Leadership magazine Nov/Dec 2015 V45 No 2 - Page 32

Building a community while managing behavior is a balancing act, yet harkens us back to the one-room schoolhouses with different ages all encompassed under one roof, where differentiation and true understanding was a focal point. Kevin Silberberg, superintendent in the Panama-Buena Vista School District, knows the importance of learner-centered schools. “The technology promise of today is about personalization,” he said. “For us our goals center around literacy – it’s the ‘center of our universe.’ If students are not at gradelevel literacy, we can remediate. If students are above grade level, we can accelerate. The old models of adding more curriculum, pullouts and aides is too expensive and have too many variables. Districtwide courseware, software that is driven by formative assessments, and professional development for our teachers is the direction we are going.” Looking forward We may not know the technologies of the future, or even the professions for which we prepare the students who enter our doors 32 Leadership every day. What we do know is that we are the innovative designers in our schools who need to prepare students for these environments. We will still need places to house students, emerging technologies, and some sort of furniture. The classrooms and meeting spaces we design for students need to be as dynamic as the world around them. The impacts of learner centered environments on student learning make a difference, from technology to furniture to the ambiance. As we design these new workplaces, we are revolutionizing our schools to help students better manage their attention and thinking. n K. Kobbacy (2013), An holistic, multi-level analysis identifying the impact of classroom design on pupils’ learning. Building and Environment, Vol. 59, p. 678-689. •  Pearlman, Bob (2014, Dec. 1), Designing New Learning Environments to Support 21st Century Skills (web log post), available at http://tinyurl.com/pcr2mf2. •  Robinson, Sir Ken (2015), Creative School: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, New York: Viking Press. •  Zhao, Yong (2012), World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. References •  Alliance for Excellent Education (2012, May), Culture Shift: Teaching in a Learning Centered Environment Powered by Digital Learning; (2012, January), The Digital Learning Imperative: How Technology and Teaching Meet Today’s Education Challenges; and (2009), High School Dropouts in America. Washington, D.C. •  Barrett, P.S.; Zhang, Y.; Moffat, J.; and Lisa Gonzales is superintendent in the Portola Valley School District, a #FutureReady superintendent and ACSA vice president. Charles Young is superintendent in the Benicia Unified School District. Both are members of TICAL, California’s Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership.