Our students need to know how to use the technology of today so they can be ready for what’s coming tomorrow.
We are committed to fostering a culture of digital learning, and have taken the U.S. Department of Education’s Future Ready pledge.
A wide variety of hardware and software are used in classrooms across the district. But software and hardware are only tools to help us teach differently. We use programs in the classroom that help teachers tailor lessons to each student’s needs and interests. We help students collaborate in new ways and encourage them to think critically.
School districts that successfully use technology to boost student achievement combine new technology with intensive training and support for teachers. We host workshops and help teacher leaders master new skills and encourage them to share with their peers.
Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education
Elementary and middle school students use Chromebooks, as well as personal computers running Windows. While standard laptops and desktop computers require hard disk space for software, Chromebooks access software online. They also use the Chrome operating system instead of Windows or Mac OS. Teachers can check out a cart full of Chromebooks to use in their classrooms.
Although Chromebooks only access the internet, they meet all the needs of teachers and students. They use software through the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) platform. In the GAFE environment, students can work independently or multiple students can make changes to a single document, slideshow or other project at the same time. Because they can collaborate in real time, teachers are able to support students on their work through every step of the learning process. One major benefit of using GAFE is that all students' work is done "in the cloud." Students can access their work from any device that's connected to the internet, whether it's a Chromebook in the classroom, a desktop computer at school or at home, or even a smartphone!
At our Brownsville Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school, we are exploring an even more intensive use. A pilot program there allows each student in every class access to a Chromebook throughout the day. Kids still work in groups, away from computers for discussions and other activities. But all-day access allows teachers to integrate technology into all subject areas.
Safe and Responsible Use
We filter all access to the internet through our network and protect our students’ privacy according to state and federal laws. Read more about the federal and district rules we require students and staff to follow:
In fall 2016, we hosted a discussion about parenting and technology. Watch a recording of the discussion below. Click on the playlist icon in the left-hand corner of the video to choose segments of the presentation.