A Technology Revolution

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When I was growing up the phone book was really important.  The White Pages and the Yellow Pages were stored in a cabinet below the cordless telephone in the kitchen.  My dad expected that the phone books were kept in this location and he did not take kindly when he went looking for them and they had been left somewhere else in the house.  Not long ago phone books were needed in order to call a neighbor or find an auto repair shop.  My kids may have never seen a phone book.  When we need a number today I push a button on my cell phone and ask for the number.  The phone not only provides the number it dials it for me and maps the quickest route from where I’m located.  Thus, our world has changed.  More importantly, the world our students must be prepared for has changed.

With that in mind Worthington Schools has created a robust three year plan for technology integration that will revolutionize the way our students and teachers communicate and the ways that technology will be integrated to personalize learning for all students.  At last night’s Worthington Board of Education meeting we formally presented the plan that was created as a result of input from hundreds of students and families as well as the work of a team comprised of students, parents, teachers, administrators, board of education members and community advisors.

This plan is already in motion and our students are beginning to see the difference. Here are the main points to the plan:

  • Worthington will create a robust technology and electrical infrastructure (servers, file storage, routers, switches, bandwidth, high density access points, etc…) that will meet the demands of today and the yet unknown demands of the future.
  • Worthington will strive for 1:1 computing for all students.  This will be accomplished by providing district mobile devices at a ratio across the school district at 1 device for every 2.5 or 3 students.  This will allow students and teachers to have access to devices on-demand and in a flexible manner.  Devices will be allocated based upon student need and not necessarily equally in all schools.
  • Worthington will establish a computer lending library at each school where students can check out a device and 4G access points so students who need a device at home overnight or on the weekend can continue their learning.
  • Worthington will pair district devices with a Bring Your Own Device plan and the school district will provide families with a list of recommended devices for students to use in class.  (Paired with Worthington provided software and cloud services, 90% of Worthington students would be served adequately with a $220.00 lap-top making BYOD a reality for most families)
  • 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.)
  • Worthington will create a technology professional development learning plan to help all teachers integrate digital resources and technology into their instruction.

Over the next several days we will examine the main parts of this plan on this blog.  Please check back daily for an in-depth look at of how Worthington plans to integrate technology into our schools to prepare students for today’s and tomorrow’s world.

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

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