eLearning InitiativeWhy Implement 1:1 Learning?
The rationale behind our desire to implement 1:1 and a digital learning plan across all grade levels is focused on student learning and providing our students competitive advantages they deserve as they prepare for future education and work. Our classrooms and learning strategies need to change to prepare our students for their future and not our past. We are preparing our students for careers of tomorrow that we can't even imagine.
Why Implement Digital Curriculum?
It is out of necessity that we make the transition from a traditional learning model to a digital learning model from both a student learning and institutional perspective.
We must change not only to survive but, more importantly to remain relevant to the students we serve. This involves a movement from a traditional teacher led learning model to a student centered, constructivist, project-based learning model that leverages 21st century productivity tools, digital content and curriculum, and learning management systems.
We are planning to implement a blended learning model that combines the best of online learning with the best of face-to-face instruction. Learning will become more personalized and, paradoxically, more collaborative, as well. Great teachers already do this with or without technology or digital content or curriculum.
What are the Technology Goals?
For the past year, our leadership team has been meeting weekly to define our priorities and to develop a coherent school vision and goals. The top goals that have emerged from our work are:
• Create a 21st Century learning environment for our students and teachers.
• Create more personalized and interactive learning opportunities for our students.
• Make instruction more relevant to the student learner.
• Increase student achievement for all groups of students.
• Better use data to inform instructional practices.
Curriculum and Instruction
We believe textbooks are insufficient when used in isolation. We want our students to have daily access to relevant, accurate, and interactive content that support learner mastery of the Common Core and other curriculum standards.
Over the past year, classroom teachers have devoted extensive time to creating digital learning activities, curating digital resources, and connecting learners to material and to each other. We are a Google School and use a variety of tools included in the Google Apps for Education Suite. We use Google Classroom as our primary launch pad for digital learning. Most classroom teachers have classroom webpages and use Google Classroom as their home for things such as communication, lesson plans, schedules, calendars, content, assessments, enrichment, and social media activities.
Also critical to the success of our instructional program is the use of several other cloud-based software such as Edmentum, Study Island, Plato, Reading Eggs, MobyMax, SuccessMaker, Seesaw, and Renaissance Place. SDCSC uses a combination of both free and paid software subscriptions. The list of educational software used by SDCSC is an ever-changing as needs are identified and as new software is made available.
As of the 2017-2018 school year all students in grades 3-12 will carry a Chromebook. They will use this device at school in every class and take it home in order to extend the classroom beyond the school walls. Students in grades K-2 will have access to classroom sets of laptops, iPads and Chromebooks.
To support our 21st century learning environment many teachers carry either school-issued laptops, iPads or Chromebooks. All high school and elementary teachers have school-issued laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads. All middle school teachers have school-issued laptops and Chromebooks.
All classrooms have overhead digital projectors which are very helpful in bringing digital learning opportunities to students not yet in 1:1 device grade levels. Several classrooms throughout the district also have document cameras, smartboards and student response systems.
Instructional transformation does not occur simply by handing a teacher a mobile device. The goal of professional development at SDCSC is to support teachers as 21st century learners and to increase teacher effectiveness and student learning by maximizing digital learning opportunities.
SDCSC has formed a strategic partnership with Five-Star Technology Solutions to provide technology integration services to the faculty of SDCSC. This partnership will allow us to offer virtually unlimited professional development opportunities to our faculty in a variety of formats. Professional development will be conducted both onsite as well as online. SDCSC will work in conjunction with Five-Star to create a comprehensive professional development plan based on the specific needs of each and every teacher. This agreement represents the commitment of SDCSC to helping our teachers make student learning experiences the most relevant, successful experience possible. SDCSC also employs a full-time onsite e-coach to work with teachers in the classroom setting to help them effectively utilize all of the technology available to them and ensure that we are doing everything in our power to meet our technology goals stated above.