Recently, the US Department of Education has launched the Future Ready campaign with the ultimate goal being that every student has access to the internet and technology. With that initiative, Clayton County Public Schools has made technology integration a priority. As one of the main three components of the district’s academic achievement plan, administrators want to see technology in the hands of our students. While CCPS is a very tech-rich district, many teachers are finding it difficult to schedule time with the numerous devices available to them. There are many solutions for efficient device management. Many media specialists or administrators have chosen to catalog the devices using Destiny. Teachers are then asked to check the devices out with a due date. This allows the media specialist to quickly track the location of iPod and laptop carts as well as how long an individual has them.
Classroom teachers can use many strategies to make up for not having enough devices for every student. The include but are not limited to:
- Allow the students to use the iMMPad. Individual activities such as Gizmos (www.explorelearning.com) can become guided practice and whole group activities if student use the iMMPad to demonstrate knowledge for the entire class.
- Use centers. Centers are not just for elementary teachers. High School teachers can set up centers around their classroom desktops and allow students to work in small groups to post to Edmodo, complete webquests, or research.
- Rotate students. Students can rotate use of the classroom desktops while the other students are working on an assignment at their desks. For example, students can be independently completing a graphic organizer while others take their quiz on Socrative or Edmodo. As students finish, they return to their seats and another group of students come to complete their quiz. This is surprisingly easy and efficient, once expectations have been set.
- Assign devices in pairs. Students can take Kahoot! quizzes in partner pairs on the laptops or iPods. This fosters collaboration and peer teaching.
- Schedule the use of devices well in advance. Consider making every Friday or every other Wednesday or whatever schedule works for you, as YOUR “tech integration day”. Of course you can use them other times as well but those days will be your own non-negotiable days. If you make it a habit, you will find that it is easier to implement.
Teachers in CCPS have access to many tools. While the delegation and delivery of the tools may not be uniform across the district, one should never give up in his/her quest to integrate technology. Also, help and support is just an email to your digital learning team away. Information for contacting your digital learning team can be found by choosing their picture on the home page.