Thursday, November 08, 2007

E-Learning for Life: Help needed convincing the BoG!

My school Director has invited me to present my 'E-Learning for Life' strategy for Qatar Academy to the Board of Governors (BoG) in two weeks time. This is a great opportunity....and I am nervous!

In my new position as Head of Information Technology /E-Learning at Qatar Academy I have the challenge of helping to move the 10-year old PreK-12 school (now an IB World School) into the next 5-years of strategic development. This is an exciting challenge for a number of reasons. Firstly QA is owned and managed by the Qatar Foundation which in turn has been formed by a decree by the Emir himself. In other words the school is owned by the ruling family in Qatar. As you may also know Qatar is one of the top 5 richest countries in the world. You may also know that Qatar is one of the most 'developing' countries in the world right now. It is in the Middle East but it is progressive and taking a global approach to providing educational resources for people in Qatar and beyond. Not only this, it has a vision of excellence and is building a magnificent Education City on a huge campus that includes a number of reputable tertiary institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, NorthWest University, Texas University.

I have 15 minutes to convince a group of powerful board members that the school as a whole needs to embrace new pedagogies that involve a whole new mindset. I have 15 minutes to review where QA is now, where we could be and how we can get there! I have 15 minutes to outline the plan for the next 5 years and ask for support for this vision in terms of agreement and money!

OK, I need YOUR help on this as well!

I want to be able to show best-practice from around the world. I want to say, yes Qatar Academy is a great school, however look at these best practices around the world and look at what we need to do to be one of the best as well.

Can you help??
  • Do you have ideas of what it means to be a 21st century school?
  • Do you ideas of what a 21st century classroom looks like?
  • Do you have images to support your ideas?
  • Do you have a new installation, a new classroom with an effective learning space/design?
  • Are you willing to share as part of global collegiality?

I invite you to share your ideas and your images on my planning wiki. It is open for editing now, you shouldn't have to become a member as such, but if you do I can quickly fix that!

I am inspired already by the writings of David Warlick (read the comments to his post), Kim Cofino, Jeff Utecht, and Kristin Hokanson and I know there are many more inspirational colleagues out there. So, my challenge and request to you is to share your ideas either via a comment to this blog post and maybe share a link to other resources I can review or by posting some material on the wiki.
You will be given full credit! I value your input to this challenge!

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Sharon said...

I would love to see your presentation when complete. Possible?

Julie Lindsay said...

Hi Sharon
yes, no problem, will be more than happy to share. Stay tuned...and cross your fingers for me ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Julie, that is going to be a jam-packed 15 minutes! You are going to blow them away!

I will add some pictures to your wiki this weekend :)

You've inspired me to take some pictures and describe what our hardware infrastructure in like here at ISB. It's amazing how quickly everything becomes "normal," but when I look at the school through an outsider's eyes - fixed Smart Boards, data projectors, and speakers in every classroom, every teacher has their own laptop, multiple carts for each grade level - it's pretty impressive :) We're lucky to have all the hardware we need - now we have to start changing our pedagogy!

Kristin Hokanson said...

This is all so true and when these tools are NOT available how limited you feel...Kim is right though it is not just about the tool...It is about holding a mirror to our professional practice and creating meaningful learning experiences. have a great start, let us know what you need!!! Am sure your presentation will blow them away...