Hamblen Department of Education is embarking on an endeavor to enrich the learning opportunities for all students through a digital transformation of increasing technology access for all students. A device will be in the hands of all students in grades nine to twelve by 2020. Access will be increased to a ratio of one device for every three middle school students, and one device for every four elementary students. This project will empower students to become facilitators of their own learning, rather than just consumers of information. Technology can serve as a catalyst for developing 21st Century skills, the set of skills required to succeed in the information age:
- Learning Skills: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Collaborating, and Communicating
- Literacy Skills: Information Literacy, Media Literacy, and Technology Literacy
- Life Skills: Flexibility, Initiative, Social Skills, Productivity, and Leadership
In addition to the soft skills of following directions, working well with others, hard work, being honest, prompt, and fair, employers locally and nationally identify the need for students to be able to think deeply about an issue, solve problems creatively, work as a team member, communicate in various media, learn, and deal with a massive amount of new information. Through this initiative, student learning will be facilitated through student research, personalized learning to accommodate student needs, increased communication and problem-solving skills, greater student engagement and enthusiasm for learning, responsible behavior through digital citizenship, and motivation to become life-long learners. Increasing access to technology as a tool does not diminish the vital role of the classroom teacher, but rather transforms the role from director of learning to facilitator of learning. The Hamblen County Board of Education, district personnel, school staff, and the entire community will be an integral part of the development and implementation of a high-quality and effective education experience for all students in Hamblen County Schools. This effort is supportive of the district’s mission and objectives to prepare students with college and career readiness required for successful living in the 21st Century.
Instructional Technology Goals
- Improve the quality of learning and increase academic outcomes for ALL students.
- Provide greater access to instructional technology, learning opportunities, and differentiated instruction by providing opportunities to learn beyond the classroom and the school day.
- Develop the new set of knowledge and skills required of learners in the 21st Century.
- Engage learners in authentic, real-world activities and projects.
- Teach the ethical use of technology.
- Sustain our community by providing students who are college and career-ready as lifelong learners.
It is the sincere desire of the Hamblen County Department of Education that you will share your student’s excitement about this opportunity and will learn with them as they use instructional technology to enhance their learning and achievement.
What are the Benefits?
Benefits for Students-
- More personalized learning experience
- Consistent interaction with workplace aligned technology
- Ability to learn both independently and in collaboration with others
- Developed self-directional skills
Benefits for Teachers-
- Access to vast amount of resources available online
- Lesson design that is dynamic and interactive
- Differentiation made more accessible
- Real time data regarding student progress
Benefits for Community-
- Students equipped with technological equity
- Graduates are prepared for 21st century workforce demands
- Enhanced communication skills of graduates
- Workforce with attractive skills base for industry
What is “Personalized Learning”?
Personalized learning is an effort to construct lessons for students of varying ability levels with the intent of raising student achievement. Personalized learning is needed to meet the needs of the diversity in academic and language needs, which fills each classroom. Using technology is a powerful tool in achieving this goal. Through personalized learning it is possible to accommodate a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, interests, and motivation for engagement and success. In some ways, personalization is an age-old concept of teacher’s attempting to craft instruction to meet the individual needs of students. In a classroom of 20 or 30 students that is a formidable challenge. Using technology facilitates this and provides students the power through to digital tools to account for how they best learn, what motivates them, and their specific learning goals. Personalized learning empowers teachers to personalize the learning experience for students and to provide more individual attention and students to exercise choice in what helps them to learn.