Information Technology Solutions

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1 Information Technology Solutions = VISION 21 st Century Teaching Learning As we enter the new age, the future won t just happen. It will be created and primarily by them. Don Tapscott Grown Up Digital The Need for Change Towards 2020 Connecting with our Students Success for Students Success for Staff Our vision is one where all staff and students in the Ottawa Catholic School Board have the skills they need to excel in the 21 st century. We will achieve student success by meeting the diverse needs of 21 st century learners. Today s students are different from the students that our system was created to educate. The new digital learners are immersed in technology and they expect to use digital tools as part of their educational experience. Brain based research provides evidence that today s generation of students are wired differently than previous generations. Instructional strategies are evolving to reflect the needs of 21 st century learners. The question we need to ask is not about what equipment to purchase or install, but rather what skills do our students need to succeed. The class of 2020 is currently sitting in our primary classrooms. These students will graduate from a learning environment and culture that espouses 21 st century skill sets and tools. In order to create a learning environment that engages our students we are in the process of: updating our infrastructure, introducing new tools, creating professional digital learning communities, building leadership capacity, and removing procedural barriers (see appendix one for a list of information technology initiatives). Information Communication Technology (ICT) Tipping Point Stewardship of Resources Technology is now reaching the point where it is available almost everywhere. The cost of technology is rapidly decreasing while the processing power is increasing. Convergence between a variety of devices and the Internet is becoming common place. A recent Media Technology Monitor (MTM) survey examined the media habits and technology usage of Canadians. The survey found that household penetration of broadband services continues to grow year after year. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 1

2 The significance for our schools is that more and more students have access to rich media resources when they are outside of school. Weekly Internet usage by Canadians has tripled since According to Internet World Stats, There are over 300 million searches on Google every day! there were 361 million Internet users in the year 2000; there are now over 1.9 billion users accessing over 1 trillion unique URLs. Worldwide there are over 3 billion searches on Google every day! YouTube launched in 2005 and now there are over 2 billion YouTube videos are watched daily. According to the Social Media Guide, there are over 247 billion s sent per day with this number expected to hit over 507 billion by the year Blog Pulse indicates that there are over 126 million blogs available on the Internet. There are over 37.4 trillion page views on Facebook each year. There are over 5 billion cell phone connections worldwide. The increasing prevalence of Smart Phones is creating opportunities for learning both in and out of school. The iphone came out in There are now over 350,000 apps available for various i-devices, many of them educational, and many of them free. Apple has seen over 10 billion apps downloaded while The Gartner group predicts 185 billion app downloads for all devices by the year Ubiquitous access to technology cannot (and should not) be stopped. OCSB staff need to be prepared to leverage technology to engage students and increase student success. Leaders in the OCSB need to model the use of new technologies and their positive benefits to both staff and students. Success for Students Success for Staff Stewardship of Resources Core Priorities Technology within the Ottawa Catholic School Board will be viewed as a tool to support research based instructional strategies. The core priorities of student success, success for staff, and stewardship of resources, within a Catholic framework will be enhanced by digital learning opportunities. Interdepartmental plannng and communication are essential to ensure that stewardship of resources is being achieved. Initiatives that are not supporting our Board core priorities should be challenged and resources allocated to other areas. Departmental budgets should include provisions to prioritize 21 st century teaching and learning. The provision of an infrastructure and tools will not result in improved student success without the alignment of curriculum resources, instructional practices, and professional learning. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 2

3 Governance Several Board policies and procedures may have unintentionally restricted students and staff from accessing digital resources over our secure network (for example, blocking teacher access to YouTube, not allowing personal devices on the network). The OCSB will strive to find a balance between safety/security and access to resources. Procedures will be created that will be flexible in nature to allow for changing technologies to be readily implemented within the system. A new Board policy has been released to clarify how staff can use emerging technologies such as social media for instructional purposes. The implementation of a wireless environment throughout the Board will coincide with school practices that allow student use of devices to connect to the Internet for academic purposes. Teachers will be encouraged to teach students the appropriate use of social media and safe online activity. Restrictions blocking teacher access to the Internet will be relaxed with more emphasis on classroom management. Staff will have more flexibility in bringing Board devices home to continue their learning by accessing just-in-time online learning modules. Capacity Building and Teacher Preparation Simply inserting technology into classrooms and schools without considering how the contexts for learning need to change, will likely fail. Allan Collins The new generation of teachers will enter our system with an understanding of the required changes in instructional practice in order to relate to today s digital learners. Problem solving, or inquiry learning, with the teacher facilitating individualized student learning will continued to be emphasized. Differentiated instruction through the use of a variety of technologies and tools should be a standard component of all teacher preparation programs. OCSB leaders from all generations need to model the effective use of information technology skills with the goal of achieving student success. Board staff will continue to contribute to provincial dialogue around the re-design of teacher education programs, principal qualification programs, and supervisory officer qualification programs. A focus on 21 st century learning and teaching skills should become embedded as tools for achieving student and staff success. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 3

4 Standards of basic technology competency should be shared with teachers and administrators. These standards can then be used as objectives within personal learning plans. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has created a series of National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). These NETS shall form the basis for our competency references and benchmarks. The OCSB Leadership Journey should include technological competencies that promote the use of digital tools for learning opportunities. Central staff will continue to use digital tools as a means of modeling to other leaders in the system. The Catholic Leadership Framework provides a reference for Vice-Principals, Principals, and Supervisory Officers to set direction and priorities. Leaders should receive support and training in the use of digital tools to ensure that they can model 21 st century skills. Devices and Applications... powerful software and hardware often get used in limited ways to simply maintain rather than transform prevailing instructional practices The focus should not be on any particular device or application. Teachers and students will focus on transferable skill sets as opposed to skills related to learning a particular application. Software and computer devices will continue to change at a rapid pace. The OCSB infrastructure should be flexible enough to leverage advances in technology. As a starting point, teachers and students need access to a wireless environment with high speed bandwidth. Teachers should have a laptop or other device that will allow them to personalize their learning and instruction. Teachers and students should have access to an LCD projector and an interactive whiteboard for display and engagement purposes. Clayton Christensen Other devices for student and staff access such as netbooks, document cameras, response systems, voice amplification systems, tablets, ipods, ipads, etc. may supplement core resources. The continued differentiation of instructional practice should supplement the use of these resources in order to maximize the impact on student learning. The OCSB infrastructure should be in place in order to leverage the digital resources that are available to students. This includes a balance between textbooks and digital resources once access and reliable connectivity is no longer an issue. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 4

5 Learning Environment The traditional classroom will continue to adapt as the main learning environment for most students; however, digital tools of the day should expand the learning environment to a more global perspective. Within the changing classroom, students will participate in learning activities through a variety of medium. Students will learn the skills to work with partners who may not be physically present in the traditional classroom. Perhaps above all other aspects of Web utilization, the power of choice is what sets the Web of Learning apart from other forms of learning. Curtis J. Bonk Where possible (recognizing Ministry guidelines), time constraints should be removed from traditional credit based instruction at the high school level. The amount of time that a student should spend in any one class or required to complete a course should change. Differentiated instruction and individualized learning should lead to anytime learning. Students should have access to the resources they need in order to meet content expectations as opposed to timeline expectations. Students should have input into the speed and pace of their own learning. Students should have increased choice in the instructional model that best suits their learning style. Options should include: face to face learning, hybrid or blended learning opportunities that combine online learning and face to face learning, and virtual learning. The Board will develop a secure and stable online learning portal for staff and student access. The online learning portal shall serve as an object repository that allows the sharing of resources. The selected platform should be easy for staff to use and flexible enough to allow for varied levels of staff use (example, virtual learning, blended learning, credit recovery). Instructional Practices - Higher Order Thinking Skills Teachers are changing from a focus on providing facts to a new focus on higher order thinking skills. Assessment strategies that focus on memorization and recall are changing to new assessment strategies that focus on higher order thinking skills such as evaluating and creating. Electronic response systems are being used to provide immediate feedback and to inform instruction. Student use of digital tools such as social media will provide them with the opportunity to engage in higher order thinking skills. There should be a cross-curricular focus on 21st century learning skills including: communication and collaboration (both with students inside and out of the school), creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 5

6 Higher Order Thinking Skills Creating Evaluating Analyzing Applying Understanding Remembering Teachers should continue to challenge beliefs and strategies that have been based on a left-brain (logical and analytical) society to one that recognizes and assesses right-brain (creativity and problem solving) activities. Bloom s revised Taxonomy of Thinking Skills clearly demonstrates the required evolution in instruction and assessment. Lower Order Thinking Skills Research indicates that digital learners are not motivated by a teacher standing at the front of a classroom lecturing and requiring students to copy notes. Fortunately this practice is no longer the norm in the Ottawa Catholic School Board. The majority of digital learners are visual learners who are wired for video and audio engagement. In an environment where information and facts are readily available, teachers have an important role to play in helping students challenge, question, and create, based on the myriad of information available to them. OCSB staff should continue to support teachers as they transition away from traditional skills to higher order thinking and 21 st century learning skills. The introduction of the technological tools without changes in instructional practice will not result in significant gains in student achievement or engagement. The Student Success Department is supporting teachers with resources to reflect revised curriculum. These resources should continue to be aligned with 21 st century teaching and learning skills (Information media and technology skills, learning and innovation skills, life and career skills, core subjects and 21 st century themes). Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 6

7 Catholicity In an age where information is readily available, it has become increasingly important for teachers to guide students towards value based judgments. Students and staff have the ability to create and add to the wealth of positive information available on the World Wide Web. The Catholic Graduate Expectations will have an increasingly important place in the preparation of our students. The Catholic Graduate Expectations are inherently higher order, focused on communication, collaboration, creativity, and lifelong learning. The OCSB is well positioned to play an important role in developing comprehensive digital citizens. Safety within digital environments, Cyberbullying prevention, and healthy relationships are all components of the Religious and Family Life courses. Teachers will continue to create learning activities that require students to apply value based judgments and to critically analyze and validate facts and arguments. Professional Development Generation Gaps As a Board, we need to recognize that the majority of decision makers currently come from those who would be considered baby boomers and some who would be considered generation X. The students that we serve are generation Y, generation Z, and those students who were born in 2010 and later are being referred to as generation alpha. Our teaching staff is comprised of individuals from a variety of generations. Job embedded training and in-service opportunities should be differentiated for our staff in a manner similar to the differentiated instruction that we provide to our students. Decision makers should recognize the generational differences when making decisions. A new phase of digital professional learning communities is being initiated to provide just-in-time delivery to our new generation of teaching staff. The focus will shift away from text based instruction and move to media rich environments where staff can refine their instructional practices both in the classroom and in the new global classroom that extends beyond traditional classroom walls. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 7

8 The Net Generation, the biggest ever, is coming of age. As they go to college and begin jobs, Net Geners are beginning to use remarkable digital tools that give individuals the power that in the past was reserved for the authorities. Don Tapscott It is important to recognize both traditional text based skills that many staff value and the digital audio and video based skills that many of our students and younger staff value. The achievement chart (Knowledge / Understanding; Thinking / Inquiry; Communication, and; Application / Making Connections) can be used as a framework to provide a focus as part of professional learning opportunities. The four areas of the achievement chart apply regardless of the selected medium. Contrary to statements that we are preparing students for jobs that don t exist, we should recognize and validate that we are preparing students for both jobs that do exist today and providing our students with skills for jobs that are yet to be invented. The OCSB should expand its current online delivery model to include opportunities for staff to learn and develop 21 st century skills. Staff should have opportunities to learn digital skills that will assist them in engaging their students. Recognition of the varying needs of different generations of teachers is important in providing a variety of learning opportunities including just-in-time delivery of resources in rich media formats. The development of personalized portals, anywhere access, combined with access to digital devices will support success for staff. Help desk tools will be developed and support will become available in a timely manner. As digital tools become key components in achieving our Board core priorities, it is important that the tools are maintained and supported so that staff can focus on the instructional strategies and not on the technology. Libraries and Equity of Access Today a vast collection of resource materials is available online in a digital format. The model of collecting information and securing it in a central location is changing. Libraries will evolve into Learning Commons. Learning Commons do not need to occupy the same footprint as libraries. The Learning Commons will become a central gathering location for students and staff to continue learning whether that is text based, or rich media based. Access to online information and spaces for collaborative and creative work should be central to the media center. Teacher-Librarians will model web 2.0 search and collaboration skills in a welcoming, energy-rich environment. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 8

9 The librarian, or Cybrarian, may have the most to gain from this open learning world: witness e-books, online portals, open access journals, and online video to accompany many publications. Curtis J. Bonk Traditional teacher librarians are refining their skills to become Cybrarians who are adept at navigating the rich digital resources available on the Internet. Cybrarians will serve as digital literacy coaches to support staff and students. Access to digital collections need to be extended beyond the traditional school day. Ideally, evening and weekend access to digital tools should be made available in the Learning Commons to bridge the digital divide for those who do not have the tools in their home. Allowing students to bring their own devices to school will provide increased access for those students who do not have their own device (example if a class has access to 5 devices, and 10 students bring in their own device, then the 5 school devices can be shared with those who do not have their own).this synergy will provide good stewardship of resources. The Board practice of replacing devices needs to be supplemented with additional devices being introduced into the system. The move to virtualization and web based applications will allow less powerful and older devices to serve educational purposes. Learning for all Investments will be made in technology that provides students with curriculum modification and accommodations for individualized or personalized learning. Following the principles outlined in Learning for All, the use of information communication technology will aim to be provided in an inclusive setting. Technologies that facilitate learning will be made available to students in system classes. Language based applications will be used to support ELL and ESL learners. Interdepartmental cooperation will ensure that stewardship of resources is focused on equality of opportunity for all students in our system. Resources should be allocated in order to provide digital tools to assist with modifications and accommodations to meet special needs in the system. Staff should stay current with research in the area of assistive technologies to take advantage of advances in this area. Staff should receive job embedded learning opportunities in order to provide support to language learners including ELL and ESL learners. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 9

10 Communication Technology Parental involvement in education has proven to result in increased student success. Emerging technologies may be used to supplement traditional communication tools. Investments may be made to provide a communication channel that is differentiated for each family (example, , text message, voice message, etc.). New technologies should also be used to offer messages in a variety of languages to respect our increasingly diverse community. Technologies will be explored and used to improve student safety and security. Investments should be made to provide improved communication. The development of a parental portal should complement the development of a teacher portal. Static website delivery of information should evolve into interactive web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies along with mobile access to school and Board information. Business and Management Applications New technologies are allowing for easier access to personal data such as payroll and other human resources information. As access increases it is important that safeguards, contingency planning, and disaster recovery plans are put in place. Privacy of personal information must be maintained and communicated across the system. The design of new learning spaces and schools should take into account current research on 21 st century learning. Introducing digital tools along with flexible learning spaces will result in the greatest impact on student learning. Staff should receive training on the proper storage and access to data. Disaster recovery systems must be put into place as non-electronic means to accomplish business tasks are eliminated. Electronic tools should be seen as mission critical as they contribute to key priorities and, as such, should be kept online with minimal disruption. Interdepartmental collaboration will contribute to the development of holistic and comprehensive plans to ensure that each area of the Board is focusing on student success regardless of job function. Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 10

11 Summary The Ottawa Catholic School Board is a leading school Board in Ontario with a clear focus on student and staff success. We will continue to innovate and adapt to reflect the changing needs of 21 st Century learners. We recognize that we are no longer preparing students for the world that we grew up in; we are preparing them to be contributing digital citizens in a new 21 st Century environment. 21 st century learning needs to move away from a focus on equipment and technology and instead focus on our priorities: success for students, success for staff, and stewardship of resources, all within a Catholic framework. Digital tools and individualized learning paths will enable us to continue to be a successful Catholic School Board. As we transition through the second decade of the 21 st Century, we will implement the necessary changes to ensure that our students are well prepared to be contributing digital citizens when they graduate. Key Resources reviewed in the preparation of this discussion paper 21 st Century Fluency Series: Teaching for Tomorrow, Attributes of Digital Learners, Getting it Right Understanding Digital Kids I and II, Literacy is Not enough, Living on the Future Edge International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) The Partnership for 21st Century Learning Bonk, Curtis J.. The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. New York, NY: Wiley, Print. Christensen, Clayton M., Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson. Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. 1 ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, Collins, Allan, and Richard Halverson. Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America (Technology, Education--Connections (Tec)) (Technology, Education-Connections the Tec Series). New York: Teachers College Press, Tapscott, Don(Author). Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World [GROWN UP DIGITAL]. New York: McGraw-Hill, Toward 2020 OCSB Learning Technology Blueprint for Change Page 11

12 Information Technology Solutions = Learning Technologies VISION 21 st Century Teaching Learning Our vision is one where all staff and students in the Ottawa Catholic School Board have the skills they need to excel in the 21 st century. We will achieve student success by meeting the diverse needs of 21 st century learners. The use of technology combined with sound pedagogy will create an alignment between 21 st century teaching and 21 st century learning. In order to create a learning environment that engages our students we are in the process of: updating our infrastructure, introducing new tools, creating professional learning communities, building capacity, and removing procedural barriers. Snapshot of where we re going Board Portal develop active directory increased communications with parents Increased bandwidth to process rich media connections Reliable network core switches, storage, backups Wireless learning environment at all Board Sites Board Portal Increased Bandwidth Reliable Network Wireless elearning Blended Learning all students exposed to blended learning Creation of a data warehouse to allow all users easy access to a data dashboard Change in policies and practice allow social media, allow student use of Smart Phones Decreased reliance on computer labs and increased use of Internet connected devices elearning Data Warehouse Remove Barriers Internet Devices Cloud Computing increased use of web based applications Re-tool our classrooms and libraries: Interactive White Boards, LCD projectors, digital resources Build Capacity job embedded learning, leaders modeling use of ICT, online PLCs Improved efficiencies workflow, integrated systems Cloud Computing Re-tool classrooms Build Capacity Improved workflow

13 Information Technology Solutions Reliable Network There is an on-going investment in the network infrastructure to ensure that it is reliable and stable. Increased Bandwidth The increased use of media and resources such as video from You Tube and Teacher Tube require increased bandwidth. Teaching tools such as Skype for online mentoring require reliable and high speed connectivity. Wireless Learning Environment The creation of a secure wireless environment at all Board sites will allow for improved student access to educational resources over the Internet. Students will be permitted to use personal devices to connect to the World Wide Web for educational purposes. Teachers will be able to work, prepare, and collaborate from any location in the school. Board Portal The development of a Board Portal will allow for improved communications with parents and students. Staff will have single sign-on access to a variety of teaching tools, data, and utilities. The Portal will allow for direct communications to teachers and/or all staff. Changing computer labs The new model of delivery will move away from bringing an entire class to a computer lab. Differentiated instruction practices will see a more flexible learning environment with technology on-demand in the classroom. Blended Learning The use of a learning management system will allow the exchange of resources through a central object repository. Students may choose to take blended courses that combine face to face instruction with anytime and anywhere learning. Data Warehouse The creation of a data-warehouse and a data dashboard in partnership with the Noel-York consortium will allow for access to data to inform and improve student achievement. Change in Policy and Practice Policies and practices that currently create barriers to student engagement will be removed or modified. Students will be permitted to use Internet connected devises for academic purposes. Staff will be permitted to use social media to improve communication and enhance professional dialogue. Web Apps The use of web-based applications such as Google Apps will promote 21 st century skills including: collaboration, communication, and creativity. Google Apps provides tools such as documents, calendars, voice, and shared groups. Re-tool our classrooms and libraries Overhead projectors and chalkboards are being replaced with interactive whiteboards, document cameras, and LCD projectors. All teaching staff will have a Board issued laptop to access the wireless environment at our sites. Build Capacity Online user directed PLCs, leader modeling, just in time learning, and job-embedded learning will all be part of a strategy to increase the use of ICT. Help line and help desk ticket system available to support all employees. Improved Workflow Department and school use of digital forms and a centralized searchable document repository will result in efficiencies and increased work flow.

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