"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but the ones who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn."
Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist
"The world of work has changed dramatically over the past decade. Companies are more global and employee groups more diverse than ever before. Organizational structures are less hierarchical and more collaborative. And today's networked offices are full of technological distractions that would have been unimaginable to the 20th century manager."
Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2012 issue, "3 Skills Every 21st Century Manager Needs".
21st Century Education
Educators, corporations, technology leaders, government and foundations are accepting the challenge of transforming schools in order to prepare students for the complex world in which they will take their place.
Consensus seems to be building around the need for certain 21st Century skills. These include critical thinking, collaboration, and analyzing information as well as media literacy and comfort as a global citizen.
And yet, traditional core content, as well as personal values and character, are also increasingly valuable.
The Ursuline School understands these needs and is a clear leader in innovative education!
In the spirit of St. Angela Merici, the foundress of the Ursuline order, we educate the whole person. The Ursulines have been, and continue to be, leaders in the education of girls. Our rigorous curriculum is enhanced by the thoughtful use of technology. We invite you to read our technology vision, below.
We understand that after teachers receive training, they benefit from assistance in bringing new information and teaching methods into their classrooms. Our Director of Technology Integration, Edwinna Lucyk, mentors teachers in this process. She empowers teachers to engage students and improve learning through technology. Mrs. Lucyk's biography is presented below.
We also invite you to read below about backchanneling. And stay tuned for more reports on innovative teaching!
The educational culture within the school, at the levels of administration, faculty and students, promotes technology as a critical element in the learning process.
Students collaborate, publish and interact with peers, experts and other audiences around the world.
Students create, produce, and present ideas in a variety of forms, including text, video, graphics, and conversations.
Teachers are co-learners with students and function as mentors who facilitate learning.
Through ongoing professional development, teachers acquire the knowledge and skills needed to engage students in exploring real-world issues using a variety of digital tools and resources to solve authentic problems.
Administrative tasks, including those performed by teachers, are fully automated.
All members of the school community use technology and the Internet in a responsible way.
Edwinna Lucyk, Director of Technology Integration
Edwinna Lucyk has held the position of Director of Technology Integration at The Ursuline School since 2010, and worked as a technology teacher at Ursuline from 1998 to 2010.
In her present role, Mrs. Lucyk empowers Usuline's teachers to engage students and improve learning through technology. To achieve this goal, she provides leadership, assistance and mentoring to teachers on integrating technology into curriculum. She also helps them create different forms of teaching and learning using technology.
Mrs. Lucyk plays a leadership role on technology in the classroom, introducing teachers to new technology, consulting with them on selecting and applying appropriate resources, as well as demonstrating best practices for technology use. Mrs. Lucyk's work is an integral part of providing Usruline's students with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in our global and interconnected world.
Mrs. Lucyk has been active outside the classroom as well. In 2006, at the request of Mrs. Davidson, Mrs. Lucyk founded Ursuline's chapter of Teenangels, a nationwide program of specially trained teens who promote Internet safety and cyberbullying awareness and prevention.
Prior to teaching at Ursuline, Mrs. Lucyk spent years in the corporate world as a programmer/analyst and as a trainer. She holds a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Fordham University and a Master's in Computer Science from Polytechnic University. Mrs. Lucyk also holds a permanent Teacher Certification from New York State.
One way to engage students is to meet them where they are at. And they are online. Several teachers have begun using the free backchannel platform called Today's Meet.
Mr. Monacelli used backchannel to prepare his 11th grade physics students for a test. He posted questions on the screen, gave 1-3 minutes for all students to type their answers, then all hit the Say button and all the answers appeared on the Smart Board. Mr. Monacelli then was able to quickly look at the answers to see who needed more explanation. Perhaps the most learning took place when at least one student had a wrong answer. She was asked to write the equation on the board, and solve it with help from her classmates. At one point, all of them were stumped. Mr. Monacelli gave them 1 minute to come up with the right answer as a class, and earn 2 extra points on their test the next day. Happily, they arrived at the answer.
Mrs. Seiler's 9th grade English class read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. The next day, Mrs. Seiler used backchanneling to post questions for discussion. There was no time limit. As answers appeared on the Smart Board, some students were inspired by other students' answers. They read each others' answers and learned different points of view about characters, symbols, and traditions in the story. Days later, they clearly recalled the questions and answers. Backchanneling helped them remember the material.
Mrs. LaGumina's 7th grade Italian class uses backchanneling to review vocabulary words. Mrs. LaGumina types a word or phrase to be translated. Then, students type their answers as quickly as possible. The first correct answer wins a point. No disputes arise as all answers are identified by name and time stamp.