William Skilling

Oxford Community Schools

Oxford, Michigan

During the past four years, Skilling has led district administrators and the Oxford community at large to develop and implement a new, five-year strategic plan to jump-start technology-driven educational initiatives.

Skilling spearheaded the effort to transform the district’s strategic plan to reflect a new direction in education—to enable students to compete in a 21st-century global workforce. The district has harnessed technology to build an advanced learning environment in support of this goal.

OCS encourages and provides the tools necessary for all educators to teach in a hybrid format, which integrates both traditional and online components. Hybrid learning options empower the district to take advantage of both technology’s and teachers’ strengths in order to benefit students, instructors, and administrators.

Technology tools such as secure blogging, podcasting, and social media are now used to encourage collaboration and research between students within OCS. For example, by using MP3 players, students in a health class record statistics such as their heart rate and share the data with math students for use in their learning.

To further a new model of global education, Skilling launched an ambitious, district-wide, four-year International Baccalaureate diploma program, requiring all district schools to be IB accredited by fall of 2012. To accomplish this goal, OCS administrators purchased new curriculum technologies, including digital cameras and interactive whiteboards, and supplied both online and face-to-face training for using the equipment to deliver the new IB-driven curriculum.

In 2011, Skilling encouraged the development of the Concept Plan for Professional Learning, which articulates long-term professional development strategies for faculty. The district offers technology skills training sessions and technology tools workshops to empower teachers to create new learning experiences for students by leveraging technology.