Monday, December 1, 2014

Technology Advances in the School District of Janesville




Chromebooks, iPads, Laptops, Computer Labs - everywhere we look there is more technology than ever before for students and staff.  The future for our students is about opportunity, and today, opportunity is predicated on access to technology from the earliest ages.

Our students and staff begin with students in Kindergarten, teaching them how to use the web for information in ways that are safe and engaging, making learning fun.  Study after study shows that when students are interested in school, their learning improves.  As children grow and mature from Kindergarten through High School, their time and use of technology advances too. 

In each of our elementary, middle, and high schools, we have iPads, Chromebooks, and computer labs in use all day, every day.  Students use them throughout the day, sometimes with an iPad, sometimes a Chromebook, sometimes in a computer lab.   Students are able to weave in and out throughout the day, using technology as a tool for their learning.

All across our State, there are schools experimenting with 1:1 technology.  This means that there are enough iPads and Chromebooks for every child and staff member to use as their own.  Like other leading schools in the State, we are working with this level of technology access to determine if it makes a difference on student achievement.

At Lincoln Elementary this year (2014), we are piloting our first year of 1:1 technology.  Last year (2013), we completed our first small pilot with 1:1 in the 3rd grade classrooms at Lincoln, and this year have expanded it to include the entire school.  Principal Galvin and his staff are doing an excellent job taking a lead as a pilot school. 

We know that some schools have students helping with technology: a student “geek squad.”  Lincoln is also involving students to support and integrate technology into the classroom.  They call themselves “Tech Ninjas,” working with teachers and students to support 1:1 technology use at Lincoln.    

We are proud of the 1:1 technology work at Lincoln and are waiting to see the results of the data being collected, as we are collecting student achievement data to determine if this level of technology access makes a difference in a child’s education.

Everything we do in the School District of Janesville is about advancing student achievement.  Whether it is our teaching strategies, curriculum investment, or our use of technology in the classroom, making a difference in student achievement is the bottom line.



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