Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oddly timed technology plan

Tuesday's agenda calls for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board to approve a technology plan for 2012-14.  I was perplexed by the timing: The board is about to hire a new superintendent.  The guy in charge of technology,  Chief Information Officer Scott Muri,  is about to leave for a new job in Fulton County, Ga.  Why lock into a two-year plan now?

The answer,  says Muri,  is a state deadine.  All districts are required to file such plans with the Department of Public Instruction in April,  so the board must vote now.

Updated: The 42-page plan is online now.  It doesn't lay out specific spending,  but gives an overview of the district's plans to create a  "bring your own technology"  environment,  shift from paper to digital texts and provide the training to help educators and students get comfortable in a world where learning is  customized and takes place around the clock.

"Access to personal teaching and learning devices will expand," the report says. "Personal learning devices will enhance student and staff access to digital resources. A comprehensive professional development plan will be enacted to support the infusion of technology within the learning environment.

"The 'classroom' will expand beyond bricks and mortar. Technology will link students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with professors at universities and colleges from Chapel Hill to China. Online learning will enable students to study advanced Chinese or a second year of physics. Digital tools will link students with teachers who challenge them to soar and provide them with the differentiated support that they need."

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