Another June is upon our region, but this particular year will stand out as being peppered with moments of both great travail and change, and great possibility and promise. Within the Model Schools service the consortium has spoken and expressed ideas which will help us to maneuver our talents and advocacy on your behalf for the best possible outcomes. What follows are some of the ways we believe Model Schools can adapt to help you sustain a modern learning environment in your respective districts:
Facilitate and nurture true professional learning communities. Each member of a school community has a story to tell about how technology is changing the way they conduct their profession, from principal to director of technology to administrative assistant to faculty member. Model Schools will work diligently to use every possible tool to help connect the dots, build bridges, and foster a true sense of "e-community" during the next year.
Deliver more sustained professional development opportunities. The anchor of the Model Schools program has been the face to face session and while these sessions continue to play a role in the program, we realize the need to build in more sustainable structures so that the experience of learning can truly "stick" after a teacher leaves a Model Schools session. We will diversify our offerings in terms of locations (using host districts from within the region), time, and delivery method (look for more webinars and opportunities to participate via videoconference in next year's Core Catalog.) Provide strong curriculum correlations to Model Schools sessions. We know technology does not occur in a vacuum, but within the context of curriculum with specific learning objectives and goals. We will continue to design our courses and sessions with an eye on 21st Century Skills as well as core content competencies. Keep up the strand for building administrators. This past year was the first year we designed a strand specifically with the needs of building principals in mind, as the instructional leaders of their building. We will continue to develop and expand this series of sessions in a way that respects your specific feedback and increases the exposure and participation.Build and manage a robust online collaborative and informational environment. We have the tools to deliver, archive and redistribute content both synchronously and asynchronously. Look for a "Model Schools eLearning Center" to provide access to archived webinars and instructional sessions, podcasts, media clips highlighting what other districts are doing that's innovative, and a place to dialog and compare notes about common problems and accomplishments.
Thanks to each of you that participate in the service. No matter what the extent of your individual participation, your voice is valued as a component district that we serve. We'll be posting some periodic updates on the development of the Core Catalog for the next year and always welcome thoughts, feedback, and involvement.