Technology for Digital Learning: Overview
Teachers engage their students in digital learning projects that promote 21st century skills, standards-based content knowledge and elements of deeper learning (e.g., critical thinking and decision-making, creativity and innovation, bi-directional communication, research and information literacy, and self-direction), and these projects often have relevance beyond the classroom walls. Strategies are shared for heightening expectations, personalizing learning experiences, leveraging technology, and making good use of assessment data in pursuit of better preparing students for college and career readiness. Teachers reflect on and evaluate their instructional activities and technology projects, making revisions to enhance or transform them through the four stages of the SAMR Model, Bloom’s Taxonomy, TPAK Model, and other mechanisms. These models interwoven in the fabric of our professional development programs.
Administrators provide empowered leadership, establishing and communicating a common set of expectations regarding these defined roles, facilitating collaborative planning between classroom teachers and technology specialists, and supervising and enforcing that responsibilities are being met by all parties. Emphasis on 21st Century themes and skills is required in all academic areas so that student learning outcomes evolve to be more global, authentic and have real world significance.
Student assessment is performed on an ongoing basis by classroom teachers and technology specialists. All grade level appropriate technological literacy standards are addressed during project/lesson planning throughout the school year and implemented during instructional activities. Student proficiency is evaluated at the conclusion of each activity based on performance using a teacher developed rubric or other instrument, and proficiency is recorded via entries in our online student assessment recording instrument.
Project-based learning in our schools is pivotal to ensuring equity for all students, making sure that every teacher provides every student with every opportunity to improve academic achievement in all content areas, address 21st Century themes, and to also meet the NJCCCS standards for technological literacy. Professional development opportunities have followed, and our efforts to convert computer labs into collaborative workspaces and move digital learning activities into the classrooms and the home will continue. The provision of iPad tablets and laptops in our 1:1 initiative, as well as our Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) program, helps facilitate these goals. The district strives to refresh, repurpose and retire obsolete wired and wireless network infrastructure, and the purchase of new devices, applications and content is consistent with overall digital learning and assessment goals.
Community members are stakeholders, and the district wishes to ensure that we use our available technology resources in the best way in order to provide legitimate services to the community. We are focused on delivering programs and services fostering home-school communications, technology resource usage, information technology and computer applications training, and information sharing on curriculum and operations topics - including Internet safety, acceptable technology use and risk management.
The means for implementing an evolving, innovative and highly aggressive educational technology program has stemmed primarily from the high level of commitment demonstrated by the Voorhees Township Board of Education and supportive community. Our facilities, equipment base and software resources stand not only as testimony to that commitment, but as an indicator of the high degree of confidence placed in the vision and judgment of the administrative and teaching staffs.