Frequently Asked Questions

 

DiLE Strategic Goal:

 
Technology as a Tool for Teaching & Learning:

Incorporate appropriate, purposeful and effective technology tools to support implementation of the standards based curriculum.
 
 
What is a 1:1 Strategy and Program?

A 1:1 program or strategy puts a mobile learning device such as a small laptop computer or tablet in the hands of each student.  School districts nationwide are implementing 1:1 programs. It is part of a larger change in teaching and technology in Pottsgrove.  The single most important benefit of 1:1programs is the ability for teachers to differentiate how they teach each student and how students are expected to demonstrate their learning. Instead of one common ‘lecture’ that a teacher delivers to the entire class, teachers can now customize their teaching for different learning styles and paces.

What and how is Pottsgrove changing?


We are changing the way we teach because today’s students are learning in different ways and need to be prepared for a much different world that runs on technology and the exchange of information via technology.  In the age of the Internet, information grows exponentially and is easily accessed. The teacher is no longer the students’ only source of information. Instead of just giving information, teachers today need to help students make meaning of the information and apply it in meaningful ways.  Mobile devices are a tools that help students to do this.

What is DiLE?


DiLE stands for Digital Learning Environment; This is the name we’ve given this change process in Pottsgrove. 1:1 is a strategy, but it really symbolizes a shift over time from traditional texts and instructional strategies to digital resources and instructional strategies that are student-centered and promote collaboration, communication, higher levels of thinking, and project-based learning.

 

What do we expect to achieve? 

  • Higher levels of student achievement (that align with the Pennsylvania Common Core Standards).

  • Higher levels of student engagement (as measured by teachers, principals and students.)

  • Changes in teaching and assessment that encourage students to think deeper, work collaboratively, and learn at their own pace in their own way.

  • More “blended/hybrid learning opportunities” (face to face and online) facilitated by our faculty which in turn could mean fewer students seeking cyber school options.

Learning, college and career readiness encompass skills, experiences, and habits of mind that can't be measured by standardized tests and DiLE will help students develop these qualities that are so essential to Pottsgrove's mission to educate and inspire all students to excel as productive, responsible citizens, and lifelong learners.

 

Will students be allowed to take these devices home?


Yes, with parent permission. Families will pay a small technology use or insurance fee (waived for families with demonstrated economic need) that will cover accidental damage or theft. Details are available on the 1:1 Forms and Documents page of the website. Research on schools with 1:1 programs show that students have a sense of ownership and take better care of devices that are assigned to them exclusively than they might with equipment they borrow from a mobile cart. We also want to help bridge the“digital divide” that exists in the Pottsgrove community based on income.  A digital divide is more than just having a computer at home; it is about whether a student can access it when needed. It is also about being effective and ethical users of that technology.

Can we afford it? 


Certainly, this is a question the School Board considered very carefully. In the 2013-2014 school year, the actual dollars spent on technology in Pottsgrove due to improved efficiencies, negotiated pricing, etc. had actually gone down almost 15 percent compared to five years prior. The infusion of this technology will increase spending but we expect to find some offsets in other parts of the budget resulting from the transition to digital learning.  In the long run, can we afford not to make this investment given the world we are preparing our students to enter?

What has the district done to prepare for this?


We’ve spent many years preparing our network infrastructure, researching effective 1:1 implementations, participating in leadership training, aligning our curriculum with Pennsylvania Common Core, and taking a team of Pottsgrove teachers, students, administrators, and school board members to local schools that have a 1:1 model in place to see the program in action. We continue to provide ongoing support and embedded professional development for our faculty, work with and listen to our stakeholders including our student technology team, monitor implementation of new instructional practices, consult with colleagues from different schools and districts making this digital transition, and continually gauge progress towards the achievement of our goals.

 
 
 
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