Kicking Off the #FutureReadyLibs 10-Week #BlogChallenge

image courtesy of & Samantha Mendenhall

“This sounds awesome—I took the Pledge!” was the enthusiastic reply I received from our Deputy Director last week. With that email, I had the go ahead I needed to begin leading my academy on our Future Ready Schools journey. As Technology Committee Chair, I will serve as the project manager for the 5-step evaluation process outlined in the initiative.

I was worried that our administration had seemed a little skeptical when I first broached the idea. It’s been a school year filled with both successes and setbacks when it comes to technology at our independent, nonprofit charter school.  Over the summer, our technology infrastructure had gotten a major boost, thanks to upgrades made possible by E-Rate and with fiber internet finally becoming available in our area. We’ve also been able to improve our student-to-computer ratio in the last couple of years since switching from laptop carts to less expensive Chromebooks. So, the challenge is to leverage these improvements to impact student learning opportunities. Technology committee work has stalled a bit this year, though. A change from full Academy pd days to separate early release times for middle school and high school has been great overall for our staff as they have more time for professional development and collaboration, but it has not afforded much time for the technology committee, which includes members from both staffs, to meet and plan together. And, our Technology Coordinator, who is also a full-time teacher, had to step back from her role earlier this year. This school year also marked the end of our current 3-year technology plan (which is no longer required by the State of Missouri).

Taking the Future Ready Pledge gives our academy direction and a new sense of purpose to continue to strive to meet the needs of our 21st century learners. My next step as project manager will be to gather stakeholders—students, parent, staff and community—to begin this process of defining for ourselves what it means to be a “Future Ready” School.

I hope to reflect upon this process in the coming year through blogging. This post also kicks off the start of a 10-week #FutureReadyLibs #blog challenge, where librarians are invited to reflect upon the different cogs of the Future Ready Librarians Framework. Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by  Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has over 4,500 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.

So, how did you get involved in the Future Ready Schools/Future Ready Librarians initiative? Are you involved in the district strategic planning process? What is your vision for a future ready school? What makes you a Future Ready Librarian?

I’ve begun to pull my ideas together about “Leading Beyond the Library” and Future Ready Schools here in this padlet.

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!

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