Technology is a powerful tool that, when paired with the curriculum, has the ability to provide transformative learning opportunities for students. With its recent launch of the Technology Improvement Plan and toolkit, the School District of Clayton is harnessing this power to change the way technology is currently integrated into classroom instruction in all grade levels and content areas.
The implementation of the Technology Improvement Plan and toolkit was approved by the Board of Education in January 2017 as a significant step forward in the integration of technology for both students and staff throughout the District. The overarching vision of the report, which will be implemented in three major phases between the spring of 2017 and August 2018, is founded on the principle that technology changes the way we can teach and the way we can learn.
“The technology toolkit is changing the landscape of technology in the District,” said Chief Technology Officer Jeff Puls. “The transition away from stationary desktop computers toward more mobile devices will change how learning spaces can be used and provide our staff with greater flexibility in the way our curriculum is taught at every grade level.”
Beginning this spring and continuing through the 2018-2019 school year, every school will see the addition of mobile devices such as tablets, Chromebooks and laptops. The additional devices at Clayton High School will be used to launch a one-to-one (device-to-student) program during the 2018-2019 school year, in which all students will have the opportunity to check out a CHS Chromebook for use both at school and at home during the school year.
Additionally, the District has upgraded its internet bandwidth and wireless internet systems in every building to accommodate the increasing number of devices. The plan also includes adding security enhancements to student Google accounts this summer by changing the naming conventions on the accounts.
To ensure the technology toolkit is implemented in the most effective way for students and staff, the District has developed a three-phase plan for the toolkit rollout. This plan will allow the District to maximize its existing resources while providing appropriate professional development opportunities for staff. The three-phase rollout also gives the District the flexibility to make adjustments to the toolkit based on evolving technology and the needs of each school.
“As technology continues to evolve, the District will have to evaluate how the current devices are meeting the needs of students and staff and make modifications to ensure we are appropriately supporting our students as they gain the skills necessary to be successful in a 21st century workforce,” added Puls.
The District has created an online resource that provides details, timelines and answers to some frequently asked questions about the Technology Improvement Plan and toolkit. Parents, students and staff members are encouraged to access this resource at claytonschools.net/toolkit