The 2016-2017 monthly principal messages are dedicated to aspects of our East Troy Community School District Policy on (P)ersonalized (L)earning (E)nvironments. In brief, the policy states we are a school system that places the individual learner at the center of the learning process. This policy and its application will re-shape our learning experiences for all students now and into the future. This month, I would like to focus on the concept of:
Technology integration provides students and teachers with access to a variety of tools and affords the opportunity to create a deeper understanding of content. Technology is utilized to access up-to-date materials and information, provides tools to collect and record data, encourages collaboration, addresses real-world, authentic tasks and increases student engagement. By integrating technology into instruction, curriculum, and assessment, educators are able to support and enhance authentic learning, provide acceleration and intervention, and ensure increased collaboration and communication. Additionally, technology provides 24/7 access to learning opportunities.
Having grown up in the late 80’s, I am continually amazed at how our world has changed related to technology. (Yes, I am showing my age.) I did learn on an electric typewriter and remember the world before internet and google. Ironically, the tools that are meant to connect us (internet/cell phones) can also isolate us. Often, we walk around with our heads down, staring at a screen.
The East Troy Community School District focuses on the word, “integration” not replacement. Students use devices daily as a means to reach their learning targets, research and analyze, and explore other perspectives. However, one should never lose sight of the expectations of future employers. Specifically, employers tell us they need future employees to know how to communicate, collaborate, be creative, think critically and understand the content taught in schools. Our approach to learning is not going unnoticed. In the last 2 months, we have had several high performing school districts and the University of Wisconsin-Madison visit our buildings to learn our approach and its positive impact on students.
On a side note, I want to thank all of our families who helped contribute to our Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser and the donation of 900 items to our local food pantry!