Boyle County schools prepare students to be digital citizens
Published 6:08 pm Friday, November 22, 2019
Boyle County Schools use technology daily in instruction, offering our students the opportunity to become fluent in the tech needs of the present and prepare them for the future. Students in second grade and above at Junction City Elementary School and Woodlawn Elementary School, and in third grade and above at Perryville Elementary School, are 1:1 with Chromebooks, meaning each student has their own laptop to use. The laptop is an integral part of instruction and in grades 6-12, students can take them home for extension and homework. Teachers use a variety of resources including, websites, applications, and district created content to enhance curriculum. The district monitors technology use through a biannual survey called Bright Bytes. This tool gives insight into the ways students and teachers are using technology.
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In the classroom, beyond Chromebooks, teachers use displays during lessons and the district is piloting TV displays that are interactive with an iPad and an Apple pen. When students are in stations, they have access to remediation and extension activities through what the district calls digital pathways. Teachers record lessons for the students to follow along and an assessment pieces is included to gauge mastery of content. The district follows the SAMR model—Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, in using technology. For instance, with Substitution, a student would produce a digital presentation instead of a posterboard and with Redefinition, they would video conference with students or professionals in other countries during a lesson; instead of simply reading that information in a textbook. Following this model, the instruction moves up and down at various times throughout the school year.
“Technology is integral to the world today, and we want to prepare them in every way for the future,” commented Susan Taylor, Boyle County Schools Chief Information Officer. “It is used to supplement lessons and instruction, not replace them.”
Additionally, the students use Google Classroom to compile all their classwork in one location. This helps students access their work more easily, and reduces barriers to learning by enabling common tools. In fact, technology allows students to work even more collaboratively. By everyone having access to the same programs, they can share information more easily and can work on projects that are more similar to the ways they would in a career. Students are exposed to a variety of experiences through the use of presentation programs, video tools, and opportunities to publish work online. Students also learn about being good digital citizens—how to manage internet use, stay safe on the internet, and learning what they put on the web never really goes away.
“Incorporating technology into the classroom doesn’t mean teachers don’t teach or interact personally with the student,” said John Elliott, Woodlawn Elementary School fifth grade math teacher. “It simply gives us more tools to help our students understand the lesson and to provide another resource they can utilize to learn if they need more assistance.
Teachers also can utilize technology to provide resources for parents. They can recommend tools to help with homework, or even provide videos for parents and students to help them better understand a lesson.