District Technology Initiative
As approved by the Board of Education in May 2016, District 401 is implementing a 1:1 Technology Initiative that calls for every student at Elmwood Park High School to be equipped with a laptop device by 2018-19, with Elm Middle School students to follow by 2019-20.
Meanwhile, Elmwood and John Mills elementary schools will benefit from the movement of existing laptop carts from the high school and middle school, so that all teachers and students will have increased opportunities for the instructional uses of technology throughout the day.
In addition, the use of Google educational tools and apps will saturate the District, with all grade levels operating under Google Classroom by 2019-20.
Preparing for the Change
To prepare for this change, District administrators and the Board of Education visited other school districts to study their 1:1 programs. Then they committed to professional development and hired new staff members to help support the initiative.
Teachers and support staff have begun receiving G Suite for Education training from the District's new IT team so they can effectively incorporate technology in the classroom and help students become digital learners. (G Suite for Education is a collection of web-based applications formerly known as "Google Apps for Education.")
In addition to teacher training, improvements to technology infrastructure and bandwidth continue to be made.
A District Technology Committee, established in the fall of 2016, is determining curriculum needs related to technology, digital citizenship, cyberbullying, student professional development, and parent and community outreach. Recent actions include the development of a new Acceptable Use Policy, which took effect in January 2017.
Technology and Student Learning
G Suite for Education consists of free web-based word processing, calendar, presentation, drawing, email, forms and spreadsheet programs that will soon be available for all District 401 students. These services are entirely online and available 24/7 from any internet-connected device.
Using these tools, students will be able to work collaboratively to create, edit and share files and websites for school-related projects. Students in grades 3-12 will be able to communicate via email with teachers and other students.
“Technology is a universal key to unlocking student engagement for students at all skills and levels. It encourages personalized, individualized learning,” said Dr. Nicolas Wade, Superintendent of Schools.
To Learn More
Technology Initiative updates as well as resources for community members are available at the IT Department website.
Ms. Jessica Iovinelli is the District's instructional technology coordinator.