The landscape of technology utilization in the world has changed dramatically, especially in the area of education, over the years.  I am enlivened by the realization that we are preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow that have not even been created or defined yet.  As a life-long resident, and a product of East Allen County Schools, I am optimistic about the progression of our Blended Learning Initiative – now in the 6th year of having devices 1:1 in grades preK-12.

Technology is everywhere in our world – from bio-medical engineering, computer coding, micro-robotics and world languages – the problem-solving skills we are teaching across the curriculum are essential for success in the fields and trades of tomorrow’s workforce.  And, because technology is moving so rapidly, we are working to ensure that our students master problem-solving skills so that they may successfully adapt with presently unknown technology: we strive to prepare our students for this unknown future and to break down barriers that might negatively influence student aspirations.  I want our students to be fearless as they embrace opportunities for self-fulfillment in college, in careers and in life.

Over the years, the nature of student learning has changed, and we recognize this change in the sense that teachers and parents are adjusting to how students communicate, learn, and relate to the outside world.  Today’s students are “digital natives”: a term first coined by Marc Prensky, 2001. That is, these kids are growing up in the digital age and have access to and a familiarity with digital devices on a very personal level.  Because of this, many of today’s students prefer to learn and communicate with digital tools, and in a completely separate manner than previous generations.  As a result of this, educators have adapted their instructional tools and strategies to better foster relationships and engage with this “digital native” generation.  Simultaneously, the digital learners of today share their skill sets with parents, staff and community members with whom they have built significant relationships.

In the past, teachers have engaged and built relationships with students via conversations regarding books, sports, games, hobbies, or other interests.  Now, due to the high percentage of students having access to the digital world, the opportunity to connect with a significant amount of students has been altered and steered toward the use of digital tools to build those relationships.

Further, it is evident that students are actively involved with the technology of social media for communication, socialization, and learning.  What social media tools are being used by our students?  In a recent article by District Administration Journal (August 2017), in a poll of 790 American teens, 76% of teens use Instagram, 75% use Snapchat, and 78% say that social media makes them closer to their friends and 40% say that social media makes them feel closer to family members.  Knowing this, adults can choose to actively guide, assist, and better relate to students in the utilization of these digital tools.

A wonderful summation of this belief is the Ian Jukes quote: “We need to prepare students for their future not our past”.  Ultimately, it is imperative that, as educators and as fellow human beings, that we connect with our youth and stay involved with all aspects of this new, digital generation.

Marilyn Hissong
Superintendent of Schools
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Jim Rowland with Team and Administration
New Haven High Coach Named 'Coach of the Week' by Colts
Posted on 09/13/2017
New Haven's Jim Rowland has been named the Colts/NFL Coach of the Week, an award that honors the best in high school football coaching. Rowland earned the award by leading the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind 35-33 overtime win over Leo on Friday at Leo. The win, which came after a 17-0 deficit, improved New Haven to 4-0.  READ MORE... about New Haven High Coach Named 'Coach of the Week' by Colts
Date and Time: Sep 20, 2017 5:39AM-11:00AM (EST)

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