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What Does a Future-Ready School Look Like?

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As schools begin discussing the idea of becoming future ready, they must begin by identifying what a future ready school looks like. After finding what it means to be future ready, then the school can begin to implement change.

According to the Alliance for Excellence Education, "Future Ready Schools helps K-12 public, private, and charter school leaders plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so all students can achieve their full potential."

Ultimately, future ready schools find ways to embrace ever-changing technology in the classroom to help students succeed beyond the classroom walls. While most people assume future ready is strictly focused on technology, this is incorrect. Let's look at some of the other defining characteristics of future ready schools.

Provide Access to Technology

President Obama encouraged schools to implement future ready strategies by pointing out that students need access to Wi-Fi in their schools. If educators wish to prepare students for the future, they must provide access to the technology students will use. This is why future ready schools aim to give high access internet to 99 percent of schools.

Additionally, future ready schools develop a curriculum that encourages digital learning. By allowing librarians to play a crucial role in curating digital content and technology that will take students into the future, schools are better able to prepare students.

Leadership Encourages Personalized Learning

Future ready schools have future ready leaders. The difference in this type of leadership is an insistence on personalized learning. Future ready leaders understand personalized learning experiences for students equates to lifelong success. Leaders (such as superintendents, principals, and librarians) encourage teachers and students to use technology to make learning more personal. For example, students create content using technology rather than simply completing worksheets.

Creates an Innovative and Adaptable Culture

Future ready schools have an innovative and adaptable culture. These schools look for new ways to implement digital learning strategies and understand that these changes are ongoing. By understanding that education and technology are constantly changing, these schools make preparations for technology that can be modified and used into the future. For instance, future ready schools write policies that are adaptable to changing times.

Wisely Use Time and Resources

Finally, future ready schools use time and resources wisely. Schools have budgets, but future ready schools plan strategically for the future. When making purchases for the classroom, future ready schools consider the long-term goals. In other words, rather than spending time and money on a specific device, these schools consider what educational goals a tool will support. Future ready schools use a digital learning implementation plan to help guide their planning ensuring their time and resources are used to give students opportunities to reach their full potential.

Can you think of any additional characteristics of future ready schools?

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The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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