Digital Learning Initiatives and Future Plans
North Lawrence Community Schools
Digital Learning Initiative
NLCS’ Vision for Digital Learning and 1:1 Educational Technology Integration is to create an innovative culture where all learners succeed in a supportive, creative environment. We envision the use of educational technology to transform the education learning experience...to become one that is student-centric through a technology enriched learning environment. The mission adopted by the learning professionals of NLCS will aim to develop technology enhanced curriculum and instruction to improve teacher-to-student learning interactions and to promote increased student engagement, resulting in deeper motivation for learning. Empowering students with learning opportunities through devices and aligning technology-infused curriculum with new educational skill sets will lead to increased academic success and performance on assessments.
NLCS believes that technology empowers students to become actively engaged in the learning process. Our mission with integrating a provided 1:1 device is to increase collaboration among our learning professionals (teacher to teacher interactions, building to building) and to develop a student-centered learning community, emphasizing peer collaboration within and outside the classroom. Technology integration introduces the accessibility to learn outside of the classroom and helps cultivate a learning environment to decrease student disparity.
NLCS provides our learning professionals with meaningful and engaged professional development, focused on digital learning instructional practices. NLCS has two eCoaches that specialize in developing pd opportunities to create sustaining support in the 1:1 Blended Learning environment. NLCS encourages our instructors to participate in Online Communities of Practice accessible through our digital center, the NLCS eLearning Center. NLCS currently promotes online professional development. A major component to inspire increased technology enhanced curriculum and instruction came about through the use of a software product called Build Your Own Curriculum. Build Your Own Curriculum engaged NLCS learning professions in aligning grade-level curriculum across all subject areas while interweaving technology standards, tools, and skill sets. At the heart of BYOC, professional learners collaboratively shared resources and support of instruction to promote student engagement. To enhance curriculum and instruction, NLCS partners with Edmentum to provide online curriculum resources, and with Acuity to provide assessments and instructional tutorials. BYOC emphasized the use of student data through PIVOT and Learning Connections to drive instruction and refine curriculum practices. The power of 1:1 Technology integration will allow for the utilization of technology to meet our urgent need for cross-curricular literacy practices, K-12.
BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE HIGH SCHOOL
Bedford North Lawrence High School’s Digital Learning Vision centers on the 1:1 Technology Integration Effort to enhance the educational experience for all students, by increasing the opportunities for differentiated learning experiences utilizing devices. Implementation of this vision includes providing instructional support for our teachers through professional development opportunities, along with digital instruction through Google GSuite for Education. Through the use of the Innovation Planning Grant from the Office of eLearning, NLCS has partnered with Five-Star Technologies to providing trainings and instructional coaching. BNL teachers have participated in learning Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Forms and Google Classroom and are currently applying this to their instruction. In the 2016-2017 school year NLCS’ Curriculum and Technology departments have launched our 1:1 Educational Technology Initiative to our high school students. In August, we rolled out Acer R11 Chromebooks to 1600 students, along with providing a Chromebook for all teachers. Our eCoach team has developed instrumental pd opportunities to support instructional practice, focusing efforts on student engagement and learning. Through our professional learning communities, teachers are collaborating together, sharing experiences of how each teacher is focusing on increasing learning through student engagement and student centered learning activities.
2016-2017 Digital Learning Initiative
The 2016-2017 school year welcomed our launch of the NLCS 1:1 Initiative. BNLHS students began the year with an Acer Chromebook, and have become introduced to the Blended Learning Environment, introducing Google Classroom enhance the classroom environment. BNLHS Staff has continued to develop digital learning instructional practices under the vision of our eCoach team. Meanwhile, at the Middle Schools and Elementary, our teachers are preparing for 1:1 with a Pilot of Chromebook Carts and professional development on GSuite and Blended Learning Environment.
2015-2016 Digital Learning Initiative
A major digital learning initiative is promoting the usage of technology integration through teacher participation in online learning experiences, including enrollment in online courses through Five-Star Network, emphasizing onsite trainings, webinars, and embarking on effective uses of social media to enhance student learning experiences. BNL’s goal during this initiative is to promote digital learning experiences to cultivate student engagement through strengthening skills sets of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. Currently, we offer intensive face to face professional development trainings on transition to, and incorporation of, technology. Our PD sessions have proven to be more effective than online PD opportunities. The personal interactions and the hands-on experience supports our teachers, while modeling effective ways to incorporate devices. In the ever-changing environment of educational practice, student data is necessary to drive instructional decisions on curriculum, learning activities, and assessments. Data is derived through a variety of means, included summative and formative assessments, and through the use of digital resources, student data becomes readily available and very practical. During the Second Semester of 2015-2016 school year, BNLHS is piloting 1:1 in classrooms. This pilot is possible through the use of multiple Chromebooks carts, allowing teachers the opportunity to reserve one of our ten mobile labs, in order to begin to infuse digital resources into their daily instruction.
1:1 Implementation Strategy
The NLCS Curriculum Tech Vision Team - For the three previous school years, NLCS has gathered members to assist the Curriculum Office in building a new K-12 curriculum to meet the transforming needs of the state of education, in addition to assessing the immediate needs of introducing technology in into the art of instruction. The NLCS Vision Team demonstrated these ideals by making school visits where 1:1 devices were in place, along with preparing policy and procedures of future device implementation. During the 2015-2016 School Year, NLCS partnered with Five Star Technologies to complete the following:
- Impact Analysis
- Technology Assessment
- Introduction of Device Policy and Procedures
- Professional Develop Training: GAFE, Digital Curriculum, Digital Citizenship
With the dedicated effort to move forward, NLCS continued with their Strategic Planning with Five-Star, participating in an Impact Analysis. In December 2014, NLCS applied for and was awarded the Innovation Planning Grant. The efforts of this opportunity led NLCS to:
- Improve Technology Infrastructure and Wireless Online accessibility
- Plan and Implement a Spring 2016 Pilot: Chromebook Cart
- offer continued academic success by opening up the opportunities for out-of-classroom
- promote future educational support through sustainable means.
1:1 Future Initiatives:
2016-2017 & Beyond
- 1:1 Device for Grades 9-12: BNL will introduce Chromebooks for all students
- Virtual High School Academy with Community Connection: BNL will begin introduction of online classes partnered with APEX Learning. In addition, NLCS will promote continued education for community members, aiming to offer adult-education services.
- Lead Teacher Team: BNL will offer opportunities for teachers to become Lead Teachers, who will offer in-house support for our professional learning community, offer PD opportunities through workshops on digital learning strategies, and will model classroom demonstrations for new digital resources
- Develop an E-Learning presence in the Curriculum Office with a team of Digital Instructional Coaches (Elementary, Middle, and High School Levels).
- Develop a Professional Development Academy for PD for Blended Learning - for Principals and Teachers; offering an Incentive Program:
$1· Participate in Online Courses pertaining to Digital Instruction
$1· Stipends for Leading in-house PD
$1· Google Certified Teacher
- Develop a Student Digital Leadership Team: BNL will introduce a student learning community through course offerings from our Media Center. Students will create a digital learning center and Help Desk within our Media Center to offer support services for teachers and students, including blogs, tutorials, and weekly newsletters (All HANDS ON TECH) for staff. Additionally, this team will collaborate with teachers by providing them in-class support for implementing technology within instruction.
- Expansion of Cadet Teacher Program: Include a classroom component to the 1.5 hour daily field experience for BNL juniors and seniors exploring teaching as a profession. The classroom component will focus on digital integration in classroom instruction. Students will collaborate with peers on digitally aligned lessons, and then students will pilot lesson in their respective classrooms - the modeling will support student learning through NLCS Middle & Elementary Schools as well as provide support for the professional learning community.
- Expansion of North Lawrence Career Center Computer Courses: Expand upon the existing Electronics, Computer Programing and Software courses and programs to lend support for 1:1 Initiative, and partner with the NLCS Technology Department.
Digital Learning Initiative Testimonies
Thoughts from our Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Class…. “One of the chapter events at our recent regional Career Development Conference field trip that our students participated in, was the creation of an online community service blog. JAG students have been participating in community service events throughout the school year, and the community service blog is an opportunity to showcase what they've accomplished. Several students, notably my 5th period class, took the initiative to spearhead the creation of the blog and create the necessary posts to make the blog successful. On Friday, January 22nd, BNL JAG's community service blog won first place at the Region 8 Career Development Conference, and will now be advancing to the state level Career Development Conference in March to compete against 11 other regions. The career association officers, who accepted the award on behalf of BNL JAG, were genuinely surprised at the level of impact their work could have. One student said "It's nice to know that maybe other people will be inspired to do community service because of us."”