Friday, October 30, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

L: Director of Instructional Technology Dan McDowell and Superintendent Swenson at the White House
This week I have been in Washington, DC, along with our Director of Instructional Technology Dan McDowell, for the kick-off event of the U.S. Department of Education's Open Education Symposium and the launch of #GoOpen. 

We're meeting with other Future Ready school leaders at the White House to engage with senior administration officials and demonstrate the positive impact that openly licensed educational resources can have on teaching and student learning. For our district, Open Educational Resources (OERs) serve as a major piece of the bigger puzzle, which is balancing the financial challenges of maintaining updated curriculum and giving students a viable education that prepares them for a digital world. GUHSD is excited to explore this new opportunity.

In the last few years, a movement called Open Educational Resources has started gaining traction. Various organizations and districts have been pooling digital content resources together in dynamic units and making them available online at no cost. Teachers are able to use this curriculum, modify, add to, and even share it with others. As part of the national Future Ready program, the Office of Educational Technology in the White House is developing a program called #GoOpen to better harness and grow these resources across the country. They are building partnerships between tool providers and school districts to start expanding this program. 

Traditionally, we have relied upon textbooks and other printed materials, but FutureForward and Chromebooks are changing the educational culture of GUHSD. As students gain increased access to a device and a web of resources, teachers are starting to think differently about content creation and delivery.

I look forward to communicating with you more on this important initiative. 

In the meantime, click here for a summary of our 2015 Goals and Objectives, which underscores the progress we are making in ensuring that our students are prepared for their future.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson