Our world has changed so much in just the last fifteen years. We are currently preparing students for jobs that haven't even been created yet. Due to these continuing shifts, we need to give our students a better opportunity to share, connect, and seek out information. We need to move from a teacher-centered classroom to a learner-centered environment. We want to empower the students of MCS to take responsibility for their own learning. It is not just our job to give them new information, but to teach them how to ask questions and find solutions on their own. Our focus at Manchester has always been on the learner and the learning. To best prepare our students for success after graduation, we need to maximize the potential of digital learning. Digital devices are only an avenue for learning and discovery. We are guiding our students to become 21st century learners where they will communicate, collaborate, create, and think critically. MCS is redefining education, and re-imagining learning.
Year 1 Reflections:
As we reflect on the beginnings of our 1:1 initiative, we must continue to remind ourselves that it is not about the device, it is about the learning. At MCS we believe 1:1 implementation offers limitless opportunities for learning. Students have become members of a global learning community.
Year 2 Progression:
Manchester Community Schools strives to provide an engaging learning environment for our students. Teachers and students in grades 5 – 12 are in year two of a three year “1:1 with iPads” implementation plan. Teachers and students in grade 4 have access to iPads via two mobile iPad carts. Student iPads are equipped with iWorks and iLife suites as well as Notability and various content-specific apps. Teachers have incorporated digital learning platforms, applications, and a multitude of other resources that have increased communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity in their classrooms. Quizlet, Socrative, and Kahoot have become popular formative assessment tools. iTunes U, Google Classroom, and Edmodo are used by teachers as digital learning platforms.
MCS is dedicated to the identification and implementation of best instructional practices. Technology-infused lessons have been integrated in all content-areas. Project Based Learning (PBL) has been used to explore essential questions and content. Teachers continue to align and curate curriculum to meet state standards. A student tech squad, based out of the high school media center, serves as the first line of tech support for students and teachers. The 1:1 steering committee continues to actively discuss future technology plans.
Students are deepening content knowledge, developing 21st century skills, and learning new literacies that will equip them for success in college and/or career.