K-12 education · Edtech

How do you evaluate educational facilities readiness for the challenges of future education?

Darren Ph.D. CEO and Owner at TADOgroup

August 25th, 2015

I have been given the possible opportunity to evaluate 8 educational facilities readiness for future education. Does anyone have a list of elements that should be found structurally in a school building to allow future education to occur. What educational approaches would you promote? What technology is needed? What classroom furniture would you provide? Would you have a computer lab? Would you have a library? Computers, laptops, smart boards, wireless or wired? What security would you include technologically and physically in a school of the future?

Alex Inman Servant to Learning

August 25th, 2015

My organization, Educational Collaborators, does this. Perhaps we could partner on this opportunity. Take care, Alex

Deborah Chang

August 25th, 2015

Need more details -- how are you evaluating them and for whom? I know from an educator's perspective, if I were to design my school of choice, I would look for, at the very minimum:
- modular furniture that can move and be configured for both collaborative and individual work (e.g. Node School Desk by IDEO and Steelcase)
- Wireless that's capable of all devices running video at the same time
- Appropriate hardware, both for individual as well as collaborative work. I'm the biggest fan of Chromebooks
- Appropriate processes for device management, charging, repairing, etc.
- Rooms that allow for both individual and collaborative work (e.g. lots and lots of common space and whiteboard space [IdeaPaint for the win])

The following aren't structures, but still important:
- Strong policies in place for privacy, social media use, etc.
- Excellent professional development to grow teacher practice

Smartboards, in my opinion, are useless. It's better to have a projector + iPad + doceri. 

I could go on, but really it'd be more effective if we knew your audience.

Darren Ph.D. CEO and Owner at TADOgroup

August 28th, 2015

I like this idea, I was just talking to a friend about such a system and how it can free teacher time and allow them to teach and not use valuable class-time for administrative tasks. Thanks for the comment. *Dr. Darren Cannell* *CEO* *TADOworldwide.com* *Saskatoon Saskatchewan* *Canada * *http://www.tadoworldwide.com/ * *We are striving to be a paperless office.* P *Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.*

Darren Ph.D. CEO and Owner at TADOgroup

August 25th, 2015

Thanks for the reply and the offer but I will decline the offer at this time.  Have you found the need to wire the whole school or have you promoted wireless in your projects?

Alex Inman Servant to Learning

August 25th, 2015

Promote wireless.  Available wireless bandwidth is huge and copper infrastructure is expensive and ugly.  Even desktops are running on wireless nowadays.  Also, contemporary pedagody is more active, mobile and hands-on, suggesting a need for wireless.

It is important to note that the new 802.11ac wireless standard can often carry more bandwidth than a traditional switch port.  Thus, we have been recommending people wire 2 Cat6 cables to each access point location.

Good luck with the opportunity.  If you hit a snag along the way and are just looking for a resource, hit me up and I'll do what I can to point you in the direction of a solution.

Take care,
Alex

ScholarChip Schools Cloud-Based System Supports Staff & Student Smart ID Card, Automated Attendance, Secure Door Access & Visitor Management

August 27th, 2015

After integrating with the Student Information System, we can use a school's wifi connection to acquire student data through various RFID devices that read a students smart ID card. This can also be achieved through a hard-wired  connection depending on the school's infrastructure. With access to student data, we can provide on-screen classroom attendance, building entrance and exit attendance, cafeteria attendance and even bus attendance. This real time information gives administrators the tools to act quickly when an attendance or safety issue is revealed. (i.e. Student was on the bus but never entered the building or entered the building but missed 3 classes, etc.) We also found that having students take their own attendance builds personal responsibility, provides an extra 5 minutes of class teaching time, and reveals safety and behavioral issues. For a school to move forward with a school safety and operations system, as described, it takes leadership and vision. We have success with school administrations that understand that a Colud system offers flexibility and growth, is always updated and maintained, and can provide additional services when needed. i.e. visitor management, secure door access, POS, and ID issuance.

Darren Ph.D. CEO and Owner at TADOgroup

August 30th, 2015

Thanks Deborah Chan and Scott Jewellery for the responses.   The school are First Nations Schools in the northern part of a Canadian province.  They would be consider to be very remote educational facilities.

Scott Jewell Integrated education and business advocate

August 30th, 2015

If I were the leader of a school, I would ask each class to find ways they can assist the high school's FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team. If there is no team, I would choose a faculty sponsor and start a team immediately. (www.usfirst.org)

FRC requires the hands-on application of many kinds of STEM, business, leadership, design, etc, as students and mentors are immersed into a real-world challenge, getting only 6-weeks to design, build, and test what will compete against thousands of other teams. Students get to apply what they learned in classes where sometimes there are no other opportunities to apply that knowledge, such as in math and physics. 

With over $20,000,000 in scholarships available only to participants of FRC, the value of the experience is recognized by colleges and companies. 

With what I have been told by students and have experienced as a key mentor for 12 years, FRC is as impactful as any other school experience. I would promote and invest at least as much into FRC as I do sports. 

Regarding connectivity, I've designed and installed many large corporate networks, and I recommend Gigabit Ethernet to the classrooms and any large public spaces, and then a wireless access point to connect the students to the network. A copper or fiber network is a lot more scalable and reliable than wireless.

Good luck!

Karl Schulmeisters Founder ExStreamVR

August 31st, 2015

>>readiness for future education<<

Evaluating anything requires an understanding of what you are evaluating for.  "Future Education"  can mean a whole lot of things completely depending on both the willingness of the school board to dig into the tax coffers (ie what's their budget for Future Education and how has it been tentatively allocated)

.

through principals and how they plan to run their schools (how tech savvy and future savvy the principle is and what policies they would like to bring into the daily routine)

.

onto the teaching staff and curriculums they are going to implement and what training they have (I've seen a teacher in a Smartboard classroom still use Perch and Preach )

.

including the curriculum to be covered (Biology labs with dissection needs are different than Chem Labs with fume hoods are different than labless English classes )

.

and onto the students and the technologies available to them (poor districts with students who cannot afford a laptop vs. students with 2-3 devices per student)


From an IT perspective wireless is clearly the way to go since it is cheaper to deploy  but pretty much everything else really requires an Enterprise Architecture https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_architecture approach to sorting out the "business" and "customer" needs before you can even start to answer the question

Darren Ph.D. CEO and Owner at TADOgroup

August 31st, 2015

You are very accurate in your statements. The question was asked if the school renovations were being used to force a change in the educational approach or if they are being done to accommodate a new approach which is already being used in an old building that is not design to support it. I think they are hoping to design a building with an educational approach in mind then train the teachers to utilize it.