At its meeting on Monday, March 4, the Glenbard High School District 87 school board heard a report on the district's new multiyear, comprehensive Instructional Technology Strategic Plan.
A key theme of this presentation was how students and teachers will use collaborative digital technologies every day to transform learning and teaching.
Also integrated into the presentation were key reflective questions. These purposeful questions were designed to ensure that this plan is not simply about new gadgets and new trends, but about capitalizing on the rapidly expanding opportunities to accelerate student learning.
The goal is to leverage technology as a tool to enhance instruction in a meaningful way. We want to be thoughtful and intentional as we shift our teaching practices. The following questions will guide us along this journey:
• New technologies can facilitate "anytime, anywhere learning." What does it mean for students to stay continually connected to such a learning tool?
• How do we transition from textbooks and paper course outlines to digital curriculum that allows students to access instructional materials, assignments and assessments anytime, anywhere?
• How do we scale professional development for teaching staff so that all instructors are equipped and skilled as they make shifts in their teaching practices?
• How do we capitalize on the opportunities of implementing Bring Your Own Device for students? And how does this prepare us for the eventual implementation of 1:1 deployment for every student?
• How do we ensure that these new tools not only substitute, augment and modify how we deliver instruction, but genuinely transform the environment where students are assigned new learning tasks previously inconceivable without the technology?
We invite students, parents and the greater community to assist us as we collaboratively engage in answering these questions. Integrating technology is not about just new gadgets and trends, but about deeply transforming how we teach and how we learn.
• David F. Larson is superintendent of Glenbard High School District 87. His column runs monthly during the school year.