While reading an article earlier this morning (Students want more technology, survey says), I was struck by the power of one student’s comment. He hit the nail on the head in seven words:
“You don’t see textbooks lying around offices,” added Trevor Slate, a 14-year-old freshman at Sissonville High School.
How true. As we continue to move forward with strategies and technologies that aim to more fully engage our students and inprove student learning, those seven words provide an important perspective; that of our students. We can engage our students by providing authentic learning opportunities, engage them by honoring our promise to keep the student at the center of our planning, and support such engagement in the decisions we make throughout the organization.
In a survey of our own students last spring, we asked a variety of questions regarding technology, and we learned a great deal. Though not surprising, we learned the following from the 422 high school students who responded to the survey:
- 80% of indicated they would benefit from having more time on a school computer for doing homework and/or school projects
- 84% find that there are not enough computers to meet everyone’s needs for homework and/or school projects during the school day
- 49% never use computers in the classroom
- 99.7% reported having a computer at home, though 51% reported that they would like more time on a computer at school
- Click here to view full survey responses
Our strategic plan recognizes the value technology can bring to learning, and we have allocated resources to support this belief. In doing so, we aim to provide our students with the best possible resources to succeed as learners. By imbedding these 21st century tools into our instructional practices, we add relevancy and purpose to the learning experience.
This school year, we will be providing significantly broader opportunities for our teachers and students to use technology in ways that provide a rewarding and engaging learning experience. SMART Boards in every kindergarten, art, and mathematics classroom in the district allows for collaboration and exploration in ways that would otherwise be impossible. The replacement of more than 500 outdated computer workstations provides our students with adequate access to online and network resources. And monitoring emerging technologies and services to ensure best in breed, cost effective products and services has been positively received, as evidenced by the enthusiasm around our blogs and wikis projects in the second half of the 2007-08 school year.
The 2008-09 school year promises to be a rich and rewarding one for the students we serve, and the best is yet to come.