My Information Technology Director, Mike Peccia, and I have been asked to meet with our Head of School and the three division heads so that we can plan for the upcoming year. In preparation for this meeting, we have brainstormed many ideas and have come to the conclusion that we have to look beyond next year, as we begin to plan.
In our presentation, we present our vision for the future and the obstacles and challenges that we have identified which need to be addressed and prioritized in order fulfill our vision. I am sharing this draft as a sounding board for you to comment and add your thoughts.
In the year 2014, we envision North Shore possessing a technology rich environment in which students, faculty, staff, and parents have access to the resources and tools so that they can communicate, collaborate, create, and contribute to society. The school community will investigate real life problems with experts and passionate amateurs around the work to propose and create solutions to those problems.
The learning spaces at North Shore will support these investigations, allowing students and faculty to easily share their research both synchronously and asynchronously with all interested parties, both on-campus and off-campus. Ample access to resources will be provided both at school and at home to support the learning. On campus, students and faculty will be able to easily share their work in small groups.
Access to Resources
In order to support this vision, North Shore needs to continue to plan for growth and of both bandwidth and resources. Specifically, North Shore needs to determine solutions to the following:
- Determine a 1:1 computer strategy. In order to support the vision, a shift needs to be made so that all students have access to the tools necessary for communicating with others, researching their problems, and creating content to communicate their solution to the problems that they are addressing. We need to begin to acknowledge that possession of a computer is that of possessing the a textbook for their classes.
- Providing access to resources on-campus. North Shore’s current network infrastructure was designed and implemented six years ago. During that time, we have increased the number of nodes on the network (computers, printers, and servers). When the network was last designed, it was done so to primarily support the flow of text based resources. To support our vision, members of this learning community will need to be able to access streaming video and audio in addition to text, which has greater demands.
- Providing access to resources off-campus. The hours for learning is not limited to 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Members of North Shore’s learning community all need to have access to the resources off-campus to support their learning.
Using North Shore’s Physical Learning Environment
- Physical space on campus should be flexible. We will have to grow towards our ideal physical learning environment. In order to do so, we may need to develop a plan which allows for the flexible use of space in order to meet the demands of a class. The establishment of “smart” classrooms should be done to provide a fiscally prudent growth path, so that we keep pace with the demand from members of the learning community.
- Examination of use of time. Being able to research and communicate with the appropriate individuals does not alway conveniently fit into a 45 minute box. To be able to better be able to share resources as well as the ability to connect with others outside of our physical learning community may involve an examination of how we segment time.
Expansion towards a Professional Learning Community
- Continued Support of Professional Development Opportunities. North Shore needs to continue to support professional development of the adult members of its professional learning community in a planned and measured way. Over the past two years, we have had the opportunity to provide professional development to larger groups of individuals (whole faculty and division wide). We need to continue broad access to larger topics for all individuals and targeted learning opportunities for smaller groups.
- Creation of Individual Learning Goals.Annually, each adult member of the North Shore Learning community should be required to develop, share, and review their progress towards individual learning goals in a more formal way. Part of the resurgence in the growth of technology has occurred due to conversations and goal setting with individuals and these need to continue with a more formal recognition of the process.