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September 12, 2006


Marion Ginopolis

Susan Ohanian's commentary is misleading, at best. The implication is that the School of the Future is using Microsoft Lesson Plans to teach their curriculum. The lesson plans to which she refers appear on the Microsoft Education Website and are simply suggested lessons that are specific to using particular Microsoft products, many of which were submitted by teachers to share their ideas with others from around the country. http://www.microsoft.com/Education/LessonPlans.mspx

If you review this Website, you will see that the lessons are organized in two ways: by a particular content area and by the specific Microsoft product a teacher might want to use. The Smart Board lessons to which she refers are similar to the Microsoft lessons. In reviewing this site it is clear that these are simply educator resources. http://www.education.smarttech.com/ste/en-US/Ed+Resource/

I find no evidence that these are lessons that teachers will be using to teach the curriculum in the School of the Future. Rather, I would expect quite the opposite based on a recent article in eSchool News about the School of the Future which states: “Not only will students enrolled in the School of the Future be expected to meet all of the usual standards of accountability and testing that their counterparts throughout the state are required to meet; they also will be the poster children for a new approach to learning, one that leverages technology and creative thinking to meet the demands of the 21st century.” (http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStoryRSS.cfm?ArticleID=6579)

The School of the Future differentiates itself from other PA schools by the fabulous, technology-rich learning environment that has been created; not by the curriculum or the lessons that will developed by teachers. Further, I applaud any major corporation or foundation that is supporting K-12 education to the extent that Microsoft has done to benefit students.

Marion Ginopolis, Director, MI-LIFE, Michigan Leadership Improvement Framework Endorsement http://www.mi-life.org

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