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Learning with Technology in District 30

All people are shaped by their environments, and the environment in which our students are growing up is media-rich, engaging, and dynamic. It is also driven increasingly by technology. Access to information is instantaneous and prevalent. No longer do students need to wait for an answer to a question -- it’s almost always at their fingertips.

This world has a great impact on how our students learn and show what they know. Technology is a vital part of District 30’s curriculum. It is present in how we explore our world, how we share our knowledge and how we connect with one another. As we prepare students for their academic and professional futures, we strive to ensure that they have valuable learning experiences which allow them to communicate, collaborate, and become globally-aware citizens. Technology can help provide these experiences and enrich student work in the content areas.

All of our schools have several full class sets of mobile computers on carts, which can be brought into the classroom. Students are able to access this technology in a more immediate and flexible environment.

All of our schools contain technology-rich learning environments, where students can use technology in a variety of flexible ways. These spaces can change to suit the lesson, the subject, or the number of students and offer a variety of tools for student use. Teachers use these spaces to lead Skype sessions with other schools across the world, to create music and video projects, or to brainstorm ideas in a new setting.

District 30 is exploring the use of iPads in our classrooms. These tools are proving to be powerful and engaging personal learning devices for our students, with a variety of applications across the curriculum.

For the past three years, District 30 has utilized Google Apps for Education with our staff and students. Online documents, presentations, websites, and media can be created and shared between students and teachers. All work can be accessed online at home so the learning never stops. It has been one of the tools that has allowed us to truly extend the classroom beyond the walls of the school.

Classroom, teacher and student blogging also creates numerous opportunities for students to write for an audience and receive feedback on their writing. The use of blogs has also allowed us to address the ever-important subject of digital citizenship. It is critical that our students consider the importance of their online footprint, and become ever-vigilant about how they conduct themselves in cyberspace. The tenets of Character Counts! are alive and present throughout our schools, and this includes our digital presence.