Our students live in an interactive world, fueled by the Internet. Our graduates will go on to careers that require skills in technology. It’s hard to imagine going to work in an office without an up-to-date computer, the latest software or an Internet connection, yet, this is the environment of a typical California classroom. We are simply behind the times when it comes to technology in our schools.
To continue preparing our students for success, we must upgrade our learning resources to ensure they are prepared for the future. Our teachers’ and students’ hard work inside the classroom is paying off, but they need to catch up to the technology of the connected world around us. We are 12 years into the 21st Century, yet our classrooms and schools are 1950s designs. Transforming our classrooms to prepare students for the 21st century will require an immediate, accelerated effort. Our students cannot wait any longer for these changes – their time to learn and prepare is now.
A 21st century classroom must provide students with hardware, software, and a reliable connection to the Internet. The computers in our Milpitas classrooms are outdated and most need to be replaced very soon in order to run basic software and connect to the Internet effectively. Most of our classrooms lack access to wireless networks, and this must be fixed for truly interactive and effective learning. Just as our homes and cell phones gain faster access to the Internet every year, our schools need dependable connections to the Internet. To support 12,000 students and staff, our school district will require an upgrade in our bandwidth. Today, the infrastructure needs of a school include gas, power, water, and now, data.
The most important changes in our schools will involve how we use and integrate technology into teaching and learning. We are studying different instructional models in order to teach students to use technology throughout our curriculum. Just as technology has transformed so many parts of our society, we are committed to transforming our schools and classrooms.
The budget challenges affecting public education have taken a toll on our technology resources over the last decade. The district is considering a general obligation bond in June 2012 to modernize our facilities and upgrade our technology infrastructure. These funds will enable us to upgrade both our physical and technological environments so that we can prepare students for the 21st Century. The future belongs to those who are innovative, collaborative, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers. We are on the move to transform Milpitas Unified into a 21st Century school district.