Guest post by Ann Flynn, Director of Education Technology at the National School Boards Association (NSBA).
What does it take to prepare students for college, career, citizenship, and life? While caring adults and dedicated teachers are the most important part of that answer, so too is the opportunity for students to gain the necessary skills to navigate our increasingly complex, technological world. Today’s students will face career opportunities that haven’t yet been invented; perhaps be haunted by immature or thoughtless posts on social media or struggle with the skills to tell fact from fiction in an online world of news; and most certainly need to be tech-savvy consumers to safely engage with business and government in the future. The National School Boards Association’s education technology site visit with California’s Coachella Valley Unified School District showcases the steps one district has taken to ensure their students have the skills they need to navigate their future.
The visit on October 19–21 highlights Dr. Darryl Adams’ vision to utilize innovative strategies and practices to give his students those essential skills. With changes in instructional approaches and a fully implemented one-to-one (1:1) program, his students are succeeding as never before. He has even tackled the challenges presented by a lack of home Internet access for many of the district’s 20,000 students scattered across the southern California desert in an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. Classified as having a 100% of students eligible for free and reduced lunch, this majority Hispanic district is proof that a 21st century education can be a reality for all students when educators and the community come together. Coachella’s story offers vision and inspiration for school leaders across the country.
Hear more from Dr. Adams in this short video. The agenda and registration details can be found at www.nsba.org/tlnsitevisits. NSBA’s Technology Leadership Network site visits, offered since the late 1980s, include classroom observations, mini-briefings, and powerful conversations with administrators, board members, and community partners. These visits focus on the intersection of policy and practice around education technology and are a perfect opportunity for district leadership teams to think about how technology decisions can support their vision for learning.