The recent release of Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDoE) 2016 National Education Technology Plan (NETP), provides educators across the United States with an opportunity to identify where the USDoE feels we need to go with the implementation and use of educational technology, and evaluate our own abilities and role in this technological evolution. One thing is obvious in the NETP, for education to be Future Ready, we need leaders at all levels of our field, of all different titles, who are formal and informal leaders, if we are to truly become Future Ready.
Here are 3 ways to be a Future Ready leader:
- Create a shared vision – It’s essential for the infusion of educational technology to be successful there needs to be a shared vision. What many believe is that this shared vision must be top down. Although this is vital for large programmatic change, a shared vision can be developed in a classroom, in a department, or a school. Developing a shared vision at one of these other levels can be the motivation for larger systemic change. Do not underestimate the power of a shared vision at any level.
- Identify ways technology can personalize learning – Why is there such a push to implement technology into education? Well there are many answers to this question. One of them should be a movement toward personalize learning. When we say personalized learning, we are talking about student learning and staff learning. Personalizing learning through educational technology takes time and effort but has substantial learning potential for students and educators. Future Ready leaders will seek out technology that can be used to personalize learning for students and staff.
- Reimagine professional development – Whether you organize, provide, or attend professional development as an education, being a Future Ready leader means we need to reimagine how our learning occurs. Future Ready leaders will organize, lead, model, and provide professional development that is hands-on, provides a growing amount of personalization (see above), and provides attendees with something they can use immediately after the professional development session. There are many exciting changes happening in education due to the implementation of educational technology and professional development should be included in that list. No change will be sustainable without proper and focused professional development.
By creating a shared vision, identifying ways technology can personalize learning, and reimagining professional development educators can develop into Future Ready leaders. Are you Future Ready?