Board approves funding for District's one to one tech initiative
As the District enters year two of its five year technology plan, one of the most impactful aspects of the plan is the implementation of a one to one initiative at the secondary level. This means providing Chromebooks to all sixth and ninth graders this coming school year, with the goal of being one to one in grades 6-12 by 2019.
“Some type of one to one initiative was an integral part of the technology plan,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Andy Hatton. “This year we implemented Schoology, our Learning Management System, and next year we hope to be rolling out a one to one initiative for students in the sixth and ninth grade.”
Teacher mobility, infrastructure enhancements, and improved space utilization, were also successfully implemented during year one of the technology plan.
Mr. Hatton said the recommended grade levels were chosen carefully with considerable feedback from our teaching staff. The Chromebooks would be able to augment the District’s workshop model of instruction which offers differentiated instruction and personalized learning experiences. One of the goals of the technology plan is to increase students’ access to the learning tools of the day.
“We want to be clear, obtaining technology is not about the latest and greatest gadgets,” Hatton said. “These are simply the tools of the day and in order for our students to receive a world-class education, they need access to technology. The quality of digital content continues to improve, but we are also aware we do not want to drastically increase the screen time of our students. This is about enhancing our workshop model of instruction and opportunities for kids.”
More devices in the hands of students and shifting to high-quality digital content may also eventually cut down on the number of textbooks the District needs to purchase. Chromebooks will be repurposed for future use when students are finished with them.
“We recognize the speed at which technology changes and one of our challenges as a large district is to stay nimble enough to adapt on an as needed basis,” Hatton said. “While the one to one initiative recommendation would be a secondary endeavor, the recommendation also includes increasing the ratio of devices to students at the elementary level.”