History and Background
The Vision and Plan
Through the vision of our school stakeholders, CCS started a discussion about incorporating technology initiatives into the classrooms during winter of 2009. It wasn’t until early in 2010 that we discovered this model of 21st century learning at a public school in Mooresville, North Carolina. This exciting model for digital learning not only changed our thinking about technology initiatives in general, it energized our staff to integrate this transformational paradigm called "digital conversion" at CCS.
CCS then focused on two areas in preparation for the initiative: (1) communication with our parents and stakeholders regarding the details of the initiative, and (2) providing our teachers with the professional development required so they would be ready to roll-out our digital conversion.
(Deployment and Professional Development)
The first deployment, during August 2012, was for our 9th-12th grade students at the Junior/Senior High Campus. To the untrained eye, the average Junior/Senior High Campus classroom may look like any other. However what truly takes place is far from ordinary. Students take their laptops home daily to complete classroom assignments, their homework, and research projects. Students and teachers use Haiku as their learning management system (LMS) and are able to communicate and transfer work back and forth 24/7. The laptop provides students and staff constant access to the most current information available through the Internet as well as multimedia tools, which supplements materials presented in textbooks and by teachers.
The second deployment, during August 2014, was for our 4th-6th grade students at the Elementary Campus. Also, even earlier in 2009 at the Elementary Campus as a component of the Digital Conversion Initiative, interactive SMARTBoards, and SMART Senteo response devices (clickers) were placed in every kindergarten through 6th grade classroom. It has been exciting to watch the students become engaged with the newer teaching and learning initiative using the digital tools. Since the fall of 2013, kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms have also had access to an iPad station in their rooms for even more digital learning.
Teacher received extensive professional development (through various conferences and webinars) to equip them for the 21st century classroom initially, and this PD is continuously integrated into their annual training. Professional development of staff is emphasized every year to ensure integration and continued evaluation of our digital conversion.
The Results and the Future
Both digital conversion deployments were successful, and now students and staff have access to laptop computers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week during the school year. Laptop computers have significantly enhanced the level of student interest, motivation, and engagement in learning.
Technology alone is certainly not the answer to every educational ill, thus the real focus is in how we continually engage our students, using this instructional tool, to get results and add value to their academic learning and performance. It's an exciting journey, and CCS successfully keeps up with the technological times, while remaining Christ-centered!
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