Written by Dr. Chris Marczak
Optimism is growing for teachers and school administrators across Maury County, as technology is incorporated into classrooms to bring efficiencies to teachers as well as higher engagement to students.
According to IT Opportunities in the Education Market, a study by CompTIA, 78 percent of teachers believe technology has positively impacted their classrooms, and 65 percent of educators believe technology has led students to be more productive today than three years ago.
In today’s world, it’s critical for Maury County students to graduate with computer skills and to be digitally literate. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that 96 percent of working Americans use new communication technologies as part of their daily life, while 62 percent uses the internet as an integral part of their jobs.
Computer skills are not only necessary for seeking, applying for and getting today’s jobs, but also completing important life tasks: taking online college classes, renewing a driver’s license, completing tax returns or paying bills.
While digital literacy is important to future success, technology also transforms the learning environment—providing resources that change the approach to learning.
Instead of the traditional teaching style of lecturing in front of a chalk board, students participate in hands-on, experience-intensive activities – helping students immediately apply what they learn in more real-world settings. Technology creates independence, enabling students to have an active role in their own learning.
In a multi-phase study by Pearson, Teaching in a Digital Age, one of the positive effects reported by educators was the increased intensity of student engagement that occurs when technology is integrated into the classroom. Technology helps teachers create and present content and instruction that is interesting and relevant to students. When learning is relevant, students become engaged, active learners.
Technology also improves knowledge retention. In a study by University of Southern California Professor Michelle Riconscente, 122 fifth graders played Motion Math, a fractions app for elementary school children. The study found it significantly increased test stores. The results suggest that what children learn through digital game play can help them perform better on the kinds of questions asked on state and national standardized tests.
With study after study showing the significant impact of classroom technology on learning and future careers, we announced the implementation of a new program at Maury County’s schools: DIPLOMA.
The DIPLOMA program will eventually place a digital device in the hands of every student and teacher. It’s a movement called 1:1 – one device per person. The goal is for Maury County Public Schools to become the premier 1:1 district in the state.
DIPLOMA will provide a device to every student, without regard to his or her socioeconomic background. It will give all students an equal chance to succeed.
We also plan to announce a digital business partnership this spring in coordination with the Maury Alliance.
As we make this transition, we ask students, parents, businesses and members of the community to join us for a community-wide panel forum as state and local leaders discuss ways schools are using technology to enhance students’ education experience.
This major educational event, “Wiring the Classroom: Empowering Students Through Technology,” will take place tonight (Tues., April 25, 2017), at Columbia State Community College.
Maury County’s focus on classroom technology is transformational. To learn more about the benefits of classroom technology, we encourage you to attend Wiring the Classroom. Learn more at WiringTheClassroom.com. Follow us in social media, #WireMaury. I look forward to seeing you there!