Tonight I shared our district’s digital learning plan and vision with our PTO members. We are fortunate our voters approved a technology levy last fall that will allow us to provide the digital learning support our students and teachers need to achieve their dreams, contribute to community, and engage in a lifetime of learning. I took the picture included in this blog post today. It is a photo of a 4-year-old sibling of one of our students. She was engaged with her mother’s digital device while her mom was volunteering and assisting students in one of our computer labs. This child was engaged and effectively interacting with games on the device. When I asked her what game she was playing, she told me, “I can’t read but I can play games.” She was manipulating characters in the games more masterfully than I could. If this is how four-year-olds are engaging with technology, we need to be prepared for them when they enter our classrooms!
Our district’s digital learning plan will address teaching and learning, technology refresh, and staff development. Our Chief Technology Officer, Tim Wilson, said that by the school year 2016-2017, the third year of the plan, we will be engaged in the largest 1-to-1 device initiative ever in the state of Minnesota. I am excited about the possibilities for teaching that will result from every licensed staff member receiving an iPad Air at the end of this school year and the staff development that will help them learn its potential for teaching and learning. I am thrilled with the rollout of our 1-to-1 initiative that will give specific grade levels and classrooms of teacher early implementers access to devices for learning. I am pleased that our district will be investing in hardware, software, and infrastructure needs to ensure that teachers and students can use systems that operate effectively and efficiently.
Thank you to our PTO which continues to provide us with technology for teaching and learning. To date, our PTO has gifted us with document cameras, projectors, SMART Boards, a computer lab, iPads for specific teacher use, a school-shared set of iPad Minis, and a school-shared set of Chromebooks, among other things.
I am excited to be part of a school with such a generous PTO that recognizes the need for technology to support teaching and learning, to be part of a district that has a well crafted digital learning plan, and part of a community that sees the value of equipping our students and teachers with the necessesay tools to engage students and impact student achievement.