Digital by design – integrating devices into the classroom
panel discussion summary
Allowing students to create rather than just consuming – this is important. The desire to create is very important. Examples – coming up with movie trailers, pitches using media – this increases the stakes because the student owns the material.
Dr. Cynthia Elsberry – As we move into the digital era, digital tools are being embedded into the curriculum. Curriculum being built by other teachers. (Horry County School District)
Vision Eric Williams, Superintendent York County, is to have teachers develop their own curriculum, not a centrally dictated curriculum.
Zach Leverenz – CEO Everyone ON – what happens at the end of the day. In poorer areas, students do not have access to digital devices. Equitable access must happen to avoid deepening the digital divide.
Brian Lewis ISTE – how do we create the environment for student to learn the technologies that don’t even exist yet?
Equitable access meant in Horry County that every student was given a device no matter the income level.
Home access is key – we need to have tools that kids can use to create new things – ie constructing boards on Discovery Education. However, we have to think how to offer the same services for everyone. (very interesting site for Everyone On – offers $10.00 internet to families that are not connected)
Lessons learned from BYOT at York County – Eric Williams. We have more access to devices because kids are bringing them in. Kids who do not have devices can use those available at the school. More of a workplace environment where people can use the device of choice.
Horry County – schools could apply for a grant from the district. Had a huge effect on the district. People learned off the early adopters. Then they put a device in the hands of every child. Gives the student that tool that will teach them how to use the technology they will need in post secondary or the workplace.
How can teachers effectively navigate this 1:1 environment? Horry County started with blended learning. As teachers became comfortable with a few devices in the classroom they became prepared for a 1:1 environment. Part of what we have to do is create collaborative environments where teachers feel comfortable in learning the new technologies (Brian Lewis).
Eric Williams – stop getting in teachers’ way. Allow kids to bring in their devices and support teachers who are ready for this in their classrooms.
How do you model technology integration? Answers – does it improve the quality and impact of student work. Another measure – SAMR – we are interested in moving people into the transformative stage of teaching. Another measure – when you walk into the classroom who is doing most of the work, the student or the teacher?
How to build momentum to adopt technology – leaders need to model the use of technology (Eric Williams). We can solve the problem of lack of connectivity in the home – we can solve this (in the United States) (Zach Leverenz)
Finally… Alberto Carvalho – Superintendent Miami-Dade County
Miami-Dade – improved achievement rates in a disadvantaged area
There are digital wastelands across our country. Are some students getting more access to resources than others? Digital convergence is important because opportunity gaps lead to achievement gaps – it is a moral imperative. To reach maximum potential – eliminate the opportunity gap.
HOW of digital convergence – there is a sequential way to do this work. The tools must be available for everyone. Does not believe in pilot programs because only some are leading the train, the rest are left behind.
Start with digital content – the most important decision more important than the device.
Second – create the highway to facilitate the traffic – broadband.
Third – connectivity – every single space in your district must have access – every school.
Can’t wait for the investment because these steps are essential. Done through fund raising in the community – raised $7 million with matching funds raised $70 million.
Only after the three steps above did they choose a device and a platform. Bought 38,000 devices to see how they would be used, but that was the very last decision to be made. Also surveyed how many students would need devices – over 100,000 students.
Finally, evaluation – iPrep academy – studying the impact of e-learning, flipped classrooms etc – this informed the system wide implementation.
Funding – using textbook money to pay for digital content, bank loans for buying devices – ( a little complicated) main point, funding came from multiple sources.
The power to learn any time anywhere is a moral imperative. To deny this to any students is to condemn students to a life of poverty. There is no opportunity equity without equal access to digital content everywhere.