Vision for 21st Century Teaching & Learning
Board approves major investment in plan to boost 21st Century teaching and learning
Today's students are leaders in the use of technology. More and more they tell us that they want—they need—their learning experiences in school to reflect this. Students want to take the technology they use in their daily lives and integrate it with how they learn.
That’s why the Peel District School Board’s Vision for 21st Century Teaching & Learning, which trustees approved at the March 27, 2012, Regular Meeting of the Board, is so exciting. The board’s $7 million investment in technology for our students will ensure our schools are increasingly connected and relevant in the 21st Century.
Some Peel schools are currently using Wi-Fi technology (Wi-Fi) to boost learning in the classroom, with great success. By the end of this school year—2012-13—we expect students in all Peel schools to be able to communicate, collaborate and access educational resources online through wireless networks. This technology has become common in many homes and public areas, such as airports and hospitals.
Use of Wi-Fi
Responses to commonly asked questions about the use of wireless technology
We understand and are sensitive to the safety concerns some community members have regarding the use of Wi-Fi. Providing safe and appropriate places to learn and work is a top priority for the Peel board. As with all health issues, we take advice from Peel Public Health. They have provided us with information from the Public Health Ontario that says there have been numerous studies on radiofrequency exposure and its impacts on human health, but that there is no evidence of negative health effects of Wi-Fi. Here are some links to external resources aboutwireless technology and health.
We will continue to rely on the expertise and standards of organizations like Health Canada and Peel Public Health to guide our use of technology in schools, as they regularly review the most current scientific literature to inform respective guidelines and policies based on the weight of evidence. We will also continue to comply with all governing legislation to ensure we provide safe and appropriate places to learn and work and as always, our decisions are based on the best interests of students.
Wi-Fi installations began in July and will continue throughout the school year. This means that schools will be at different stages of implementation of the board's Vision for Learning & Instructional Plan this school year. We expect that school and board staff will spend much of the upcoming school year preparing to fully leverage the board’s investment in technology.
Wireless technology has been shown to have a positive impact on research skills, and on student engagement and achievement. As wireless becomes available in a school, students will begin to see teachers incorporate more digital resources into their lessons. It’s important to note, however, that teachers in every classroom will not be expected to embed technology into every lesson. There’s a right time and place for every instructional moment.
Also, once online resources are able to be accessed wirelessly, students will be encouraged to BYOD—bring your own device. Watch our Why BYOD? video here: http://bit.ly/10Ttpyb.
The plan will improve equity of access to technology for all students through classroom technology in schools. A process will ensure schools and classrooms across the system have similar standards of technology so that no child feels excluded.
Students are going to live and work in a world where people use their devices 24/7. They need to learn to use technology effectively and respectfully. Digital responsibility is an important part of what we help students learn in school, and appropriate use will continue to be an expectation in each school’s Code of Conduct as it is now. As we begin to move forward with the plan, principals, staff and School Council members will work together to develop school policies and practices that support the effective use of technology in the classroom.
These technologies—and anytime, anywhere access—have the power to make a real difference to prepare students for a successful future.