What kind of schools will be in future?

Community schools are the wave of the future where more needs may be met inside the school building. The following categories are being added in addition to medical components.

Character Education

How students behave in school does matter. It affects the atmosphere for everyone in the building. In the past, citizenship was on the report card. Today, schools are teaching:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Violence prevention
  • Anti-bullying
  • Communication skills

Respect and safety at school are key issues discussed on in-service days and at school board meetings.

Technology and Testing

Wouldn’t it be great if tests were in video game format? Would this eliminate test anxieties? Well, at North Caroline State University that is the goal. At the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation work is underway to construct video games that test students knowledge. Perhaps very soon, Wi-Fi, dual-screen, hand-held video game consoles will be in classrooms to monitor progress.

Netiquette

While the internet may be something teenagers enjoy, the etiquette that comes with a new field has not been present. What are Cyberspace rules?
Don’t forward private emails to you to others.

Remember the fact that anything you send someone may be sent on to someone else.

Sending a message in all CAPS is considered SHOUTING.
Don’t give out email addresses to others without permission.

And, remember that what you send out in Cyberspace will remain out there forever. It will be there when you apply for a job, a scholarship or for admission to a college. It is forever somewhere.

Media Literacy

2016 Charter School Teacher of the Year, Brad Koepenick, says, “Media-literacy skills empower students to access, understand, analyze, evaluate, use. And create messages in every medium, including paper, television, the Internet, cell phones, and PDAs.” [Jennifer Foote Sweeney, Edutopia]
Technology is becoming a runaway train and changing very quickly each year. While it may seem like schools are keeping up quite well in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada are way ahead. Koepenick, a middle school theater and media-arts teaching in Los Angeles, asks students on Monday with the following questions:

  • Who rented your eyes this weekend?
  • Who created this message?
  • What values to they represent
  • What tricks did they use to achieve their purpose?

Wiki

This word sounds like a cross between a Hawaiian plant and an encyclopedia. Wikis are websites that can be quickly and easily accessed by the wiki owner. Anyone may become a Wiki owner including teachers. Wiki is a great tool to allow groups to organize and contribute to projects.

Pretend that four students are going to work on a group project together for an assignment. The problem is that their schedules vary greatly. Mary can work on the project 3rd period, Mark 4th period, Jeremy 6th period, and Erin in the evening. They can all get on when they are free and contribute to the project when they have time. Each person can build on what the other one did. The wiki keeps a record of who contributed what and when. The teacher may also monitor these four students on the wiki to work on this project. Some items may be “locked” by the teacher so there is no more editing allowed.
Wikispaces was launched three years ago and grown to over 100,000 memberships costing only $50 per year. The “owner” of the site controls the site. PBwiki and Wetpaint are two other sites offering Wikis.

Online mentoring

Mentoring is not new. Seasoned teachers have mentored first year teachers for years. But, mentoring online is new. Virtual mentoring is now capable of connecting small groups of new teachers and experienced teachers on various selected topics. New science and math teachers may connect with veteran teachers on eMSS, eMentoring for Student Success. It is planned in the near future for a new teacher to enter a classroom through video streaming to see a seasoned teacher teach a lesson.