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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Westford ‘Classroom of the Future’ project builds momentum | Westford Eagle

"What will the jobs of the future look like? How do we prepare students to be innovators when they are in high school, middle school and even as young as elementary school?" writes

That is the focus of the “Classroom of the Future” initiative, one of three key 2016-2017 goals that Westford School Superintendent Everett “Bill” Olsen reviewed at the May 22 School Committee meeting. The committee was preparing for its annual assessment of Olsen’s job performance.

The two-year Classroom of the Future mission is “to establish a conceptual model of what educating students in Westford will look like over the next 5-10 years,” Olsen said.

“We know we prepare them well for college,” said Olsen. “We also want to make sure that we prepare them well for work-life.”

System-wide committee
Westford’s Classroom of the Future committee of 26 includes representatives from each school, the central office, and guests Anita Greenwood, dean of the School of Education at UMASS Lowell, and David Birnbach, professor of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

“We had five excellent meetings,” said Olsen. The superintendent challenged the committee to determine how Westford could educate students “based on current and projected global jobs and labor needs.”

“We wanted to look at short-term and long-term changes we could make to the school system,” he said.

The committee also reached out to an educational consultant associated with High Tech High School in San Diego, California, who will be involved during the 2017-2018 school year.

Creativity and innovation
According to the committee findings, increased student engagement is critical for Westford’s Classroom of the Future. The committee brainstormed strategies to increase engagement by focusing on the “4Cs”: collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking.

Source: Westford Eagle