Where is FCS going in regards to technology? Now, that’s a question that will make anyone’s head spin! Apple vs. Amazon; Kindle vs. Nook; iPad vs. Netbook; Laptop vs. Desktop; Paper vs. Electronic; Where does the madness end…?
One of the driving factors, from my perspective, is what decision is going to serve and help our students the most? Just because we may have a lot of available technology doesn’t mean that students are served best. There are a lot of factors behind these types of decisions.
The Future of Technology at FCS
Our administrative staff and tech department recently sat down to discuss future ministry dreaming as it applies to technology at Faith Christian School. Give every student an iPad? Require students in high school to bring laptops to school? Scan cards instead of lunch tickets? No more textbooks? These are all possible scenarios in the near future – but what is the best course? There are also a lot of “behind the scene” decisions regarding infrastructure, security, administrative oversight and policy that are as important as the physical technology that we see students using.
After some discussion and planning, we came up with a few significant decisions and directions for our tech future at FCS:
This Year (Year 1)
- Continue to meet and plan and determine the best course of action.
- Visit several schools to see what they are doing and discuss some of their best practices.
- Determine what companies that we may involve, for example Apple or Amazon.
- Consider staff development and IT impact of future decisions
- Determine student needs and development needs to train our students for their future and set them up for future success.
- Determine future uses and direction of the existing 3 computer labs.
Next Year (Year 2)
- Seek to upgrade our current computer labs to virtual which provide us with dynamic computers the students can use that can be easily updated and modified as new programs are needed and added. This provides a physical lab with keyboards and mice that the students can use for keyboarding and learning Microsoft products.
- Determine the appropriate infrastructure needs and staff development needs that are necessary to put us in excellent shape for future technology in the classroom.
- Consider purchasing a mobile iPad/Tablet lab. This could look like having 30 iPads/Tablets on a mobile charging cart. This would serve as our test units to figure out how to control them, and also allow teachers and students the chance to start using them and integrating them into the classroom.
- Continue to consider the best course of action and start “landing the plane” on what companies and products to involve in year 3. Determine what steps and direction these companies are taking as it relates to education.
- Determine what classes, courses, etc. that would use e-books, etc. in place of paperback textbooks.
- Determine policies and procedures for technology use.
- Consider staff development opportunities to help strengthen our staff and faculty in the use of technology in the classroom.
Following Year (Year 3)
- Complete the plan by putting iPads/tablets in the student’s hands!
- Have an almost “future-proof” tactile computer lab for students and classes.
- Take steps to fully integrate technology in many daily aspects of our students’ day.
- Continue to develop our curriculum and determine student needs that are most pressing to allow our students to live effectively in God’s world.
Join us in Prayer
Technology can be both frustrating and helpful. None of the above points are “set in stone”, and we still have a lot of ground to plow! We are trying to determine how technology can allow our students to be put in the best position for their future. We are excited at the potential opportunities that the Lord may give us in the upcoming years. Would you consider praying for these important decisions as we seek to lay important foundations for FCS for the present as well as for the future!