Given before the PDE, December 16, 2002
I, too, wish to thank the Board for allowing us this opportunity to present our vision for the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School – a new cyber charter school.
As Jim Hanak has told you, I will give a brief update on the training technology that we think will be available soon and that we intend to use.
As you may have noticed in my resume, I am a Senior Systems Consultant with BAE Systems, an aerospace, engineering and software services firm. I provide consulting services to clients concerning software development and quantitative analysis. It is my job to look ahead to know what is developing in the computer software and hardware.
We want Pennsylvania public education children to succeed, not just survive. Our goal is to use technology that promotes learning and success. However, we don’t want to use technology just because it is available and unique. Rather we want to use the best available teaching methods for our students in order to create learner friendly environments and improve outcomes.
For example, current cutting edge practices at the university level and in corporate training programs use video-conferencing. We intend to use this new technology to supplement conventional chat-room techniques whenever possible because it facilitates teacher/student interaction.
We intend to use CD and DVD technology for reference materials as well as for archiving lessons and teaching sessions so that students can look back at class sessions.
I would also like to point out some technological changes that may have a positive impact on public education in Pennsylvania in the future:
Coming soon are affordable satellite and other wireless broadband Internet connections.
Broadband has not managed to reach very many people in this country… you might think that the city with the highest percentage of families with broadband would be somewhere in the US, but it’s not. We need to catch up and we will.
One technology advancement that may be available in the future would deliver high speed Internet access through your standard electric service connections.
Another technology on the horizon is automated adaptive computer based teaching systems – which uses the learner’s responses to tailor a lesson and testing levels. Why should we waste a student’s time if he or she already knows the material?
As these new technologies become cost effective, the Internet and web technology will have resurgence and another growth spurt. When the new growth spurt happens – it won’t come with advance warning. When that happens we don’t want Pennsylvania Public Education to be left behind.
I believe that Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School has the potential to be a dynamic school that will help our students grow into new, demanding leadership roles with the aid of the computer technology of tomorrow and today.
Thank-you for receiving our application and for allowing us to present our ideas to you. I will be glad to answer any questions that you have.