Future Ready, weLearn 1:1, Discovery Middle School

Discovery Middle School teacher Patrick Mahaney is interviewed for the U.S. Department of Education video project.

“I am writing to inform you that the U.S. Department of Education selected your district to serve as one of nine district finalists who will highlight the role leaders play in leveraging technology to create transformational learning environments,” wrote Bernadette Adams, senior policy adviser, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology.

So began the latest endorsement of Vancouver Public Schools as a leader in digital transformation to create future-ready graduates. The U.S. Department of Education selected VPS to tell its story for a series of videos about technology in education. The DOE vetted 400 districts before narrowing the field to 31 semifinalists. Interviews with superintendents determined the final nine districts for the project.

On April 23, researcher Darren Cambridge, American Institutes for Research, joined Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Powerful Learning Practice, and professional film team Prmry Inc. in Vancouver Public Schools to conduct interviews and document the digital transformation currently underway in VPS.

The video and research team visited Hough Elementary School, Discovery and McLoughlin middle schools and the middle school campus of Vancouver iTech Preparatory. They interviewed teacher librarians, classroom teachers, students, principals, technology facilitators and Superintendent Steve Webb to get the Vancouver story about using digital tools for learning.

The DOE video project will highlight research-based evidence of what it takes to support future-ready practices. It will be available to districts across the nation as they begin their own digital learning transitions.

The project is part of the ongoing ConnectED Future Ready initiative, which focuses on collaborative leadership, personalized learning, robust infrastructure and professional learning opportunities.

Said Superintendent Webb, “Our vision is to ensure our graduates have the adaptive skills they need to thrive in an increasingly interdependent economy and global community. We’re delighted to partner with the Department of Education so that all students in America can benefit from this vision.”