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The Future of Computer Technology Instruction in Coolidge Unified School District

Key research on the new behaviors and capabilities of today's students, from Don Tapscott's Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation (2001) to more recent work Teaching the Digital Generation: No More Cookie-Cutter High Schools (Kelly, McCain and Jukes, 2008) all support that we must reconceptualize teaching and learning for the 21st Century. 

21st Century students will need more than the basic skills of reading, writing and math. They will also need to be able to analyze and synthesize information, thinking and problem solving skills, interpersonal and self-directional skills and the skills to use 21st century tools such as information and communication technologies. 

Our schools will incorporate the use of interactive whiteboards, projectors, document cameras, digital and video cameras, student response systems by teachers and students to move from the traditional model of the teachers being the decimators of knowledge to project- and -problem- based learning where students are teaching themselves and teachers are facilitators. 

When you walk into a 21st century classroom you will see students at work on their own learning (Pearlman, 2010). They will be writing online journals, doing research on the internet, meeting in groups to plan and make their own multi-media presentations. 

The Common Core State Standards, adopted by Arizona this year in Mathematics and Language Arts, suggest an integrated approach as well. Moreover, the testing consortia to which Arizona belongs, PARRC, has made it clear that online testing will play a primary role in assessing the new standards. 

Teachers in Coolidge USD currently have access to interactive whiteboards, projectors and student responders in classrooms and computer labs. Teachers are being trained by industry professionals (CCS Presentations) to use the technology. Support systems in Pinal County include PCESA that partners with CUSD to provide training in classrooms. Our own CUSD Academic Coaches and teachers also provide training for teachers. In all, approximately 20 hours of onsite training for integrating technology into the curriculum has been offered this quarter alone in CUSD.  Training will continue throughout the summer and school year 2011-2012, including an emphasis on “seamless” integration of technology so it occurs in the 21st century classroom just as the old phrase, “now open your textbook to page….” was used in classrooms of the 20th century.

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Friday, 19 July 2024

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