In mid-December a committee consisting of University researchers, Board of Education technologists, Ministry of Education personnel, private consultants, and private business personnel, met to discuss wide ranging successes and concerns with technology.
We began with a discussion pertaining to the MISA initiative, and where Ontario education is as a result of this project. There was much discussion pertaining to the success stories that boards must have as a result of being able to use data to improve achievement, and it was decided that gathering some of the success stories would be of benefit. This will be done this spring, with a follow up meeting for deeper dialogue.
Another perspective on the MISA initiative was that we do not feel we are far enough along with respect to being able to share data amongst teachers within schools, as well as between boards. We know what the research has proven about mobility and the impact on student success, and yet we don’t take full advantage of the technology to share information for immediate use when a child changes a course within a school, or moves to another school within the board or province. Many of our most at risk students end up entering a school, and the receiving staff are unable to provide personalized programming because past information is not readily available. Our discussions will continue this spring to support resolution to this issue as well as many other concerns that may come to light.
As facilitator for this group, I was extremely impressed with the knowledge, skill, and experience that each participant brought to the table. This talented group will certainly facilitate greater use of technology to make 21st Century learning more impactful for staff and students.
Written by Jack McMaster
Retired Director of Education and Education Consultant