Now that I have committed myself to trying to move forward into what we are calling School 2.0, there are varying levels of excitement, fear, and anticipation that I feel quite often and in no certain order. Most of the fear is centered around not being able to give the staff I work with the confidence in moving in the direction of 2.0; lately I have had several discussions on team building with some of my colleagues in a similar situation. Moving people out of their comfort zones, particularly in a manner where their students are the natives, is unsettling to me. However, when I look at the student products, and the student engagement in work that uses their native technological skills, I can’t help but be enthused. It’s that emotion, enthusiasm, that has to be pervasive.
Tomorrow, we are convening our first gathering of the district’s Technology Committee, and our charge is to create a method of assessing student progress in regards to technology. New Jersey is mandating that all 8th grade students be assessed on their technological aptitude. What exists in each district, especially ours, is usually an antiquated, state-mandated plan, that has gathered dust on a shelf somewhere while the district tried to keep pace with increasing state funding cuts.
What we would like to do is analyze several other plans from districts that “get it.” I have gathered several technology plans from schools throughout the state and hope to find some common themes that we can adopt. Themes like collaboration, global connection, local support and investment, 1:1 technology, and adaptation to changing student aptitudes need to be included in such a report.