Less than 30% of US schools have the bandwidth they need to teach using today’s technology, including interactive access to the Internet. Federal and state programs are helping to expand this capacity so that at least 99% of the nation’s students have high-speed Internet access in their schools within five years. Future Ready is one such program, working with school districts to provide resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans:
- Align with instructional best practices
- Are implemented by highly trained teachers
- Lead to personalized learning experiences for all students
The US Department of Education and the Alliance for Excellent Education are leading Future Ready with the support of the Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission and a vast coalition of organizations. The program encourages and supports superintendents as they transition their districts to digital learning.
As part of the program, district superintendents take the Future Ready District Pledge. Developed by the U.S. Department of Education, the pledge is a commitment by district leaders to work with educators, families, and community members to make all schools in their districts Future Ready. Superintendents who sign the pledge are eligible to attend one of the free Future Ready Regional Summits. Almost 2,000 superintendents have taken the pledge.
To learn more about Future Ready and share your experiences, join the Future Ready twitter chat, May 27 at 3:00 ET. Leading the chat will be Dr. Frank Tiano, superintendent of the Chelmsford Public Schools, Massachusetts, and Anne-Marie Fiore, executive director of technology and information services for the Chelmsford Public Schools. Frank is one of the 100 top school leaders who participated in the National Connected Superintendents Summit at the White House. In addition to having 20 years of K-12 technology experience, Anne-Marie is on the Huffington Post list of Top 100 Most Social K-12 Tech Leaders on Twitter 2015.
Here are some of the elements of the Future Ready program.
- Future Ready districts make digital resources available that help access expanded college, career, and citizenship opportunities.
- Future Ready districts promote ways to leverage technology to expand equity through digital activities such as completion of the FAFSA online, virtual counseling services, college scholarship search tools, and online advising access.
- Future Ready districts conduct comprehensive diagnostic assessments of the district’s technology infrastructure and develop a sustainable plan to ensure broadband classroom connectivity and wireless access.
- Future Ready districts strive to provide everyone with access to personalized learning opportunities and instructional experts that give teachers and leaders the individual support they need, when they need it.
- Future Ready districts provide tools to help teachers effectively leverage learning data to make better instructional decisions.
- The Future Ready Leadership Network offers: 1) a Future Ready assessment and report with specific pathways toward progress, 2) an interactive planning dashboard to help districts analyze and report their own team’s progress, 3) a community of mentoring districts, 4) ongoing webinars and expert advisory chats, and 5) exemplars and snap shots of success.
These districts have taken the Future Ready pledge and are eligible to attend Future Ready regional summits.