Vision for 21st Century Teaching & Learning
Board approves major investment in plan to boost 21st Century teaching and learning
Today's students are leaders in the use of technology. More and more they tell us that they want—they need—their learning experiences in school to reflect this. Students want to take the technology they use in their daily lives and integrate it with how they learn.
In December of 2010, the Peel District School Board sought advice from parents, community, staff and students to help us shape the future of instructional technology. Using an external researcher, we conducted a major survey, and face-to-face focus groups to consult on our direction.
That consultation resulted in the Peel board’s Vision for 21st Century Teaching & Learning, which trustees approved at the March 27, 2012, Regular Meeting of the Board. It is an exciting and powerful plan to “power up” student success. Our $7-million investment in technology for students will ensure our schools are increasingly connected and relevant in the 21st Century as they BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
Expert advice helps ensure wireless safety
Providing safe and appropriate places to learn and work is a top priority for the Peel District School Board. That's true when it comes to wireless technology (Wi-Fi) too.
Responses to commonly asked questions about the use of wireless technology
Before making any decisions about Wi-Fi, the board sought advice from trusted medical experts. The evidence—from Peel Public Health, Public Health Ontario, Health Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO)—is very clear.
Peel Public Health’s Position on Radiofrequencies (RFs) from Wi-Fi
Public Health Ontario states that among the numerous studies on radiofrequency exposure and its impacts on human health, there is no evidence of negative health effects. The specified limits for public exposure apply to everyone—including the elderly, individuals with health concerns, children and pregnant women—and allow for continuous, 24/7 exposure.
As well, WHO indicates that, “Considering the very low exposure levels and research results collected to date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that the weak radiofrequency signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects.”
We will continue to rely on the expertise and standards of public health agencies to guide our use of technology in schools. We will also comply with all governing legislation, and will conduct random, representative testing of Wi-Fi levels. As always, our decisions are based on the best interests of students.
Did you know…the access points we install in schools operate at a fraction of the power of home routers—they are not considered industrial-strength. Find out more about wireless technology and health, here: wireless technology and health.
Impact on student success
Wireless technology has been shown to have a positive impact on research skills, and on student engagement and achievement. As wireless becomes available in a school, students will begin to see teachers incorporate more digital resources into their lessons. It’s important to note, however, that teachers in every classroom will not be expected to embed technology into every lesson. There’s a right time and place for every instructional moment.
Also, once online resources are able to be accessed wirelessly, students will be encouraged to BYOD—bring your own device. Watch our Why BYOD? video here: http://bit.ly/10Ttpyb.
The plan will improve equity of access to technology for all students through classroom technology in schools. A process will ensure schools and classrooms across the system have similar standards of technology so that no child feels excluded.
Students are going to live and work in a world where people use their devices 24/7. They need to learn to use technology effectively and respectfully. Digital responsibility is an important part of what we help students learn in school, and appropriate use will continue to be an expectation in each school’s Code of Conduct as it is now. As we begin to move forward with the plan, principals, staff and School Council members will work together to develop school policies and practices that support the effective use of technology in the classroom.
These technologies—and anytime, anywhere access—have the power to make a real difference to prepare students for a successful future.