INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY FOR 21st CENTURY LEARNERS
Grant Elementary School recognizes that a dramatic shift must take place to engage ALL students in the Digital Age. Our students are not the same 21st century learners we came to know over the first decade of the new millennium. For these students, simply watching videos or images during class, playing an Internet multiplication game, or even taking turns at an interactive whiteboard is no longer enough. Our new 21st century learners are highly relational and demand quick access to new knowledge. More than that, they are capable of engaging in learning at a whole new level. With the world at their fingertips, today’s students need teachers and administrators to re-envision the role of technology in the classroom.
PRACTITIONER 2.0 SCHOOL
Our school is committed to implementation of 21st Century Teaching and Learning through the use of instructional technology and implementing the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards. Our journey towards becoming a 1:1 technology school began when we became Practitioner School 2.0 through a partnership with LAUSD Division of Instruction’s Instructional Technology Initiative. As a Practitioner School we are expected to lead with Computational Thinking designing lessons that are interdisciplinary and intentional about leveraging digital resources and cultivating computational thinking as a literacy for all students. We strive to move our students past passive learning to being more active in the learning process and prepared with 21st century skills.
LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LMS) SCHOOLOGY
Grant is currently utilizing the state-of-the-art LMS to improve communication between school and home, increase operational efficiency, and provide a comprehensive schoolwide instructional system. Schoology supports the District’s commitment to 21st century learning and equips Grant teachers with a robust digital tool that supports distance and blended learning opportunities. Our teachers are currently implementing the LMS to prepare all students to be digital learners who use technology tools to graduate ready for success in college and careers. (Parents must Register on the LAUSD Passport to access their son/daughter’s personalized data.)
1-1 LAUSD EMPOWERED LEARNER SCHOOL
In 2017 Grant was accepted to become a 1-1 Device school through LAUSD’s Empowered Learner program. All Grant students will receive a device and will begin leveraging technology for their assignments and learning 21st Century skills. Teachers will be better able to compile student data and work samples, create easy-to-understand visuals like graphs, and provide feedback online. This enables parents to track progress more easily at home and keep their child/children more accountable. Schoology will enable students, teachers, and parents to stay connected and informed with both class and school-wide updates and posts. With 1-1 technology, students will be able to create online documents, posts, and projects that are available for both the teachers and parents to view. Students will be able to do assignments and assessments online that will be graded and given feedback online so that parents can view and track their academic progress.
DIFFERENTIATED LEARNING CENTERS
Grant teachers have incorporated technology to support differentiated learning centers in the classroom. The centers are designed to challenge students at different skill levels by focusing on a skill, like reading or writing, where there is a large degree of variation in the skills or abilities in a single class. Teachers design tasks that target that skill at each center, but the degree of challenge is different. For example, if students are working on annotating and analyzing a text, students can read an article from Newsela that is written at different Lexile levels.
The centers can be composed of a variety of activities (including, but not limited to):
- Teacher-led small group instruction
- Collaborative small group work
- Makerspace station
- Computer time with adaptive software
- Project-based learning time
- Online research
- Design and create (presentations, infographics, storybooks, etc.) with web tools
- Individual work or one-on-one tutoring with the teacher
Grant teachers also design a variety of creative centers that incorporate technology through music, art, photography, creative writing, etc. and allow students to select the center or centers they are most drawn to. The purpose is to build time into class that encourages students to be creative and allows them the opportunity to decide how to express their creativity. Grant teachers understand that technology plays an essential role in providing our students with a differentiated way of learning.