Bellevue Union School District Educational Technology
As we continue to gear up and build capacity to implement the Common Core Standards, three questions guide our decisions for educational technology: 1) what technology will have the largest impact on the education of our students? 2) how will we maintain the technology once it is acquired? and 3) and how will we train our teachers and staff to use it effectively to meet the need of the Common Core and 21st century learning?
One of the largest shifts in the Common Core is the level of reliance on technology. The new curricula developed to meet the Common Core standards have technology integrated throughout and deliver information to students through videos, graphics and interactive text. Additionally, parts of the standard curriculum have been shifted towards 21st century learning. For example, collaborative writing is written into the curriculum beginning in Kindergarten. While collaborative writing, like many other new pieces of the Common Core standards, do not mandate technology they are greatly facilitated through the use of technology, if not logistically impossible without it.
These new standards are reliant on the premise that not only do teachers have technology in the classroom but that they have technology that can be relied on. Traditional computers have huge support needs. According to workforce.com, a publication on human resources and employment data, the median ration of IT support personnel to employees is 1:27 and is 1:18 for organizations with less than 500 employees. These are ratios that most schools cannot afford to match. In the past this has meant that we have settled for having computers in the classroom that cannot be relied on integrated into the core curriculum. Fortunately, modern mobile devices such as tablets and Chromebooks have greatly reduced the support needs. Free or low cost mass deployment and management software and vetted app stores, combined with the fact that so many of these new devices operate with no moving parts, has made the possibility of having a digitally reliant curriculum a reality for mainstream public education for the first time (IDC, Quantifying the Economic Value of Chromebooks for K-12 Education).
The other challenge to overcome in integrating technology, the catalyst for 21st century learning, into the classroom is providing the training and support to teachers to implement it effectively. We have begun to implement this training and support through the use of traditional workshops as well as making short Kahn Academy style lessons available to all staff on our Network Attached Storage Device(NAS).
Technology and the Common Core 11/20/2013
Educational Technology Professional Development 5-8-2013
Educational Technology Programs