Tag archive: community engagement

21st Century Schools…Transform or Reform?

 

Following up my last post regarding binary choices decisions made in today’s schools, I had an opportunity to review Newburyport Public School’s recently launched Strategic Plan that is in the beginning stages of implementation, but holds promise for students and the district going forward.  Considering that the current kindergarten class will graduate in 2028, and babies born this past New Year’s Day will graduate post 2034, it is time for schools to shift their thinking from one of fixing or reforming schools to the bigger question of how to best transform them. Newburyport’s Strategic Plan leans in the direction of transformation; was developed by a full range of stakeholders; but more importantly that  diverse group of stakeholders including students, educators, community members, businesses and non profits will continue to guide the process going forward.

As my previous writings have addressed, it isn’t simply about getting the latest and greatest technology in the hands of students and teachers regarding 21st Century Learning. It’s more about understanding how to use technology as a tool to create the flexibility for learning essentially anytime, anyplace and perhaps most importantly, any pace. However…

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Moving Schools Beyond Binary Choices

Some tweets reveal; and one that caught my eye recently stated, “ We have to deprogram teachers from their own K-12 experience… to create student-centered classrooms.” That tweet was right on target, but another tweet needed to follow that parents also need to be deprogrammed from their own K-12 experience in order to create schools that are more flexible and eliminate time as a barrier for both students who can accelerate and students who can be successful if given more time.   However, even with technology that allows us to break the 20th century modes of delivering teaching and learning, students seem to still experience a ‘one size fits all’ environment for the most part. In many cases, technology is simply used to fit into old systems of “school” that has everyone start and end at the same time of day for 180 days each year for 13 years.

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Paradise aka Humanity Lost

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My daughter moved to San Francisco 17 years ago as part of a job opportunity; ultimately got married and started a family; was fortunate to be able to purchase affordable housing in the Pacific Heights area of the city; and seems to have settled in for the long haul. It’s not difficult to see why, given the weather and general laid back, relaxed atmosphere of the west coast. For me, having a good reason to visit San Francisco regularly is a bonus, especially with opportunities to escape the New England winters for some respites of warmth and sun…the fog always seems to burn off in some part of the city as the sun takes charge of the day. Recently though, …

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Teaching - Gary Tirone

A Few 21st Century School Transformation Questions

In a 21st Century world, teachers, students and families are considering increasing numbers of choices for what we call “school.” Whether it’s the traditional school that most of us grew up with; or perhaps one offering extended blended opportunities using technology; or the array of choices ranging from private and public charters to home school to fully virtual schools. As technology becomes a larger part of the teaching and learning equation, one set of central questions concerning relationship seem to emerge consistently from parents and adults who determine school funding across sectors. Those questions include:

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