During the 2016-2017 school year, I had the opportunity to serve on the Future Ready Schools committee at my former school. Future Ready Schools (FRS) is a framework for implementing educational technology at the district level in order to prepare all students (especially those in under-served and socioeconomically disadvantaged schools) for the future. It is a nationwide initiative funded in part by taxpayers.
Most people agree that students need technology skills to prepare them for the future, but what exactly that looks like can vary greatly from school to school, or even classroom to classroom in the same school. FRS is a framework that can remedy that ambiguity. The framework is a five-step process which includes creating a leadership team, completing a self-analysis, collecting data from stakeholders, implementing an action plan, and measuring the progress made. The process can be repeated as necessary.
FRS is a comprehensive program for identifying areas of need within each gear and making suggestions based on those results. The district’s needs are determined through multiple surveys given to various stakeholders–principals, upper administration, teachers, librarians, parents, and community members. Everyone has a say in assessing where the district is currently at, and where they’d like to end up.
FRS provides email templates to send to stakeholders as well as links to complete the survey digitally so that data across multiple stakeholders can be aggregated. The complete survey may be accessed here.
While the particulars of our work with FRS cannot be shared due to privacy reasons, I can say that the experience was absolutely worth the investment of time it required. For nearly aspect of the technology-implementation process, we had quantifiable data which correlated to suggestions made by FRS on ways to improve in that particular area.
For more information on the Future Ready Schools program, please see my blog post.