Ten years ago, if you walked into a K–12 classroom, the focus — at least at first glance — was on the teacher. To collaborate, students rearranged their desks into a circle. Today, however, that’s shifting. As we move toward a student-focused classroom, collaboration requires more than rearranging the desks.
It demands a technology infrastructure overhaul. And now is the perfect time to address this sea change, because many schools are making physical renovations from top to bottom, including their buildings, infrastructure, learning tools and furniture.
Consider this: The American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. public schools a collective grade of D+, saying 53 percent of schools need improvements to reach “good” condition; 24 percent were rated either “fair” or “poor.” If now is the time schools have chosen to make significant investments in physical infrastructure, then now is also the time to thoughtfully consider forward-thinking, modern learning technology upgrades that can be implemented as part of those larger projects.
MORE FROM EDTECH: Check out how K–12 schools are preparing for modern learning environments.
K–12 Schools Need to Commit to Digital Transformation
Of course, it’s the rare school district that has a bottomless supply of financial resources to renew and rebuild. For the vast majority, meticulous planning and budgeting set the stage for improvements over the long term. And as part of this process, it makes sense to include technology improvements and upgrades.
For example, in the midst of a larger set of investments, Owensboro (Ky.) Public Schools added a District of Innovation Tech Network Center, built with technology that will help its students move seamlessly from the classroom directly into the workforce.
This work was part of a larger district program that includes finishing an $8.5 million project on Newton Parrish Elementary School. That project features a new athletic and performing arts center, a gymnasium and three new classrooms. OPS updated every existing classroom too, putting in new lighting, windows, and geothermal heating and air.