Monday, March 18, 2013

Developing a Tech Savvy Elementary School

What are the best strategies for building a tech savvy elementary school?  How can we best use our resources to create an engaging, child-friendly learning environment?

As we look to the future, there are many possible right answers to these questions.  I'll start with what I know and look forward to any new ideas you'd like to share.
  • Learning Community Knowledge and Talent:  First utilize the learning community's talent and knowledge well.  Think about the educators, students, family members and community members who are tech savvy, invested and ready to share and grow their knowledge with regard to a tech-friendly, student environment. Engage their ideas, expertise and availability to serve children well in dynamic, systematic ways.
  • Tools: Assess the tools you currently use, and then list the tools you desire. Utilize the design mantra of "form follows function," and think about the functions you aim to meet. Then list the "forms" or tools needed.  Decide which of those tools students may already have, and how you might utilize those tools.  Also think about the types of tools you'll need to purchase to best meet the desired functions.
  • Learning Goals: Determine the overarching learning goals, processes and vision.  Make sure that the tech you employ meets those goals.
  • Engagement: Make sure that all voices of the learning community are involved in the decisions, particularly the voices of children.  They're very tech savvy, and utilize tech regularly--don't forget their voices. 
  • Brain-Friendly Education: Look for tools and practices that are brain-friendly.
Tech is today's pencil--it is the essential tool for vibrant, efficient, and productive learning.  Tech is the tool used in conjunction with a number of processes and structures to develop a well-balanced, child-friendly, engaging learning environment. With that in mind, the next step is developing the tech environment to best support positive forward movement that inspires an attitude of life long learning and curiosity.