If you find yourself in a discussion about changes in education with K-12 Technology Coordinator Jonathan Redeker, the last thing you should say is “but we’ve always done it this way.”
Redeker, who was recently appointed to the Future Ready Schools (FRS) Advisory Board, recognizes that challenging the norm can be difficult, but essential – especially during these unprecedented times.
“Society is being forced to change because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “Schools had to change their curriculum without warning. Jobs are being created that don’t exist yet. Education won’t go back to ‘normal’ and we as educators need to continually work towards growth and change.”
The immediate pivot to virtual learning was – and still remains – a struggle for many teachers, students and families. Redeker’s appointment as an FRS instructional leader has strengthened his resolve to help guide his colleagues as they continue to embrace remote instruction and search for ways to engage with their students, both in-person and virtually.
“Technology isn’t always the answer,” said Redeker. “My goal isn’t to rely solely on technology in education, but to help teachers utilize it effectively. My hope is to help inspire teachers to think about how to create better lessons that focus on project-based learning and engagement, and to use educational technology tools as a window to the world. This can have an exponential impact on our kids.”
Redeker’s role with FRS allows him to work with hundreds of colleagues from throughout the country who share his same visions. Collaboratively, they create ways to engage with educators through staff development, virtual events, webinars, case studies, podcasts, and more. In addition, FRS is a strong advocate for digital equity – the number of students without home internet is approximately 14% with up to 37% for some minority groups (according to the National Center for Education Statistics).
“FRS has a voice around the country about how to best support our students and teachers,” said Redeker. “Ultimately, this results in students who are passionate, productive and responsible members of society. We want to build personal and authentic relationships with kids. That’s where my heart is and I’m very honored and excited to work with this group.”
Based in Washington D.C., FRS supports thousands of school districts as they advance evidence-based practices and create rigorous and engaging student-centered learning environments. For more information, visit https://futureready.org.