Future Ready – Are We? 10/10

What is Future Ready?

Jon Phillips – Managing Director, Worldwide Education, Dell Inc.


This post is part of a 10 day posting challenge issued by Tina Zita. You can’t be a connected educator if you don’t contribute. Sometimes we need a nudge to remember that if nobody shares, nobody learns. Thanks Tina!


This morning, I had the opportunity to listen to Jon Phillips speak on the concept of Future Ready, and what we know about how to do this in our school systems.  Below are my notes from his session, outlining some of the key messages.

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  • IT and curriculum – they are no longer separate.  They must work together.  [This made me consider the work we do at TELO – capacity building for both TELT Contacts (pedagogy focus) and DeLCs (technology focus).]

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  • We have to build technology enabled critical thinkers.
  • The learning environment is as critical as the curriculum.
  • Student-led learning – this is easier said than done given the current structures that define the system.


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  • Successful schools have a restlessness and ongoing passion for continuous improvement.
  • Information is important, and the whole nature of information has changed.  Access to information is even more important than the information.
  • How are our ideas of student behaviour and achievement in conflict with students’ own ideas of what this needs to look like?

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  • Professional learning is crucial to move from teacher-centered to learner-centered practices in a 1:1 learning environment

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  • Approximately 3 years of ongoing and embedded professional learning is required for teachers to be proficient in a 1:1 student-led learning setting.  This is not about “doing” PD.  It must MODEL student-centered learning with teacher-centered learning.  (This made me wonder – If this is the way forward, is it the way student teachers are learning in their professional programs?)
  • Do we have common language and common understanding of how we use technology?  How do we define the terminology like blended learning, eportfolio, elearning, online collaboration.  [Do we all see the same things in our heads when we use these words? I don’t think we are even close to this.]

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Key elements of change:

  1. Project based learning – studying the “process” of the project. Ask questions like: How did you build this? How did you arrive at this question?  How do we DOCUMENT the process of learning, not just the products.  How do we make the process more important than a test score?

2. School wide projects where students explore passions.

3. More and more creative Internships.

4. Student driven action research projects.

5. Authentic service learning.

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Thinking about “Makerspaces”

Can we allow students to design the room?

What is a maker space?  It is a physical community workspace.

It connects the library philosophy of content, technology, spaces and each other – 4 key pillars

  • Emphasize high tolerance
  • Identify that failure is high
  • Have apparent support from administration

With every concept in learning, is there something we can physically make and/or do?

How do we have all of this work together?

How do we build Future Ready Momentum?

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Do we hire based on this kind of thinking?



When the slides for this presentation are available, I will post the link here.

What do you think of this?  Technology enhanced learning or Technology enabled learning? #TELT

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2 thoughts on “Future Ready – Are We? 10/10

  1. Donna, thanks for sharing. Great question asking “If this is the way forward, is it the way student teachers are learning in their professional programs?” In speaking with teachers coming out of the programs, I don’t believe this, not on a consistent basis. Not only do we need school curriculum leaders, IT, and students part of this conversation, but we need “teachers of teachers” to be part of the conversation.

    1. Thanks, Dennis, for taking the time to add your thoughts. We are trying to reach out to Faculties of Education in our TELT (Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching) work in Ontario. I strongly believe that it is the mindsets that are as important as the skill sets, and that if we don’t model the teaching we want to see in classrooms in our professional programs, we are not going to get there.

      Keep working for change!

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