your classroom norms. Embedding digital tools into your procedures and norms is essential daily practice, but even more vital at the beginning of a course or semester. Our students may be older than some, but don’t assume that appropriate digital use is a natural practice for them. Our digital tools are tools meant to support classroom instruction. Understanding that isn’t innate. Our students are still kids, they still need direction, the still need guidance.
Digital tips for the start of the semester:
Students feel valued when they feel safe and feel that they've been heard. It's within that environment that they are free to take risks and grow. The same is true for educators.
George Couros (The Innovator's Mindset) says, "the culture we create for our staff is also essential because it trickles down to our students... If we want educators and students to be excited to come to school each day, we have to create an environment where they feel valued. Feeling valued doesn't mean that we don't have flaws and weaknesses; it is just that we do not start from that point."
At Pine Creek High School we have collaborative teams that are engaged in team building and collaborative work to develop that environment. This isn't a box to be checked, but an ongoing process supported by Learning Leaders, Instructional Coaches, Department Chairs, and Administration. The process in which we are engaged is an exciting one. The path may not be straight, but it has direction and support. For this I am thankful and I am excited for what we can achieve.
Click here for more on student voice.
Click here for more on taking risks.
I am a Digital Learning Coach by title, but lifelong learner by practice. An Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator, my goal is to assist educators in investigating, exploring, and investigating resources to embed in their instruction. I also hope to be a part of their journey toward an innovative and transformative practice that empowers learners and strengthens their own craftsmanship. I spends my free time with my family, my dogs and a good cup of coffee.