Home Featured CoSN 2019 Looks Toward 2030: Perspectives on Education’s Digital Future

CoSN 2019 Looks Toward 2030: Perspectives on Education’s Digital Future

by Jenna Sindle
CoSN 2019

This week at the CoSN 2019 Conference educators and technology leaders are imagining what the world will look like when today’s kindergarteners graduate in 2030. But more than just thinking about the changes that might come to be, today’s learning leaders are thinking carefully about how to prepare today’s youngest students so that they thrive when they graduate from high school and have the skills to succeed regardless of the path they choose.

CoSN 2019 kicked off by sharing the priorities of school IT leaders. It’s interesting to see the evolution of priorities over the last three years. Keeping student information and networks safe from cyber attackers is now clearly the number one priority.

However, as participant and veteran high school teacher, Matt Heifeld, tweeted, issues of equality of access to digital tools – including basic access to the Internet at home – still need to be addressed so that all students can be prepared for their futures.

After all, technology is just the means to enable today’s kindergarteners to build a life and a society that can address, and move past, some of the problems we’re struggling with today.

So how can technologists and teachers build these 22nd century skills?

The first piece of guidance is that to do something innovative you need to plan three to five years out. Which, if you’re thinking about today’s kindergarteners, they’ll be in fourth grade before today’s plans come to fruition.

Another important piece of advice from Foundations Distinguished Professor School of Education University of Kansas, Yong Zhao, is that to drive innovation and deliver success school leaders need to think holistically “beyond just the teacher, the curriculum, and the system.”

Which leads to the third piece of advice from IT leader, Karen Cator, and amplified by Professor Zhao, that silos need to be broken down and interdependence prioritized to deliver on the vision.

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