Before I get started on this month's chronicle, let me point out that we will be using a blog format from this point on. While a little more casual then our traditional postings on Microsoft.com, we felt that it was the perfect tool for this project. So, there will be no editors reviewing my verb usage or sentence structure! (Thank god for spell check!) Mrs. Pet (my freshman English teacher....) I hope to do you proud!

 

Each day I log onto my email and I am amazed at the breadth of inquiries we are receiving regarding the School of the Future. Email from all over the world, asking inquisitive and thoughtful questions regarding planning, integration, curriculum,.... employment opportunities, flood my account. As each day passes, we realize more and more, “Everybody's Watching”. And so this past month and a half has been dedicated to due diligence.

One of our biggest challenges over the last 45 days has been getting everyone involved on the same page. The Philadelphia Team has a better understanding of the scrutiny this project will receive because they have chosen to partner with Microsoft.  Folks at Microsoft are beginning to see the opportunity that this project offers for their teams and strategic software pilot plans. Community members are becoming more and more energized over the possibilities that this school offers. A pioneering spirit is in the air and we are all beginning to realize that this is our chance to make a difference. This is our chance to deliver what has been promised for so many years. This is our chance to build something bigger than ourselves.

So what have we done these past 45 days? Well, first, we are narrowing in on a final location. Hopefully by the end of February, this challenge will be resolved and we can move on with the real work. We are also rolling up our sleeves and trying to figure out how this school will interact with the rest of the School District's technical infrastructure. This has been a challenge, but the solution will be invaluable to schools around the country. We are establishing an international advisory council to help us bring true innovation, perspective, thought leadership and great thinking to this project. Leaders in the areas of community development, curriculum development, technology integration, leadership development, and space planning and innovation will be brought together to review and participate in our planning and discussions. And finally, we will be taking another discovery trip to LA's HiTechHi in February.

All in all, the past 45 days have been very productive. In the next few weeks we will be adding video and document resources to the website so that schools from around the world can leverage our activities.

Talk to you next month!

Mary Cullinane - School of the Future Technology Architect - Microsoft Corporation