Gadfly Bites 5/21/18 – Plumbing the depths of the future

  1. As previously noted here, FutureReady Columbus is once again ready for the present after more than a year of dormancy in the past. However, the group is perhaps going to be able to live up to its name a little more easily this time since—due to a change of focus—the future for which they are getting Columbus kids ready is Kindergarten. (Columbus Dispatch, 5/20/18)
     
  2. Speaking of the future, Edison High School in Milan, Ohio, conducted its third-annual Edge Day last week. It is focused on giving graduating seniors some practical knowledge of life after high school so they are “future ready”, to coin a phrase. Topics included financial tips (it’s OK to put off having a nice house until much later in life), basic car care (don’t drive for more than 50 miles on temporary tires), and safe interaction with law enforcement (be respectful). Milan native Thomas Edison is proud of the graduates of his namesake high school, I’m sure. (Norwalk Reflector, 5/20/18)
     
  3. Finally, in terms of getting ready for the actual future, here’s an interesting story comparing schools in the Springfield area on their use of technology in the classroom. First up are a couple of smaller districts whose entry into the 21st Century comes courtesy of tens of millions of dollars—state and local money—to be spent building new school buildings. These buildings will be wired out the wazoo…because the state says they have to be. The discussion of the construction manual and tech-inclusion requirements is just as scintillating as you think it is. As long as there’s still room for the mimeo machine! Springfield City Schools, in additional to building a whiz-bang future-y building or two, is also gearing up to give all their high school students laptops…so they can “access content and build confidence in their learning style”. Whatever that means. Finally, though, is the newest standalone early college high school in Ohio – Global Impact STEM Academy. All my loyal Gadfly Bites subscribers know that I am very partial to the STEM/early college model. And the science teacher from GISA, quoted here as already embracing the future, shows you yet another reason why. “Student-teaching relationship is number one. You can’t get anything out of your kids unless you have built a relationship. That is key and critical,” he said. “There is a lot of instructional practice that goes along with it and the technology supports it.” That means not using iConnect to show movies in class, and no mimeo! (Springfield News-Sun, 5/20/18)
 
 
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,