School Boards Help Expand 1:1 Laptop Initiatives, E-Learning and STEM Curriculum
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – March 24, 2015 – School districts’ use of innovative technologies such as 1:1 laptop initiatives, STEM curriculum and flipped classroom instruction earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education’s and National School Boards Association’s 10th anniversary Digital School Districts Survey.
The survey recognizes exemplary school boards’ and districts’ use of technology to govern their district, communicate with students, parents and community and improve the learning environment and district operations.
Highlights of the Digital School Districts Survey first-place winners (categories based on student enrollment):
For 13 years, the school board's 1:1 laptop initiative has been a cornerstone of the district’s technology program. With laptops, students have access to industry-standard software for opportunities such as internships with local fast-growing companies. Online courses help dual-enrollment students achieve Associate degrees from community colleges at the same time they receive their high school diplomas. Using dashboards and real-time data from online assessments, teachers can view the success of the delivery of content and adjust instructional delivery to individual students. High school students are studying advanced technology such as using drones equipped with HD cameras, robotics and using blueprint design tools and 3D printers.
Providing students with digital resources to enhance personal learning is a priority for Decatur City Schools. The district has received several grants to help put laptops into the hands of its students. Teachers have many sources of digital content, including use of video to flip classroom instruction, enabling students to watch instructional videos for homework and then use classroom time for further help and other activities to ensure knowledge acquisition. Another recent initiative provided a wide assortment of devices for student check-out in the high schools – helping them decide what type of digital tools assist best with their learning.
RSU 21 achieved one-to-one computing in grades 4-12 with grade 3 scheduled for the current school year. Because it is a strong indicator of increased student success, professional development is a top priority of the district. A full-time Curriculum and Technology Integration Specialist is employed to meet the needs of educators for positive instruction outcomes. In grades K-12, courses in engineering and robotics, including understanding and creating green energy sources, contribute to the district’s STEM high school diploma.
“School districts, with the support of their school boards, continue their commitment to initiatives that enhance learning through innovative technologies,” said Alan Cox, Senior Vice President for the Center for Digital Education. “As a result, students are using all kinds of cutting-edge tools that assist learning, inspire creativity and help prepare them for the future. It’s my privilege to congratulate these school districts who are leading the way towards modernizing education.”
“Over the past 10 years, the annual Digital School Districts Survey has illustrated amazing advancements in education technology,” said NSBA’s Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “This year’s survey yet again shows how technology innovations can empower local school boards to advance their vision for public education and implement policies that support that vision.”
The top-ten rankings are awarded to those school boards/districts that most fully implement technology benchmarks in the evolution of digital education, as represented in the survey questions.
All U.S. public school districts are eligible to participate in the Digital School Districts Survey. View the full list of school districts honored.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at: www.nsba.org.
The Center for Digital Education (CDE) is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. www.centerdigitaled.com
CDE is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.
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