The requirements for entry, let alone success, in the workplace, are changing, and in fact have already changed. It has become true, that the option of non-participation is gone. Preparedness for emerging technologies is a prerequisite for success in work, college and life. Thus, technology in the schools, and carefully drafted plans to teach it, as well as the critical thinking and analytical skills to judge the information it may bring, are all mandated to be taught, presently not by written law, but by what Ray Kurzweil (educator, inventor of optical character recognition methods, text-to-speech synthesis and speech recognition technology), said in his 2001 essay The Law of Accelerating Returns:
“An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense ‘intuitive linear’ view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century-it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).”
Looking forward to this 21st Century and beyond, districts, schools and educators must instill more than a utilitarian familiarity with tools offered by science and industry today. They must instill in students the personal qualities that will allow them to not only survive in this ever “technologizing” world, but to thrive in it. The same intellectual skills of the past can be applied to the present and future: problem solving, creative thinking and the ability to seek, access and apply information. But now, more than ever, they must now be combined with another skill: the ability to correctly discern the reliability and validity of information. This ability to sort through mountains of information and mis-information that literally lay at their fingertips will distinguish those who have it, from those who are pushed side to side by every fad. To find a “true” needle in a haystack of counterfeit needles, will be the daily challenge.
The future labor force must not only be familiar with emerging technologies, they must understand how to utilize them appropriately. They must learn to protect their “data” as they protect their material goods. They must have the social judgment, the savvy and an understanding of the power of media to thrive in a world where the computer in your pocket is more powerful than those used to deliver the first spacemen to the moon.
The Arlyn School Technology Vision
We believe in…
- Preparing all students to be life-long learners
- Learning which takes place within and beyond school walls.
- Meeting the needs of all students
- Equitable access to technology
- Working with parents, businesses, and community
- The shared work of implementing this plan
Goal One: Help every student be an effective life-long learner.
Every student will:
- Be engaged in the process of learning
- Gather, analyze, and synthesize information from various sources
- Communicate an understanding of the use of technology as a tool
- Help students develop goals and goal setting strategies
- Provide students opportunities to make choices; to become partners in learning.
- Develop an understanding of diversity among cultures, persons with disabilities
- Establish classroom and school guidelines for demonstrating respect for self and others
- Encourage students to share their ideas and express their viewpoints in class
- Encourage students to explore and to use new technologies as tools in learning
- Use multiple sources for collecting data, print, CD-ROM, on-line
- Use multiple means for presenting information–print, video, multimedia, Internet
- Develop team skills and conflict management strategies
- Develop appropriate technological skills in relation to the learning process
- Establish opportunities for students with diverse needs to develop social skills to support meaningful peer relationships
- Enhance the independent functioning of students with special needs through the use of a variety of assistive technology systems
Goal Two: Enhance learning through the use of technology
- Create a more useful and informational web presence
- Utilize technology as a tool to enhance learning throughout the curriculum
- Provide access to technology
- Offer ongoing professional development and support in creating and sustaining learning environments
- Utilize a variety of technologies to collect and analyze data
- Provide ongoing professional development and support in developing lessons and learning opportunities
- Provide access within classrooms for Local Area Network (LAN) linkage within a school building.
- Provide Internet linkage between home and school
- Offer ongoing professional development and support in assistive technology systems
Goal Three: To improve communication and partnerships with the community and school stakeholders
- Participate in working collaboratively for the benefit of the students
- Establish access to information and communication technologies for all stakeholders
- Continue and build upon collaboration among stakeholders
- Maintain communication, partnerships, and an exchange of ideas with stakeholders
- Develop resources to maximize the benefits for all stakeholders.
- Continue and expand connectivity with homes, local libraries, businesses, and agencies
- Establish networks of individuals and organizations willing to lend their expertise in designing and adapting systems for students who require assistance accessing information and communicating effectively with others