Regina Stephens Owens

Regina Stephens Owens is the first administrator of the online program for Spring ISD Virtual School. With more than 20 years of experience, she is a consultant in both the United States and Canada.

Going Global?

Going global, we have jumped on the high-speed Internet highway with iPads, laptops, and handheld devices. We have powered up with the latest and greatest apps, cool web resources, and let’s not forget one-to-one initiatives. We are well on our way to the new frontier. We are going global, leaving brick and mortar and embracing blended, flipped, and virtual learning experiences. We are living in the gray, going where others have not gone before.

Our destination is to improve teaching and learning in the new world powered by technologies. Where learning sits in your lap, collaboration is only a click away, and results are provided in real time. Our bags are packed with tweets, feeds, and connections, and we are off!

Wait! Did we forget something? Like every other time we have taken this trip, we find that we end up right where we started when we do not have a vision for where we are going.

Written words (or visions) have changed countries, nations, and the world. They may be important as we go global. As we go international, we must be intentional. 

In the new frontier, it is the vision that helps us clarify what we cannot see. No matter where the winds take us, we must be able to drop the anchor of beliefs and values to ensure our ideas and actions are taking us where we believe is best. We must have goals beyond purchasing the tools of technology that push us to prepare educators and learners for a global mindset, and ensure learning is being designed and constructed in a manner that is deep and meaningful.   

Before we go, let’s make sure we are well prepared for the trip:

  • Does your organization have a vision for what teaching and learning look like as you navigate your future?
  • Is the vision sustained by actualized plans and behaviors?
  • Do your policies allow you to practice in the 21st century?
  • Have you established a guiding coalition to monitor your progress?
  • Are all of your technology purchases and plans articulated and implemented in a manner that promotes learning, or are educators and learners working around disjointed initiatives?
  • Do you have the infrastructure to support your vision?
  • How have you prepared for just-in-time professional learning?
  • Does instruction drive construction?

Let’s make sure we are prepared this time. Just because the vehicle is different doesn’t mean the destination has changed. Some things are tried and true. As we navigate our future and embrace global preparedness and thinking, remember you must allow the force—the professional learning community philosophy—to guide you. It will take you to places you have never imagined!

Comments

Lawrence Press

Thank you for the great article, Regina. As the world becomes increasingly smaller, our educational practices will be more and more global in nature. I think that if we consider global learning, we need to take into account the nuances of local culture and incorporate that into our lessons and techniques.

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