What Role Does Technology Play in Robbinsdale Area Schools?
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Technology Levy Fact Sheet
Technology Helps Teachers Manage Student Learning - Teachers use software in the classroom to share classroom information and to communicate with students and families. Teachers use Schoology, a learning management system, to organize resources such as links and videos for students and families, accept assignments digitally, host online discussions and provide online quizzes. Each student and family has their own profile through which they can communicate, learn, access and provide information. The Compass Odyssey integrated learning system helps students in grades 3-5 gain math enrichment
and support; grades 6-8 receive math and language arts intervention and acceleration; grades 9-12 take hybrid online/in-class courses, credit recovery, and advanced course options.
Technology Helps Students Learn According to their Learning Style - Not all students learn in the same ways. Classroom learning can be personalized to accommodate individual learning styles through the use of technology. Teachers can upload videos, provide links to detailed articles, and load practice assignments. Students can learn material in the way they learn best – either through auditory, visual or hands-on methods.
Technology Gives Students More Learning Options - The options for learning are expanded through the use of technology. One example is the use of Open Educational Resources (OER), which are freely licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes. Some OER courses are already in use, including 6th and 7th grade social studies courses; 20 more courses should be ready to pilot in fall 2014. Another example is the use of hybrid courses, which combine online learning with in-class learning. Robbinsdale Area Schools has developed and offered 12 semester credits of hybrid courses in the high schools.
Technology Provides Access to Information From Anywhere, Anytime - Cloud computing makes communication and learning mobile - available anytime, anywhere. One example is Google Apps, which provides storage and applications that work on any wired or mobile device: desktop, laptop, Chromebook, tablet or smartphone. Students use applications to integrate their notes, web resource links, audio and video clips and other resources in one place, creating a cumulative portfolio of learning over time. Lost notes and forgotten assignments are a thing of the past.
What Can Technology Look Like in a 21st Century Classroom?
Robbinsdale Area Schools has worked hard to integrate technology into its classrooms for student learning, but limited resources have made it a challenge to sustain the level of technology that students and teachers need. The following are examples of opportunities currently available in some classrooms that could be expanded to more classrooms with additional technology funding – or opportunities that could be added if dedicated technology funding were available.
- Collaboration – Students gather in small groups to work on a project using a Chromebook laptop to access the information they need, take group notes and post responses to teacher questions.
- Science Experiments – Students use Vernier technology and probes that link directly to computers to complete science experiments, log data, do graphing/analysis and solve complex science and math problems. By using these tools and learning these skills, students develop into the next generation of scientists and engineers.
- Online Accelerated Learning – Students who have mastered a lesson can move ahead to the next lesson ahead of their peers by using their Chromebook or other personalized device and the Compass Odyssey integrated learning system and curriculum. The teacher can see which lessons each student has mastered and facilitate the learning of all students in the class at each student’s own pace.
- Unique Presentations – Students use digital presentation and video creation programs on their devices to present book reports, share information and complete assignments.
- Accessing the World – Students use Skype and teleconferencing programs to join lectures at universities, zoos, international events, NASA and much more.
- Interactive Learning – Teachers use SMART boards, or electronic whiteboards, and handheld devices to demonstrate a lesson through interactive learning activities that can be built like games to motivate and engage students in their learning.
- Instant Feedback – Teachers use digital assessments to provide instant feedback to students on their assignments. Knowing each student’s progress enables teachers to make changes to the teaching or resources provided.
- e-Books – Students read e-books on Chromebooks, iPads and other digital devices, with the ability to make notes online, add bookmarks to flag key information and download new books instantly.