The landscape of technology utilization in the world has changed dramatically, especially in the area of education, over the years.  I am enlivened by the realization that we are preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow that have not even been created or defined yet.  As a life-long resident, and a product of East Allen County Schools, I am optimistic about the progression of our Blended Learning Initiative – now in the 6th year of having devices 1:1 in grades preK-12.

Technology is everywhere in our world – from bio-medical engineering, computer coding, micro-robotics and world languages – the problem-solving skills we are teaching across the curriculum are essential for success in the fields and trades of tomorrow’s workforce.  And, because technology is moving so rapidly, we are working to ensure that our students master problem-solving skills so that they may successfully adapt with presently unknown technology: we strive to prepare our students for this unknown future and to break down barriers that might negatively influence student aspirations.  I want our students to be fearless as they embrace opportunities for self-fulfillment in college, in careers and in life.

Over the years, the nature of student learning has changed, and we recognize this change in the sense that teachers and parents are adjusting to how students communicate, learn, and relate to the outside world.  Today’s students are “digital natives”: a term first coined by Marc Prensky, 2001. That is, these kids are growing up in the digital age and have access to and a familiarity with digital devices on a very personal level.  Because of this, many of today’s students prefer to learn and communicate with digital tools, and in a completely separate manner than previous generations.  As a result of this, educators have adapted their instructional tools and strategies to better foster relationships and engage with this “digital native” generation.  Simultaneously, the digital learners of today share their skill sets with parents, staff and community members with whom they have built significant relationships.

In the past, teachers have engaged and built relationships with students via conversations regarding books, sports, games, hobbies, or other interests.  Now, due to the high percentage of students having access to the digital world, the opportunity to connect with a significant amount of students has been altered and steered toward the use of digital tools to build those relationships.

Further, it is evident that students are actively involved with the technology of social media for communication, socialization, and learning.  What social media tools are being used by our students?  In a recent article by District Administration Journal (August 2017), in a poll of 790 American teens, 76% of teens use Instagram, 75% use Snapchat, and 78% say that social media makes them closer to their friends and 40% say that social media makes them feel closer to family members.  Knowing this, adults can choose to actively guide, assist, and better relate to students in the utilization of these digital tools.

A wonderful summation of this belief is the Ian Jukes quote: “We need to prepare students for their future not our past”.  Ultimately, it is imperative that, as educators and as fellow human beings, that we connect with our youth and stay involved with all aspects of this new, digital generation.

Marilyn Hissong
Superintendent of Schools
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NHI Students and Supplies for Hurricane Survivors
New Haven Intermediate School Help Hurricane Harvey Survivors
Posted on 09/21/2017
New Haven Intermediate students donated over 1,500 boxes of crayons and coloring books to the children of Hurricane Harvey. All the boxes will be loaded onto a semi-trailer. The trailer will be driven to Texas and the crayons and coloring books will be distributed to all children in need.  READ MORE... about New Haven Intermediate School Help Hurricane Harvey Survivors
IREACH students and Teacher
EACS Board Recognizes IREACH Students for Hard Work and Dedication
Posted on 09/19/2017
The IREACH students were recognized for all the great work they are doing i.e. cleaning the highway 930 tunnel on a daily basis, moving boxes during some the staff moves. “They are becoming more independent and developing home living skills. They are also gaining work and philanthropic skills through Shepherd's House, Goodwill and Walgreen internships, the East Allen Preschool, and Recycling for the Annex”, said Mrs. Blair, teacher.  READ MORE... about EACS Board Recognizes IREACH Students for Hard Work and Dedication
NHH Admin Staff with School Board
New Haven High Names Champions of Character by IHSAA
Posted on 09/19/2017
New Haven High School earned the 2016-17 IHSAA Sportsmanship Award. New Haven, along with 16 other IHSAA member schools, were recognized for exemplary behavior during the previous school year. Many IHSAA member schools met the point value of 100 or better, but few completed the entire Sportsmanship program. New Haven met and/or exceeded all five criteria of the IHSAA/NAIA Character Challenge program!   READ MORE... about New Haven High Names Champions of Character by IHSAA
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