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Articles: Technology

As districts transition into the digital age, technology certification programs are growing in number to meet the needs of tech-savvy students.

As tablet integration becomes increasingly prominent in U.S. classrooms, administrators face challenges preparing district infrastructures, teachers, students and parents for a shift to digital learning.

Here are some tips from two district leaders who have successfully undergone the change to those considering a move to tablets.

Education content publishers say they are far from discontinuing traditional printed resources.

A 2010 Scholastic-Gates Foundation study of 40,000 pre-K12 teachers, “Primary Sources: America’s Teachers on America’s Schools,” found that 80 percent of high school students continue to get reading material primarily from school libraries. And a 2012 Pew Internet and American Life survey, “Reading Habits in Different Communities,” found that 90-93 percent of readers still preferred print books over e-books.

A major obstacle for libraries in transitioning to digital content includes lacking a standard publishing model, primarily for popular fiction, says Ann Fondren, coordinator of library services for Spotsylvania County (Va.) Public Schools.

cyber cafe

If your school librarians are feeling beleaguered these days, well, they have good reason. Consider:

• The ranks of certified school librarians have been decimated in recent years by districts struggling to balance budgets.

• The explosive growth of anywhere-anytime digital content in K12 districts threatens to make the concept of library-as-media-center an anachronism.

Glastonbury (Conn.) Public Schools is the latest district to roll out a plan to provide iPads to its 2,200 high school students—and it is only the first step to significantly reduce textbook costs and focus on providing a 21st-century learning environment for its students.

Five years ago, the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina went digital, with laptops and MacBook Air computers districtwide.

The district has not purchased a textbook in over five years, with the exception of those required for high school Advanced Placement classes.

A Griegos Elementary School student in Albuquerque uses an iPad in the library, which has a portable cart of about 30 iPads—known as Computers on Wheels.

For years, there’s been an ongoing discussion about the digital divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.” As technology has advanced, so has that gap, which is driving fundamental changes in how we work, learn, and live.

Administrators, educators, and nonprofit entities nationwide have been trying to lessen that gap over the past decade. With newer, lighter technologies like tablets and ultra-light laptops like the MacBook Air, some schools are considering getting rid of textbooks altogether and going digital.

Helen Gooch, middle,  the instructional technology coordinator for Clarksville-Montgomery (Tenn.) School District, is with two technology integration coaches at the Kilobyte training lab at Greenwood Technology Center, getting quick tips for using Windows 8.

The Windows 8 operating system, which splashed on the market in October 2012, is changing the landscape of Microsoft-based computers. The once traditional PC operating system is making the move toward a more mobile, tablet-based environment in schools. With it comes a drastic change that will affect how educators interact with computers in a Windows-based system. The last major change in Windows OS was in 1995, says Cameron Evans, Microsoft’s chief technology officer for U.S. education. “The world has changed,” Evans says.

Learning from Lincoln: Leadership Practices for School Success
ASCD

In the 21st-century classroom, interactive whiteboards have taken the place of traditional chalkboards from the past. Whiteboards allow for interactive, digital instruction and use software that both students and educators can collaborate with. The lessons, presentations, and online content are also brought to life on whiteboards with the use of projectors, tablets, stands, and controllers. The products featured here are all used to enrich the interactive whiteboard learning experience in the modern K12 environment.

 

Corwin
eLibraries

Oba Ambassador students from Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, Ariz., run a technology workshop for classmates and teachers.

Introducing new technology into schools can be difficult, due to time constraints and a lack of resources. But your school can find a new way to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom.

A new partnership between Generation YES, a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower students to use modern technology in schools, and Oba, a cloud-based learning platform that encourages global collaboration, is allowing students to do just that.

A senior in the Princeton City School District video records the staff from the athletic department before they deliver a seminar to students.

Technology is so prevalent today, why not engage students in school with the same interactive devices and communication tools they love using? That’s the approach the Princeton City (Ohio) School District is taking as it employs a dizzying number of technology devices, software programs, and social media platforms to complement classroom instruction, homework, and extracurricular activities, and bring together students, teachers, counselors and families in a virtual community that increases support, accountability, and ultimately student success.

Organizations offer courses and other resources designed for administrators to learn what they need to know about technology.

ASCD’s PD Online offers 110 courses on everything from Common Core State Standards to literacy strategies to STEM education. (www.ascd.org/professional-development/pd-online.aspx)

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