Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.
Over the course of the last several months, a discussion about a revisioned school experience has been taking place with teachers, administrators, and students. As we think about making changes to our students’ school experience, we need to ask ourselves a critical question: Are we preparing kids for their future or our past?
The work world our kids will inhabit will look very different than it ever has. As technology continues to advance, we will find that many of our current jobs are “outsourced” to machines. Tasks that were once thought to be innately human will be done by a device. As the world becomes smaller because of technology inter-connectedness, we need to ensure that our students have the skills and dispositions to succeed. To that end, the following will be essential:
- A lifelong relationship with technology: The technology revolution is upon us, and we need to ensure that our students are able to navigate new technologies and use them to be productive. We also want our students to understand user interfaces and how these technologies are developed so they are able to work in a variety of technology environments.
- The ability to consult and collaborate: The days of working in isolation either in a cubicle or a classroom are gone. As adults, our students are going to need to know how to work with others, just like we adults now work with others. They will need to know how and when to lead a group process and when to follow.
- Analyze and apply information: Our students are literally walking around with the internet in their pockets. For many things they want to know, they can simply ask Siri or Google and have the answer in seconds. Having anytime access to information is amazing; however, we need to teach students how to sift through the glut of information at their disposal and use only the most accurate information to solve problems. We also need to teach them what questions to ask and how to ask those questions in order to get the information they need.
- Looking at problems from multiple perspectives: When asked about the most important skills for new employees to possess, employers often cite the ability to creatively solve problems. Our students must be able to generate multiple options and outcomes for tough problems. As a school, we want to help produce a generation of innovators and leaders.
We continue to investigate the best ways to ensure that our students have the above skills and will expand the conversation to include students. In the coming weeks, Pleasantdale families can expect an email invitation to complete a technology survey, participate in focus groups, and provide your school with your opinion and feedback. We are at a tipping point in Pleasantdale and are excited about bringing our district from good to great!