Education

East Brunswick: Future-Ready Schools Initiative Coordinates Technology Throughout District

81cdfc8ec6411db919da_EBPS_Seal_greenback.jpg
81cdfc8ec6411db919da_EBPS_Seal_greenback.jpg

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Shakespeare's Hamlet reminds us that "The readiness is all."  Well, the East Brunswick Public Schools are indeed ready, ready to face a future of education innovation and contemporary formats for teaching and learning.  As participants in New Jersey's "Future Ready Schools" program, the EBPS join forces with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), the New Jersey School Boards Association, and the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to make sure that local students and teachers have what they need to use technology in a flexible, progressive way in a world that orbits in cyberspace.

"We are preparing ourselves to use evolving technology.  We want our students to be ready for their future, and we need to be sure that they are savvy enough to participate fully and creatively, " said Superintendent Victor Valeski in an interview last week.  

"We want to create learning environments that meet next generation learners and drive mastery," he added, after describing the preparatory process for East Brunswick's involvement in Future Ready Schools.

Sign Up for E-News

Recently, the district did a complete evaluation of available technology in the district and its applicability for future instruction under the direction of Dr. Joyce Boley, Director of Instructional Innovation and Community Outreach.  "Joyce has done a great job, " said Valeski, "We want to be cutting edge, but we want to be thoughtful and concentrate on programs that consistently offer relevant opportunities."  

The schools' involvement in this program has been cost-free so far.  It consisted of the evaluation of resources in a detailed format to be presented to the Future Ready NJ group.  When the information is processed, districts in the program will participate in a 5-year technology program overseen by NJIT.  "The vision is to foster the effective use of digital learning tools by educators, so that all students will be college- and career-ready citizens, able to be productively engaged in the digital universe," according to Dr. Joel S. Bloom, President of NJIT, as quoted on the Future Ready Schools site.

Locally, the schools in Spotswood, South Brunswick, Old Bridge, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Franklin Township, and the Greater Brunswick Charter Schools have participated in the evaluation of their districts' present technology assets.  Some colleges -Seton Hall University, Centenary College - and corporate and public concerns - McGraw-Hill Publishing, the Liberty Science Center - are also getting on board.  Districts will be notified in October concerning their acceptance into the program.

Valeski stressed the need for the district to look at the future value of all technology and its creative use moving forward so that investments or district funds are not wasted: "We have to evaluate how instructional time will be spent moving forward.  The cell phone has changed the world.  Learning is not confined to the school day or the school house."

Boley went on to cite the amped-up use of technology in the district to create online courses like Financial Literacy at EBHS in which students learn in a fluid environment using project-based learning.  "There is a 24-hour window of opportunity for student learning," she said, "New classroom environments present exciting opportunities to be creative in both teaching and learning."  "Hybrid" courses available at EBHS that combine teacher flexibility and student initiative include SAT Math, SAT Verbal, Journalism, Creative Writing, Contemporary Issues in Science, and International Studies (Social Studies.)

Valeski and Boley mentioned "blended learning," an approach that benefits from a variety of shots on a learning target. As defined by Educational Leadership magazine, "Blended learning, with its mix of technology and traditional face-to-face instruction... combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can, in part, control the time, pace, and place of their learning."

They also mentioned "digital learning," in which students take online courses that provide immediate feedback and remediation.

First, though, the current technology needs to be evaluated to see if it meets both current needs and prepares for future ones.

East Brunswick Education Association President Dr. Dana Zimbicki acknowledged the success of current innovations in lesson design and the implementation of technology: "Teachers create windows of online accessibility that allow for increased contact time with students.  So far, it has worked out well."  

Zimbicki offered her hopes for the success of the Future Ready program: "Technology is so necessary for the future of education.  Lots of teachers are getting involved.  However, sometimes they still have to wait for technology to become available for them to use.  Future Ready will allow us to purchase more technology and to purchase it more wisely with an eye to the future."

If Shakespeare was right, the East Brunswick Public Schools are ready to go.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

New Brunswick Civic League Leader Still Looking for New Challenges After 48 Years at Helm

June 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - After 48 years of leading the charge for change in New Brunswick, Dr. C. Roy Epps can still be found quietly working on weekends in The Civic League of Greater New Brunswick offices.

The tireless commitment of the 77-year-old President and CEO of this non-profit has helped provide residents access to a variety of health, housing and education services over the ...

Couple Netted $8M from Fake Uggs, Designer Bags, Prosecutor Says

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.

Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark ...

Brookside Pool Club Celebrating 65th Anniversary

MILLTOWN, NJ - The calendar may not officially say summer, but the water is certainly fine at the borough's Brookside Swim Club. Brookside is marking its 65th anniversary this year and the festivities will make a big splash of fun as they do every June, July and August.

Weather dampened the swim club's grand opening weekend. Brookside opens up to its members young and young at heart ...

Applications to Rutgers Jumps Nearly 10 Percent; Increase from Out-of-State Students

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Applications to Rutgers University this year increased 9.4 percent over last year, university President Robert Barchi told the Board of Governors at a meeting this week.

The university received nearly 45,000 applications this year, Barchi said.

That included a 20 percent increase in the number of students from out-side New Jersey applying to Rutgers, the university ...

Watson Coleman Introduces Resolution Acknowledging the Failures of the War on Drugs

June 15, 2018

As the House prepares to vote on more than 20 bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic over the next two weeks, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced a resolution that seeks parity in the treatment of drug use and addiction and a formal apology for the War on Drugs. H.Res. 933 expresses the sense of Congress that the War on Drugs failed, and calls out the disparate treatment of ...

MCRO Chairwoman Panos Celebrates Re-Election, Promises Party Unity to Defeat Menendez

FORDS, NJ-  Middlesex County Republican Organization (MCRO) Chairwoman Lucille Panos of Old Bridge was re-elected to a second two-year term as that organization's chairwoman.  Also re-elected were Edison chairwoman Sylvia Engel as vice-chair, and South Brunswick chairwoman Antonia Kulberda as secretary.  Rounding out the victors was Harold Kane of Monroe, ...

Franklin Township: Ladies Days Every Tuesday at KPS Garage

Every Tuesday throughout the ​summer, women will receive 10% off all repairs and service at KPS Princeton Garage located at 3860 Route 27 in South Brunswick.

Simply mention this promotion at time of drop-off. 

KPS Princeton Garage can be reached at 732-297-9515 or at kpsprincetonauto@aol.com

Back in the Green Lane...

Source: Independent Investigative Reporter- Journalist and Author Samuel K. Burlum returns to TAPinto; providing readership with additional perspectives on issues and concerns relating to business development, green technology, public policy concerns, environmental and economic sustainability, and small business advocacy. So it’s time to shift gears and get into “The Green ...