Ehn said these changes are necessary because of a changing culture. He has been working with a group of teachers on this project for a year. The teachers involved have already found ways to utilize technology and connectivity in their classrooms.
According to the teachers involved, this is how today’s students learn. Ehn himself said he has been contacted by students via phone, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and e-mail, which demonstrates the variety of ways they are capable of communicating.
To help encourage students to reach their full potential, the district is allowing students to write their own personal education plans. Ehn wants them to follow their passion and schedule classes around that. The school is also following the Google model, which allows students to spend 20 percent of their day doing what they want – as long as it furthers their education. Google allows employees this amount of time to work on projects that benefit the company. By doing this, Google has been able to diversify and grow, according to Ehn.
When these ideas were presented to the school board and community, the response was positive. Jim Crozier, who heads the school’s at-risk program, said this is good for a town the size of Melcher-Dallas. It broadens the opportunities of students.
Abby Heaberlin said they took the time to let the community know what the plan was and why. Ehn expanded on that to say that these will not be attempted “just because everyone else is.” The staff feels as though this is what is best for the students and their futures. Several changes have occurred in technology, even in the 10 years since fellow committee member Annie Morasco has been out of school. The changes have also come with simplicity, according to Heaberlin, and connecting with others takes little time and effort.