Future Ready: Are We Preparing Our Students for Success in the 21st Century?
Ensuring America’s students have the skills they need to succeed in a competitive 21st-century global economy requires educational leaders to foster a culture of personalized digital learning in their schools. This can be challenging when fewer than 30 percent of U.S. schools currently have the broadband access students need to learn with today’s technology.
“Future Ready” concentrates on building the human capacity within schools and districts so they can effectively use increased connectivity and new devices to transform teaching and learning. The White House and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology (OET) initiated the program, building on the momentum of President Obama’s 2013 launch of the ConnectEd initiative.
ConnectED to the Future
As part of the Future Ready initiative, President Obama hosted more than 100 school superintendents at the White House during a November 19, 2014 “ConnectED to the Future” summit. Superintendents signed the Future Ready District Pledge indicating their commitment to work with educators, families and communities to develop broadband infrastructures; make high-quality digital materials and devices more accessible; and support professional development programs for educators, schools and districts as they transition to digital learning.
Connected Educators Project
AIR is working closely with the Office of Educational Technology to empower educators’ use of technology to transform teaching and learning. The Connected Educators project (2010-2014) has provided educators with opportunities to collaborate through online communities of practice and social networks. “Future Ready” resources AIR has played a role in developing include the following:
- Future Ready Schools: Empowering Educators through Professional Learning Toolkit (developed under the Connected Educators project)
- Designing Online Communities of Practice for Educators to Create Value (report)
- The Future Ready District: Professional Learning Through Online Communities of Practice (report)
- Other Professional Learning Resources
Through the Connected Educators 2014 project, AIR is creating an online interface enabling district leaders to assess their districts’ future-readiness. Leaders will also be able to access video examples and resources to initiate positive change, and innovative strategies to enhance leadership and improve learning conditions for all students.
AIR is working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education to develop the 2015 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP). This effort will build upon the earlier plan to inspire research, development, and innovation in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.