Vision for 2017 by qingyunliuliu

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									Running head: Reed Intermediate School-A                                1
Vision for 2017




                         Reed Intermediate School – A Vision for 2017

                                           Jill Marak

                                           EDU505

                                       Dr. Linda Kaiser
 Reed Intermediate School-A Vision for 2017                                                       2



                                               Introduction

       The educational organization which is the subject of this paper is the Reed Intermediate

School in Newtown, Connecticut. This building serves all of the fifth and sixth grade students in

the Newtown Public School and it services 800 to 900 students per school year. The building

opened in January 2003 with the staff from the elementary school’s fifth grade and the staff from

the middle school’s 6th grade.

       Reed Intermediate School was built as a school with technology in mind. Each

classroom was equipped with a computer for the teacher and a computer for the class; there are

two computer labs with 26 student computers and 1 teacher computer each. There are also

computers in the specialist areas such as art, physical education, and music.

       Reed Intermediate reached its tenth year anniversary in January of 2013. Over the

history of the school, very few major changes have occurred; the only real change was the

retirement of the Principal Donna Denniston. The teachers and staff have remained relatively

stable throughout the ten years the building has been open.

                                 Current State of Reed Intermediate School

       The mission of the Newtown Public Schools, a partnership of students, families,

educators and community, is to INSPIRE EACH STUDENT TO EXCEL in attaining and

applying the knowledge, skills and attributes that lead to personal success while becoming a

contributing member of a dynamic global community. This is accomplished by creating an

unparalleled learning environment characterized by high expectations, quality instruction,

continuous improvement and civic responsibility. The population of Reed is served well by the

teachers and staff of the building which is evidenced by high tests scores and the award of

School of Distinction by the State of Connecticut.
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                                           Best Fit Technologies

       Two technologies that are the best fit at Reed Intermediate are game-based learning and

tablet computing.

       Games-based learning is already in use in this organization. Teachers are using

simulation-based games in the classroom for many different reasons. “Students are engaged

because they are motivated to do better, get to the next level, and succeed. Proponents also

underscore the productive role of play, which allows for experimentation, the exploration of

identities, and even failure” (Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M., 2012 p. 18). Students

also do well on the more individualized aspect of games-based learning. “When learners have

opportunities to participate in learning challenges at their individualized achievable level, their

brains invest more effort to the task and are more responsive to feedback” (Willis, J, (2011)

       Tablet computing at Reed is in the beginning stages. The teachers are using iPads to

enter in the grade book application and for videos of student activities; students are already using

tablets outside of school. The tablet also lends itself to a one-on-one learning in a classroom

setting. “because of the portability, large display, and touchscreen, tablets are ideal devices for

one-to-one learning, as well as fieldwork” (Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M., 2012

p. 14). Reading an ebook is one of the best instances where a tablet can offer a student more.

“Tablets are cable of offering enhanced ebooks featuring images, video and audio. These

elements are impossible to include in print or in a standard ebook” (Madam, V. 2011).

                                           Trends in Education

       There are many important trends in education today. This paper will review the literature

of two trends that will have a large impact on the future of education-funding for public schools
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and technology. While these are two separate trends, they are linked together; without the proper

funding, school districts will find it difficult if not impossible to further the technology for their

buildings, teachers and students.

         While most school districts are feeling their budgets shrinking, many are looking at the

recent trends in funding and policies. Funding for the purchase of technology is an area that is

shifting from the purchase of hardware and supplemental instructional materials to the purchase

of instructional programs. “This means it will be important to articulate how your state, district,

or school is incorporating technology into its total education solution—curriculum plus

assessment plus professional development” (House, J., 2012)

         Another area where school districts are looking for funding is in the area of grants and

federal programs. There is, of course, more competition for these grants—in 2011, 16 percent of

the federal funding was competitive; in 2012 that percentage rose to 24 percent (House, J.,

2012). Another opportunity for federal funding comes from the Race to the Top program.

Districts applying for this funding must demonstrate how they are individualizing education for

all students. This money, however, does not come without a catch-“all entities receiving federal

funds must provide evidence of efficacy for any product or service they purchase” (House, J.,

2012).

         Because of the economy and shrinking educational budgets from state, federal and local

governments, many districts are turning to educational foundations to help bridge the gap

between costs and budgets. These foundations are usually made up of parents, educators, and

community members who work together to further the students in each district. At this time,

there are 91 education foundations in the state of Connecticut with more foundations being

developed (CTCEF, n.d.)
 Reed Intermediate School-A Vision for 2017                                                           5



       Technology is another trend which is (and will continue to be) of great importance for K-

12 education. “Technology in support of instruction is used for everything from student

assessments, to individualized instruction, to grading, and to reporting student progress” (Gray,

Thomas, and Lewis, 2010).

       One of these trends in technology is digital learning environments. These will be like

digital books with texts and pictures “but also video and Web sites and simulations,

visualizations, and environments where you’re testing yourself and lots of other kinds of things

that would be important” (Barber, D., 2012). This opportunity will help students connect with

information in a way that would be more relevant to them.

       One of the biggest trends in educational technology will be increased use of mobile

devices such as smartphones, tablets and netbooks with educational apps loaded on them.

Mobile technology is being used by the students every day; it would seem a natural progression

to bring them into the school learning environment. “The reason tablets are so important,

especially in the lower grades of K-6, is because if students at that age have to use a keyboard it

interferes with their ability to absorb and retain information” ” (Barber, D., 2012). In the higher

grades, mobile devices can help the students in game-based learning using simulations.

       In the interest of supporting technological breakthroughs into the classroom,

President Obama and the U.S. Congress created Digital Promise. This initiative was

developed to help support research and development to improve all levels of learning and

education. This boost in the field of technology will help to further innovative learning in the

K-12 schools.

       One of the demographic trends that will have an effect on education in the future will be

enrollment. While there are many factors influencing this change, one of the major influences is
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the economy. “For example, in Oakland, California, the expected high school bubble never

materialized because large numbers of families moved out of the area after the dot-com bust

(Lapkoff, S. and Li, R. M., 2007). Lower enrollments in a school district generally cause less

funding for the schools which usually result in loss of teacher positions and possibly the closing

of schools.

       Another demographic trend that will have an effect on education is the growth of people

reaching retirement age across the nation. By the year 2030, according to Lapkoff and Li (2007),

the over-65 population will be twice as large as the same population in the year 2000.

       The challenges for some school districts will be that some of the most experienced

teachers and administrators will retire in large numbers, leaving the districts without qualified

educators; an aging population may also be unwilling to financially support public education

since they do not have children in the schools.

       On a more positive side, these same populations could offer some opportunities for

schools. “Well-educated, committed, and healthy, many could serve as volunteers in local

communities or embark on second careers as teachers and school administrators” (Lapkoff, S.

and Li, R. M., 2007).

       Schools could face closures and loss of teachers as these trends play out in the near

future-but good planning on the part of school districts and the communities they serve could

turn the possible bad situations into good situations for all people involved.


                                                  Futuring

       Futuring in education is a very important but difficult exercise. "...50% of the

jobs/professions that children now aged five will enter do not currently exist...there is little
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choice but to play the clairvoyant and to try and predict future scenarios... (Moorcroft, R., 2007).

While being clairvoyant is not really in the realm of possibilities (although some feel they or

wish they could be) futuring is the next best possibility. “…the alternative of doing nothing is

not particularly sensible…” (Moorcroft, R., 2007). Educators use futuring to help predict class

sizes, building needs, textbook needs and technology needs. The most prepared educational

system uses trends of the past and present to predict what they will need in the future.

Curriculums are based not only on what the students need in the immediate future but also what

they will need to carry them into the more distant future.

                                         Scenarios and Scanning

       Scenarios are a method used by a futurist to use past and present trends to build plausible

future situations. These situations can be used to help predict future trends or to realize

alternatives to that particular scenarios. “They do not describe just one future, but that several

realizable or desirable futures are placed side by side (multiple futures)” (Mietzner, D. & Reger,

G., 2005). One downfall of scenarios can be the amount of time needed choosing participants

and assembling and interpreting data. Another drawback to scenarios is the tendency to focus on

one likely or most desired scenario. Participants in scenario building can sometimes bring biased

ideas and suggestions to the group to try to make the outcome be something that the group or

individual wants to happen in the future of the organization.

       Scanning is another method used by futurists to predict future situations. It uses past and

present trends to help predict future needs or problems. Scenarios are based on forecasts and

assumptions; scanning takes into account past trends and new developments that challenge those

trends. While scanning can be a useful tool for futurists, it is based on past and present trends. It

does not take into account individual events and therefore the predictions made by scanning can
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become useless and need to be re-examined. “Environmental scanning systems provide early

warning about important changes and detect "weak signals" that indicate plans should be

amended” (Gordon, T. & Glenn, J. 1994).

       Scanning and scenarios can be useful tools for predicting trends and helping an

educational organization predict possibilities in the future. If organizations do not use these

tools to try to formulate plans for themselves and the students, then crisis management and

outdated strategies will be the norm-much to the disservice to the members of the

organization. In this paper, scanning will be used to design a vision for Reed for the year

2017. This will take into account the past and present trends of the school.

                               Reed Intermediate School in 2017

The Reed Intermediate School will not physically change drastically by the year 2017; many of

the technologies, such as servers, computers for students and teachers, and wireless systems,

were installed in the school at the time it was built in 2003. The technologies used at the school

will begin to transition from the desktop computers to more mobile devices such as tablets and

netbooks. Most of the students already use mobile devices outside of the school day, using social

media and other various resources and using them to access assignments, activities and digital

books during the school day will be a natural transition for them. Students will be involved in

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) as the wireless system in the building becomes more available

at the student level. “A growing number of schools are launching “Bring Your Own Device”

(BYOD) programs so that students can use the devices they already own in class as well as in the

informal and out-of-school environments they are ubiquitous in now” (Johnson, L., Adams, S.,

and Cummins, M., 2012 p. 7). The classroom of 2017 will also beginning to use digital text

books instead of paper and ink text books; these books will have the text and pictures as printed
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books do but could also include video, simulation games and Web sites to enhance the student’s

learning. While the students will not be taking online courses in the true sense of the word, the

divide between learning at home and at school will begin to be bridged.

       Teachers will continue to use the technologies already at their disposal such as the school

laptop computers and the desktop computers but will begin to use mobile devices such as iPads,

smartphones, and netbooks with more educational apps loaded on them. Some teachers already

use iPads to access their grade book during classes; other teachers are stepping beyond that to

record students for projects and recording them in music class to keep track of their progress on

an instrument, for example. Teachers will also be able to use these devices and resources to

connect the curriculum more real life situations. This active learning scenario is student centered

and uses devices and content that the students are already using. “The hope is that if learners can

connect the course material with their own lives and their surrounding communities, then they

will become more excited to learn and immerse themselves in the subject matter” (Johnson, L.,

Adams, S., and Cummins, M., 2012 p. 8).

       There will, of course, be challenges and opportunities in this vision of the future. One of

the biggest challenges will be the blending of formal and informal learning. While formal

classes and standardized testing will still be the norm of most schools, the more informal and real

life activities that the new technologies will help to bring into the schools will help the students

more will-rounded learners. “In order for students to get a well-rounded education with real

world experience, they must also engage in more informal in-class activities as well as learning

to learn outside the classroom” (Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M., 2012 p. 9).

       Budgetary constraints imposed by a poor economy will impact the ability to purchase the

devices and upgrade the wireless systems. Professional development will also be impacted by
 Reed Intermediate School-A Vision for 2017                                                        10



these budget issues; without this important part of the puzzle, teachers will not have the

knowledge needed to use the new technology. Increased growth in an aging population - not

only in the town population but also in the educational population in the school will be another

issue for the school to deal with. The town will see an increase in older adults that may not have

children in the public schools and therefore may not support increases in the taxes to keep the

vision for Reed alive. Many teachers and administrators will reach retirement age around the

same time, therefore leaving Reed with a lack of experienced personnel in the school.

          Lower enrollment numbers in the school could impact the vision for 2017. With a

decrease in enrollment in the building, Reed could face the possibility of closure or a drastic

change in population if a different building in the district is closed. This possible change in

population could change the technologies and equipment need for a changed populations;

younger or older students would need different equipment and applications to implement this

vision.

                                         Preparation for Change

          Reed School can start to prepare for some of these changes in the immediate future.

Budgets geared towards funding new equipment, wireless systems, apps and training for the

teachers to use them would be one of the first steps in preparing for this vision. Grant writing

and investigating innovative funding options would begin to help ease some of the budgetary

issues so that the taxpayers would not have to foot the entire bill. Re-examining the school’s

access policies could also aid in the transition to use of mobile devices. In the case of BYOD

(Bring Your Own Devices), many school are beginning to launch these programs “ so schools

can spend less money on technology overall if students use their own, while funneling the

funds they do spend to help students who cannot afford their own devices” (Johnson, L., Adams,
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S., and Cummins, M., 2012 p. 7).

       An advisory board made up of teachers, administrators and parents should start looking at

future technologies and how these technologies can assist the school community to help students

succeed in the future.



                                              Call To Action

       The Reed Intermediate School should begin work as soon as possible to investigate new

classroom technologies such as tablets, netbooks, and digital text books. This work will also

involve budget and professional development issues. A database of the desired technologies and

apps should be set up to compare factors such as cost, feasibility, uses of each technology

examined, and any other pertinent information need to help the district make the most informed

decision possible. This data can be kept on a public site so that the general public has access to

it; this will also help the taxpayers to understand how these materials could benefit the students.

An online forum should also be maintained so the members of the committee and the public can

offer their input and keep updated on the progress of the committee.
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                                             References

2020 forecast « welcome to the future of education. (n.d.). Retrieved from

       http://futureofed.org/2020forecast/

Barber, D. (January 10, 2012). 5 K-12 Ed Tech Trends for 2012. Retrieved from:

       http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/01/10/5-k-12-ed-tech-for-2012.aspx

Connecticut Consortium of Education Foundations. (n.d.) .Retrieved from:

       http://www.ctcef.org/about.html

Cornish, E. (2004). Futuring: the explorations of the future. Bethesda: World Future Society

Gordon, T. & Glenn, J. (1994). Environmental Scanning. AC/UNU Millennium Project.

Gray, L, Thomas, N., & Lewis, L. (2010). Teachers’ use of technology in schools: 2009.

       Retrieved from National Center for Education Statistics:

       http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010040.pdf

House, J. (September 24, 2012). 5 K-12 funding trends that follow the money. Retrieved from:

       http://thejournal.com/articles/2012/01/10/5-k-12-ed-tech-for-2012.asp

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher

       Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12

       Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Lam, D. (2011). How the world survived the population bomb: lessons from 50 years of

       extraordinary demographic history. Demography, 48 (4), 1231-1262.

Lapkoff, S. and Li, R. M. (2007). Five trends for schools. Educational Leadership, 64 (6), 8-15.

Madan, V. (2011, May 16) 6 Reasons Tablets are Ready for the Classroom, [Web log post].

       Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2011/05/16/tablets-education/
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Mietzner, D., & Reger, G. (2005). Advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches for

       strategic foresight. Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning, 1(2), 220-239

Moorcraft, R. (2007). The art of the clairvoyant, Editorial, Manager: British Journal of

       Administrative Management, pp. 4-5.

Slaughter, R.A. (n.d.). Why Schools Should be Scanning the Future and Using Futures Tools.

       Auburn Horizon. Retrieved October 4, 2002, from

       http://www.auburn.edu/administration/horizon/futurestools.html

Stevenson, K. (September 2010). Educational trends shaping school planning, design,

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Willis, MD, J. (2011, April 14) A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a

       Learning Tool, [Web log post]. Retrieved from www.edutopia.org/blog/video-games-

       learning-student-engagement-judy-willis

								
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