Digits, First in Math, Reflex Math, Compass Learning, Plato Learning, RAZ Kids, Study Island, Schoology, InfOhio, NWEA MAP, Moodle, StrataLogica, Flipped Classrooms using VIMEO, YouTube, etc, etc, etc… All of these examples and actually many more are ways that Worthington teachers are helping students personalize learning in the classroom and at home. None of these are new things for this school year. They’ve been going on for some time.
In Worthington, we believe:
- The use of technology as a tool integrated throughout the curriculum supports higher order thinking skills, communication skills, collaboration, and problem solving, which are critical elements of the district’s strategic plan.
- Student access to technology is essential to meet the educational development needs of the twenty-first century.
- Students, teachers, and administrators must be able to process and manage information through the skillful use of technology.
As we created our technology plan we wanted to make certain that our options for student learning were both increased and also organized. In order to do this we decided to implement two online cloud-based resources that would help our students, teachers and families collaborate with one another.
Worthington will implement an instructional management system that is single sign-on to simplify online learning, virtual classrooms, digital learning materials, etc.. (A system such as the iLearnOhio Learning Management System.) Time and again across all of our technology meetings students and families said that they had trouble remembering where to access all of their children’s passwords and digital resources. By 2017, we plan to have fully implemented a single sign-on system that will take students to the digital resources for each of their classes located in one place. The Google Drive of one teacher and the digital textbook will be there. The YouTube videos and homework links of another teacher will be there. All organized by class schedule and accessible via the web.
In addition, Worthington will implement Google Apps for Education to increase student’s and teacher’s ability to communicate and collaborate digitally. Worthington GAFE is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by Worthington. GAFE will provide the ability for Worthington students, faculty and staff to communicate (email), store files and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time from school, work, or home. This is all within a secure online environment.
Teachers can use Google Apps to facilitate group projects and use the history tool to see the level of participation of each student in a group. Teachers will be able to give feedback to students directly in documents shared with a teacher. Turning in assignments will be as easy as sharing the file in Google Docs with the teacher or by emailing it to the teacher through the student’s Worthington Google Apps Mail account.
Furthermore the addition of iLearn and GAFE allow students to access these main tools from any device. It does not matter whether they choose a chromebook, a PC, MAC, or tablet he main tools for collaboration and student learning will be accessible.
Our students are accessing an incredible amount of their materials and individualized learning through technology. We believe this will only increase over time and that we now have a plan in place to help students and families organize this learning.
For more detailed information on our technology plan please visit our technology plan website which can be accessed at: https://sites.google.com/a/wscloud.org/2012-bond-implementation/
- Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent