By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
South Madison and Frankton-Lapel Community Schools have each received $30,000 technology planning grants from the Indiana Department of Education’s eLearning office.
With the grants — given to school districts with a population of 5,000 students or less — the districts will be able to prepare for future technology endeavors.
In South Madison Community Schools, Laura Miller, director of instruction and staff development, said administration and faculty are working together toward “re-visioning the vision” for the district’s technology development plan.
“The goal is to support kids’ learning for their futures,” she said. “We believe technology is a tool — a tool used for learning.”
South Madison will be using surveys with parents, teachers and students, along with focus groups and visits to other districts, to determine how to move forward, she said.
The district already has laptops, computers and wireless campuses for students to utilize along with flip classrooms. A flip classroom is a fairly new concept in which students watch lecture videos at home and use class time for homework, tests and labs.
Miller said they’d like to expand “My Big Campus,” a tool utilized for delivering information such as links and videos to students through “social networking for learning.”
In Frankton-Lapel Community Schools, Assistant Superintendent Sterling Boles said they have two different goals.
One is forming an outside partnership for a technology assessment; the other is developing an integration model for the core curriculum.
He mentioned the possibility of teaming up with institutions of higher education in the area.
“Our goal is to use (the grant) for investing in people,” he said, “not buying hardware or software of any kind.”
Teachers in the district are already carrying iPads around and using projectors. Boles said they’d like to implement electronic textbooks.
The assessment is a “big piece of the puzzle” for new ideas, he said, adding that Frankton-Lapel is aiming to have the assessment completed next month.
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