Imagine you’re an eighth-grader working on a project about native peoples in North America by video conferencing and sharing documents electronically with students in Mexico City. Or maybe you’re a special education teacher who is able to bring a student “into the classroom” from home to join in a small group discussion with other students in the class. Or maybe you’re a parent in the military, deployed overseas, who is able to take an active role in your child’s biology class presentation – before, during and after the presentation is actually given.
These are just a few of the “dream big” ideas that came out of Seattle Public Schools’ Teaching & Learning Technology Vision Summit held at Cleveland High School on January 24. The event brought together over 120 students, parents, teachers, district leaders, community partners, principals and educational technology business partners from companies like Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Pearson, Intel and many others.
“The idea was to bring in representation from various roles and from across the District and say: Where do you want to go? What do you want to do?” said Carmen Rahm, Chief Information Officer for Seattle Public Schools. During the Summit, Rahm encouraged the participants not to “look at the technology we have today and say ‘Why?’ but rather to dream and envision what should be available to every SPS student and say ‘Why Not?’”
Participants were grouped together in tables of eight to dream up – and then draw up – specific scenarios of teachers, students, instructional staff and families using technology to enhance “ … a day in the life of a Seattle Public School student.">
Over the next one to two months the Department of Technology Services plans to hold Town Hall-style meetings in each of the district’s five regions to allow even more stakeholders to share their vision of how to further integrate technology into Curriculum and
Instruction, and make Seattle Public Schools a world class K-12 environment for every student, every day. By the end of May they hope to have a video vision statement that follows a day in the life of a Seattle Public Schools student (watch the one created for Denver Public Schools Vision in hand, staff will start planning for the district’s technology needs of the future and how to make them a reality.