Detroit Public Schools Community District is using grant funding to provide teachers and students with new technology tools to improve student engagement, access to data on performance and individualized learning.
This school year three schools will offer each student in grades K-8 daily access to a laptop in literacy and mathematics, the schools are Bagley Elementary School of Journalism and Technology, Cooke STEM Academy and Nolan Elementary-Middle School.
“As a new district, we do not believe that a technology program or device can replace a teacher. However, we must do a better job of equipping our students and teachers with technology tools that can supplement core instruction and learning to accelerate the understanding and demonstration of skills and knowledge,” said Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. “Today, our students think through technology. The grant funds allow us to start somewhere as we rebuild our district while offering us a vision of what our schools will look like into the future.”
Through the laptop, students will be on a learning pathway program called iReady, designed to improve their grade level performance in literacy and math. Students can also use the program at home to improve their skills. iReady will be used as a supplemental resource to core-
curriculum. In addition to the individualized learning, the program provides teachers, students, and parents with easy to understand performance indicators to allow for necessary support and intervention to improve performance.
The District plans to reduce the device to student ratio over the years to eventually 1:1. Teachers at the three schools also have interactive monitors placed in their classrooms to enhance whole group and small group instruction. The monitors allow teachers to not only project content on the screens but immediately manipulate everything from numbers, words, paragraphs, images, and photos to enhance lessons.