This is a video of our superintendent in Baltimore County Public Schools discussing the need for every child to have a device K-12.
And here it is transcribed if for some reason you cannot watch the video:
“There’s a big fear that technology will replace teachers. That’s not the case. But, teachers who use technology will replace those teachers who do not.
My name is Dallas Dance. I am the superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, which is in Baltimore County, Maryland. We are a horseshoe around Baltimore City, with 110,000 students in 173 school centers and programs. To put this in perspective, we have a $1.6 billion budget and we have 19,000 employees. So, running the day-to-day operations of that, while also providing the strategic vision for 110,000 students.
Most of the nation’s classrooms have about 30 students in them. How can a teacher personalize and customize an instructional program for kids unless you leverage technology?
In Baltimore County Public Schools, we have a five-year journey to go one-to-one in Grades K-12, to where every single kid would have a device.
Quite essentially, we are equalizing the playing field and leveling it, so that regardless of the school, where the student lives, or the community, every single kid has access to information, and we can personalize that learning experience for every single kid.
When you think about 21st-century learning, every single student needs to understand cultural differences and how to make sure they’re prepared and can compete in a global economy. How do you make that happen? You have to start in elementary schools.
To be superintendent today is just like being a leader, as it’s always been — being visible and making sure that people understand what your vision and what your mission is. They understand you’re approachable and that you understand the value of people and being people-oriented.
People will tell you that ‘Dallas Dance is people oriented’. It’s all about making sure that we do the work together as a team.
So, I always tell people, ‘leadership is about balancing oneself’. Making sure that you have a work balance, but also a personal balance, as well.
So, for me, my day does begin at 4:30, making sure that I spend about an hour to an hour and a half just taking care of Dallas. I work out, I meditate, I pray — just to make sure that I’m prepared mentally to support other people throughout the course of the day. Because, when I leave the house at around 7 o’clock, it’s game time – to making sure that I’m a servant-leader to everyone else.
But then my day ends at right around midnight, when I go to bed and I actually think about what I have to do the next day. But, I also make sure that I spend time being the most important role and that’s a parent — making sure that I FaceTime my son, every single night, to make sure that he understands that, while I might service a lot of other children — meaning 110,000 of them — the most important role is being Dad to him.
So, we always talk about facilitation of learning — and the teachers in the 21st-century have to facilitate learning — especially when kids already have information. If a five-year-old already knows the capitals to United States’ cities, what are we going to do in terms of what we can do with that information with the kid? They are not going to need to go into 5th Grade History learning that material if the information is already provided. Because, hey, they can ask Siri!
How do we, then, ask them to use that information to make it relevant to what they need to know in their lifetime? So, the teachers who can facilitate learning in small groups, that actually allow students to take ownership of the classroom, to where you can walk into a classroom and you may not even know where the teacher is because students are taking ownership and they’re so engaged.
That’s the classrooms of the 21st-century. Those are the classrooms of tomorrow.”
And here’s an image with a similar message about teachers, tweeted by Ryan Imbriale, Director of the Office of Innovative Learning (aka STAT) in BCPS.