Tuesday, September 2, 2014

EdTech Integration and Innovation

Well, here we are with Day 2 of the reflective teacher blogging challenge.  Our topic for today is ed tech.  One of my favorite topics!  This year we have some huge changes with respect to the use of technology on our campus and I am super excited about all of them.  So, in no particular order:

1. we are a BYO-Laptop school this year
2. we are fully using GAFE, including several teachers who are utilizing G+ communities for their classrooms, students who GHO to class because they can't navigate the stairs on crutches (we are an old building so so not have elevators) or because they are home sick
3. every department has ah inventory of iPads to use with their lessons
4. we have a brand new Innovation Lab

The newly renovated Innovation Lab!  
For me, the Innovation Lab is the biggest learning curve as we are all exploring together.  Later this semester, the entire faculty will be trained in Design Thinking thanks to a number of conversations that I have had with the Krause Center for Innovation.  I am really excited to introduce the faculty to this more holistic, interdisciplinary approach to learning.  I am also really looking forward to allowing the community to get into the lab and just "play".

Students today, especially in high school, are often forced into boxes of learning because there are SATs, ACTs and AP exams that are the drivers of their future (at least in their minds and the minds of their parents).  I argue that high school can be so much more if we re-think our approach.  My mantra this year to the Department Chairs is: What do our students need to know vs. what is nice to know?  I think that in an age of Google and Smart Phones, there is no longer the need to memorize every piece of information that we did when we were students.  Our job is to teach our students to think for themselves, discriminate between resources and tools, and develop a growth mind set that will enable them to succeed at any task they choose to pursue in their life-time.

Our introduction of a laptop policy that allows families to choose the platform they prefer, forcing teachers to identify software and applications that can be used on any device. The ability for our community to interact, share and reflect via GAFE introduces everyone to a robust world of productivity and collaboration not previously possible.  The availability of the Innovation Lab to approach learning differently will all strengthen our efforts to produce independent, creative thinkers, leaders and problem solvers.

These are not hopes of mine, these are truths that I firmly believe will manifest this year.

I am excited about technology on our campus and the limitless possibilities ahead.  Here is to a great year of technology integration that will allow our community to innovate to the future.


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