Student achievement is positively impacted through the continuous introduction of appropriate technology tools that help teachers ensure that lessons are engaging students on many learning levels and challenging them cognitively. The primary focus is to teach teachers how to choose the most effective tools within technology to link the use with instruction to differentiate for greater student achievement.
A strong, ongoing goal of the District is to embed 21st century skills into classroom instruction. In our District Strategic Plan (2009-2012), all schools are scheduled to provide data to the School Board demonstrating that these skills are embedded into daily instruction.
The District is taking active steps to ensure that technology resources are available to all teachers and students as needed. Informal needs assessments have been performed annually with principals to ensure that not only are there sufficient resources for technology in their schools, but that their teachers feel adequately trained on those resources.
Our baseline classroom instructional technology standard consists of:
100% of Fremont #1 classrooms have a projector and an interactive whiteboard.
85% of our classrooms have a document camera connected to the projector
Schoology (a learning management system) is used by all students in grades 9-12.
All teachers have a dedicated desktop computer for their own use, as well as a mobile solution (either IPad or Chromebook).
All elementary grade-level classrooms have several student computers, and also several student-use IPads.
All schools have several computer labs and mobile carts that teachers can employ with their students. Schools have a wide array of other technology tools available for use: digital still and video cameras or multimedia projects, dedicated “kit” workstations for specific learning objectives, dedicated videoconferencing systems, and more.
We are always seeking ways to continuously improve access to technology resources. One change made this year, for instance, is the availability of assistive technology tools on all District computers, not just ones purchased and used by Special Education staff. We are looking to standardize our interactive whiteboards for our two new schools so that the entire district is using a single type of board and instructional software, increasing flexibility and reducing training and support needs.
Professional Development for Teachers
Professional development is a critical piece for teacher preparation, especially for the wide range of technology assets the District currently possesses. The last Tech Plan brought the creation of two full-time Educational Technologists, one for the elementary schools and the other for secondary schools. These positions are actually instructional facilitators that focus on technology integration strategies and teacher tech coaching. They do not have fixed daily schedules, so they can go around to classrooms during the day to provide needed hands-on help immediately instead of hours or days later. These two positions have been able to provide targeted professional development directly to teachers in their classrooms, and have also assisted with numerous technology integration
Our District Professional Development plan also calls for increased professional development for technology integration. In order for students to achieve higher using technology, teachers must be fully comfortable with the application and higher-level use of technology. Increased and targeted professional development in these areas will further this goal.
Software and Subscription Services
The District has a large number of software purchases and annual subscriptions that are used to help determine much of our curriculum. From formative assessment to assistive technology, daily instruction to student virtual field trips, technology is already heavily embedded into our curriculum and teaching.You can get an idea about the subscription services we offer to teachers and students by looking at the "Resources" drop-down menu on our website. Many of our resources are available from school or from home, breaking down the traditional school-day times. Students can post and collaborate on assignments anytime, access rich educational applications, and research using a wide array of valuable, education-friendly resources.
You can learn more about our offerings on the District Software page.