New Initiative Will Transform Student Learning

New Initiative Will Transform Student Learning

The recently adopted district strategic plan, Navigate 28, has an ambitious mission to “Empower every learner to be an engaged, confident, caring and inspired citizen.” The district is now in the process of designing action plans that will help advance the new mission, vision and goals. We are excited to announce the first initiative launched under the Navigate 28 banner is “Learning First,” a comprehensive plan to purposefully integrate innovative teaching and learning strategies with technology.

“Learning First” gets its name from the book “Learning First, Technology Second” by Liz Kolb. In the text, Kolb outlines a framework in which instructional technology can engage, enhance, and extend learning in powerful ways. While teachers are already doing this in classrooms, the initiative will take it to the next level.

The district will transition to an iPad environment over the next three years. Students and teachers in kindergarten, third grade and sixth grade will receive individual iPads with keyboards next school year. Devices previously used by students in those grades will be redistributed to enhance device access for the other grades.

In the following years, additional students will receive new iPads so that by year three, all students will have an assigned iPad.  When the rollout is complete, students will receive new iPads every three years.

Some access to laptops may be maintained for specialty uses in science classes, STEM activities and art classes.

Students in junior high will have the option to bring home the devices, while K-5 devices will stay at school. The take-home option is intended to limit screen time for our youngest students, while affording our junior high students the opportunity to complete homework assignments and work on projects as needed. A comprehensive Internet filtering system will be active on the device even outside of school. Parent workshops around digital citizenship and the use of technology will also begin next year. 

In preparing for this initiative, the Innovate 28 Committee listened to and learned from surrounding districts. The district is partnering closely with experts at Apple to provide the most comprehensive plan to carry us forward in our work.