1:1 Technology Initiative: A Transformation of Teaching and Learning
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Photo courtesy of Lindy Bell
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1:1 Technology Initiative: A Transformation of
Teaching and LearningBy: Deb Wolf, High School Instructional Coach
This is an exciting time in the Sioux Falls Public Schools! We live in a technology and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale.
That’s why the District is moving ahead with a long-awaited 1:1 Student Technology Initiative. Starting this fall, Phase I of the project has every 3rd through 12th grader receiving a Chromebook, while every child in Kindergarten through 2nd grade will receive an iPad in Phase II.
Until now, the cost of putting technology into the hands of every one of our 24,000 students has proven to be too costly. But, as new technology is developed and costs come down, the time to move forward is now.
The driving purpose of the 1:1 Student Technology Initiative is to increase student engagement, further involve students in active learning, and provide students with 21st Century skills such as communication, problem solving, and collaboration, along with content expertise. The 1:1 Student Technology Initiative focuses on academic achievement, student engagement, and the customized learning that is so important for success in today’s world.
Unlike classrooms of the previous century, the teacher and textbook are no longer the sole sources of information. Each student has, at their fingertips, the entire Web of knowledge. This abundance of information provides both an opportunities and challenges for students to effectively find and curate, analyze and evaluate this information. Students become producers of content, not just consumers. Through the use of Web2.0 tools, the audience moves from their teacher and classroom peers to a global audience. Learning becomes more student-centered rather than teacher/textbook-centered.
The functionality of Google Docs and Edmodo provide the base platforms for teacher and student collaboration. These platforms allow the classroom community to extend past the walls of the classroom and beyond the school day. Students and teachers are able to communicate and collaborate the way the world communicates and collaborates today: whenever, wherever, and with whoever is necessary and appropriate for student learning.
As working professionals know, effective employees must be savvy with fluently navigating the overwhelming amount of data available to them. Our students must do the same. In addition to the required content, students must learn life and career skills, such as flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, productivity and accountability, leadership and responsibility. This 1:1 Student Technology Initiative provides the tools for young learners to meet and exceed the demands of today’s careers.
As an educator, I am thoroughly energized by the opportunities this 1:1 Student Technology Initiative will bring to your child’s classroom. The initiative has created a spark in our profession that will positively benefit student instruction and our desire to deliver only the highest quality education possible for your child.