January 1, 2009

Ten Key Components in Building a 21st Century School


Every school that embraces 21st Century teaching and learning must have a School Technology Plan that is integrated with their strategic curriculum and instruction plans. I started this list a couple of years ago to help planning teams get a big picture of the options available for a 21st Century classroom. I will continue to update this list.



1. Develop a School Technology Plan
  • Read your District's Strategic Technology Plan
  • Identify Core Teacher Leaders (Grade level/Dept.) - Identify lead writer
  • Write Technology Plan - Include Funding Strategies, Professional Development and budget
  • Fund Site-based Technology Support Position - a must hire even during tough budget years!

2. Monthly ‘Just in Time’ Technology Professional Development
  • Interactive Classroom System in Every Classroom 
  • Professional development based on needs assessment and technology available
  • Monthly 1-2 hour sessions (Teachers have a full plate)
  • Curriculum integration utilizing project-based learning, digital media literacy and Information Communication Technology (ICT)
3. Interactive Whiteboard / Slate / Student Responders
  • Classroom Audio (Wireless Microphone System)
  • LCD Video Projector
  • XGA Document Camera
  • Teacher Laptop Computer
  • Mobile Presentation Workstation
4. Micro Learning Spaces
Here is a beginning list of items that could physically transform student ergonomics for teaching and learning in a project-based learning environment.
  • Large carpets, small carpets, mats, large and small vinyl pillows and bolsters, triangle wedges - Think of durable PE matting as classroom furniture
  • Bean bag chairs, reading pillow chairs, padded vinyl chairs and rockers.
  • Portable vinyl benches, vinyl sofa chairs on wheels, vinyl couches on wheels
  • Portable Lap Desks
  • Standing high bar tables

5. Student Computers
  • K-3rd Grades- mix of 3-5 desktops and/or laptop computers
  • 4th – 8th Grades one-to-one 10" Ultra Mobile PC Wireless Laptops
  • 9th – 12th Grades one-to-one 12" Ultra Mobile PC Wireless Laptops
  • One-to-One Computing: Start with School Program - Move toward the laptop in a backpack school to home program
6. Access to Broadband
  • Ethernet - Ports located around the classroom
  • Wireless Access Points located around the school
  • School Surveys identifying student percentage of home access
7. A Focus on Content Creation, Digital Imaging and Web Apps
  • Open Office/Microsoft Office/Google Docs
  • Adobe PhotoShop and Premier Bundle/ iLife/Picnik
  • Promethean Activstudio - Project-based software for all teachers and students
8. A Network Laser Printer in Every Classroom
  • Network Monochrome laser printer in every class
  • Network Color laser printer in School Office/Workroom (for special projects)
9. Access to Digital and Video Cameras for Visual Literacy
  • Digital Still Cameras - one for every teacher - a set of 10 for school/student use
  • Video Cameras - one for every grade level or department
10. Access to an Online eLearning Portals and Reference Resources
  • Virtual Desktop with web-based Digital Locker for Students and Teachers
  • Moodle Learning Management System for teaching and learning with parent viewing access
  • Online Reference Databases – Ebsco, Grolier Encyclopedia
  • Online Reference Video - United Streaming