Digital Learning News
I am happy to share that Canyon is now officially a 1:1 school in grades 2-5. What this means is that we have enough technology devices for each student to all be working at the same time. This was made possible by Booster and the purchase of 150 new Chromebooks. The concept of 1:1 has been actively explored by our Digital Learning Committee for years. It was just a matter of finding the funding and best possible devices to meet the needs of our school and align with our school Vision and Mission. If you have a child in 2nd-5th grade, ask them to show you their accounts and the work that they have already started in class!
We are constantly in a cycle of improvement for the betterment of our students and we feel strongly that our new devices will have great benefits for the teaching and learning going on at Canyon. In the past decade, we have seen an increasing need for all students to become ready and able to take on the 21st century learning expectations. Children are learning differently than in past generations and computers are becoming a necessary component in order to achieve academic success in an ever changing technological society.
Our devices are simply just devices. They are a tool for teachers to engage students to be creative and collaborative. They will not come in and take over the classroom or replace quality teaching. The devices will give our students a better opportunity to share, connect and seek out information. They will not be a distraction, but another tool used by teachers such as the Smartboard or calculator. There will be times when the best lessons are done in the absence of technology. Students should not become attached to the device, but should understand when and how to access it. Students should understand that a device is an avenue for learning and discovery, but it cannot replace their own ability to think critically and question.
Many of the positive benefits of a 1:1 environment include increased student technology use; more student-centered and project-based instruction; greater student engagement; and better relationships between students and teachers. It also aligns to our standards in the sense that we are moving toward more student-centered and project-based instruction; greater student engagement; and better relationships between students and teachers. Just with the increase in technology over the past year or so, we have observed that our students enjoyment in using the computers is consistent with higher student engagement, motivation, and persistence. Students' technology and problem-solving skills improved and their ownership of their own learning increased. Another observed benefit is that student-teacher communications (via email and Google docs, for example) and parental involvement in their children's school work increased in some instances.
Our new 1:1 program will allow us to provide our students with the best access to information and promote learning. Our goal is to enable teachers and software to deliver more personalized content to students, to boost students' technology skills, and to empower children to do more complex and creative work. There is no denying the rapid pace of our world and its ever-changing economy. It is our responsibility as educators - at every level - to prepare our students for this environment. The environment will not adapt to them, they must adapt to the demand of the market. A 1:1 environment is simply a start.