Preparing Future-Ready Students

Letter to the Editor:
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In order for our students to succeed, we must nurture not only their intellectual development, but their physical, emotional and social health as well. We have to engage them with literacies beyond the traditional 3R’s in contexts beyond the traditional four walls.

Both the National Partnership for 21st Century Skills and The North Carolina State Board of Education endorse missions and goals to prepare “Future-Ready Students for the 21st Century.” In both frameworks, digital technologies continue to be the pervasive work tools of the future.

Students and staff in our schools routinely use computers in a variety of contexts to support teaching, learning, and school administration. We teach the North Carolina Standard Course of Study Computer Skills Curriculum. Since 1995, we have been regarded as a state leader in efforts to integrate technology into all areas of the curriculum.

Because we are neither a low wealth county nor a small school system, our primary source for funding school technology is local money. Over the eight years that we have been trying to keep our computer inventory refreshed, local support has waxed to as much as $600K (2000 and 2001) per year and has waned to $0 (2002).

As a result of inconsistent funding, forty-two percent (or 1243) of our computers are 7-yrs or older. Besides being unreliable and high maintenance, these computers are inadequate for handling up to eighty-five percent of the objectives in the Computer Skills Curriculum. Students and teachers generally forego the older computers except for low-level applications.

At Budget Onestop, I have assembled local artifacts (news stories, editorials, movie clips, data, blog entries, projects, etc.) that support the technology portion of the 2007-2008 local capital request.

More and more, our students will compete with students beyond regional and national borders. As we steer a very successful school system towards the globally connected future, we must ensure assets and opportunities that best prepare our students for international competition.

I encourage continued support for the Carteret County Public School System . . . especially in the area of educational technology.

Joseph R. Poletti
Director of Technology and Media
Carteret County Public School System

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