Learning Technologies in CCSD
Classroom environments in the Clarke County School District are designed for students and teachers to access many resources centered around learning technologies for communication, presentation, research, practice, and assessment. Learning technologies support the broadest range of student needs to personalize the educational experience and create learning opportunities at any time, both inside and outside the classroom. Learning no longer takes place solely in the confines of a classroom - in fact, the district has seen large spikes in access to learning technologies in the evenings while students collaborate on blogs, Google Docs, and more.
Through this access, students can engage in challenging learning experiences that are foundational for future success. Why? The use of technologies allows them to access new tools to become part of a collaboration of experts that promote diverse perspectives and respond to real-world problems in partnership with parents and teachers.
Our Learning Technologies
The Clarke County School District launched a 1:1 initiative in 2014 with a completion date of August 2016. Today, all students in grades 3-12 have a district-provided device they can use in and out of school. All classrooms in grades K-2 are equipped with digital devices at a minimum ratio of 1 device per 3 students.
While the district's position is that devices are selected only on the ability to support student learning, the use of Chromebooks has emerged as the primary platform for all grade levels, with iPads as supplementary for special projects.
The district uses the Google Apps for Education platform to increase collaboration and communication and access a multitude of tools in areas including robotics, literacy, and more - all to engage students in learning core skills in creative learning environments. Digital literacy is not about devices; it’s all about our teachers and how they choose to use learning technologies to make classrooms relevant and innovative.
How Technology Looks in Today’s Classroom
Learning technologies do not drive the curriculum; rather, the core skills and knowledge are acquired through student creativity using a variety of technology tools. Our learning technology classrooms are not about e-books and digital worksheets; that is not transformative. It’s about Skype sessions with authors, writing code, collaborating, researching, creating presentations, and much more. Teachers receive targeted professional development, and our infrastructure has been strengthened to support increased wireless activity.
At the highest level - our goal - learning technologies are not simple e-replacements; they provide a platform for much deeper learning and much richer conversations.
The majority of the funds spent on the 1:1 initiative are Special Option Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds. Some computers are purchased with federal funds. Most local funds are used in the maintenance and upkeep of all laptops for students.
Why Learning Technologies?
Technology takes what was once scarce and makes it abundant. Resources are available at our fingertips, and our students and teachers are able to stay at the forefront of recent knowledge and discoveries - because technology is updated every millisecond. Our students are learning to be both consumers and creators of content, and we have seen the teaching and learning experience greatly enhanced as the instructional process has been transformed to meet the needs of 21st-century students.