Back in the fall, U.S. district superintendents took big steps towards making their districts “future ready.” First, more than a thousand lent their signatures to the Future Ready Pledge, a list of blended learning stipulations that included transitioning to high-speed internet and providing all students with universal access to quality devices, among other top commitments. Then, 118 gathered on November 19 at a White House Future Ready Superintendents’ Summit, referred to as the “ConnectED to the Future” convening, to connect and discuss the use and implementation of educational technology in American schools.
But there are more than 13,000 school districts and superintendents through the US. To continue spreading the message of the Future Ready Pledge, the U.S. Office of Educational Technology and the Department of Education (DOE) have teamed up with the DC-based Alliance for Excellent Education to today announce the locations and logistics of 12 regional Summits, where superintendents can connect and share best practices in seven key areas, including curriculum, budgeting and use of time.
“The Future Ready Schools Initiative isn’t just about technology,” said former governor, Bob Wise, now president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, in the official AEE press release. “It’s about a more personalized approach to teaching and learning that ensures that all students have the skills they need to succeed in college and a career. Future Ready is about empowering teachers and leaders, students to take charge of their own learning, and parents to be engaged and informed.”
All signees of the pledge are eligible to attend one of the dozen regional summits for free. (The regions are below.) There are also opportunities for travel scholarships for district teams who apply and demonstrate need.
|February 11–12||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|February 17–18||Vancouver, Washington|
|March 2–3||Baltimore, Maryland|
|March 26–27||Atlanta, Georgia|
|April 13–14||Phoenix, Arizona|
|April 21–22||Providence, Rhode Island|
|April 28–29||St. Louis, Missouri|
|May 4–5||San Francisco, California|
|June 11–12||Denver, Colorado|
|June 15–16||Chicago, Illinois|
|June 22–23||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|June 2015 (Date TBD)||Dallas, Texas|
Led by “trained facilitators,” the summits invite teams of four (a superintendent plus three others) from districts around the country. The AEE’s Tom Murray says he expects to see district Chief Technology Officers, Academic Officers, and/or other school administrators accompany their superintendents. Ultimately, he points out, it’s up to the superintendent to select his or her team of attendees.
Why will superintendents attend these events? Organizers and the White House has a list of benefits: In addition to opportunities to build out a professional learning network and to connect with other administrators, attendees will benefit from a host of resources contributed by more than 30 supporters and partners. (EdSurge is among the partners.) Attendees will also get access to expert support to build district digital learning plans, as well as access to a Future Ready Schools Leadership Network that will provide continuing support and tools to all pledge signers. The network will also be available to any superintendent who is unable to attend the Summits, but has signed the Future Ready pledge.
For more information, visit the Future Ready Schools site.
Originally posted by Mary Jo Madda on edSurge at https://www.edsurge.com/n/2015-01-15-white-house-launches-nationwide-superintendent-summits
Twenty One New Hampshire Superintendents have already taken the pledge. Find out if your superintendent has taken it on the Future Ready Schools “We’ve Taken the Pledge” page.
Talk to your superintendent about it and Take the Pledge today!
I, _______________________, Superintendent of _________________________ do hereby affirm the commitment of this district to work with students, educators, families, and members of our community to become Future Ready by engaging in a wide range of activities such as:
Fostering and Leading a Culture of Digital Learning Within Our Schools.
Future Ready district leadership teams work collaboratively to transform teaching and learning using the power of technology to help drive continuous improvement. We work together to protect student privacy and to teach students to become responsible, engaged, and contributing digital citizens.
Helping Schools and Families Transition to High-speed Connectivity.
Future Ready districts conduct comprehensive diagnostic assessments of the district’s technology infrastructure and develop a sustainable plan to ensure broadband classroom connectivity and wireless access. Future Ready districts work with community partners to leverage local, state, and federal resources to support home Internet access outside of traditional school hours.
Empowering Educators through Professional Learning Opportunities.
Future Ready districts strive to provide everyone with access to personalized learning opportunities and instructional experts that give teachers and leaders the individual support they need, when they need it. Future Ready districts provide tools to help teachers effectively leverage learning data to make better instructional decisions.
Accelerating Progress Toward Universal Access for All Students to Quality Devices.
Future Ready districts work with necessary stakeholders to ensure that all students and educators across the district have regular access to devices for learning. Future Ready districts develop tools to support a robust infrastructure for managing and optimizing safe and effective use of technology, so students have opportunities to be active learners, creating and sharing content, not just consuming it.
Providing Access to Quality Digital Content.
Future Ready districts align, curate, create, and consistently improve digital materials and apps used in the support of learning. Future Ready districts use carefully selected high quality digital content that is aligned to college and career ready standards as an essential part of daily teaching and learning. Teachers are able to share, discover, and adapt openly-licensed materials and teaching plans.
Offering Digital Tools to Help Students And Families #ReachHigher.
Future Ready districts make digital resources available that help access expanded college, career, and citizenship opportunities. Future Ready districts promote ways to leverage technology to expand equity through digital activities such as completion of the FAFSA online, virtual counseling services, college scholarship search tools, and online advising access, all of which help to return America to the nation in the world with the highest college completion rate by 2020.
Mentoring Other Districts and Helping Them Transition to Digital Learning.
Future Ready districts work to design, implement, and share their technology plans. Future Ready districts join regional summits, participate in an online Connected Superintendents community of practice, and publish their Future Ready technology plan at a site such as http://www.MyDistrict.org/FutureReady