Teachers Getting a Jump Start on Using Digital Tools

Teachers at the schools involved in the district’s one-to-one initiative aren’t waiting until January, when nearly 18,000 students will be assigned their own laptops, to start using digital resources in their classrooms. Instead, many teachers at the 11 pilot schools in PowerUp are already integrating web 2.0 tools they have been learning at recent training sessions.

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At Lee High School, Instructional Technology Specialist Marmade Sacko has been rotating the school’s 15 laptop carts among teachers in the school’s core content areas. “We have 20 to 25 laptops on each cart, so this is allowing both our teachers and students to get used to this new way of learning in an electronic setting,” said Sacko.

Lee teacher Nikki Schultz has been using the laptops to experiment with different online tools like Padlet and Nearpod to instantaneously assess the learning in her classroom. “Anything that increases your ability to check for understanding and decreases the time to do so, you need to embrace.” said Schultz.

Teachers and students at the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, one of three schools that received their laptops in October, are embracing the laptops and the software that comes with each device. Students are not only using the computers for research and collaboration both inside and outside the classroom but to create multimedia presentations as well.

“Our teachers are flipping the classroom and doing blended learning, and the students are extremely engaged,” said YWCPA Principal Delesa Odell Thomas.

Students at the remaining eight schools in Phase 1 of PowerUp will receive their laptops in early January. Currently those campuses are holding parent nights to ensure that students and their families understand responsible use of technology, good digital citizenship, and Internet safety.