Have you noticed an increase in student performance and/or motivation as a result of this technology use? If so, how?
Since the first one-to-one laptop initiative in 2004, the district’s demographics became more challenging. Ethnicity increased by 7 percent, while poverty increased by 5 percent. However, Westside High School’s ACT/SAT averages and state writing assessment scores also increased, because WHS gave students the tools they needed to perform well. More than 80 percent of students taking the ACT earned consistently higher composite averages than students from similar metropolitan, state, and national high schools; average scores ran between 24.2 and 24.7 between 2005 and 2010. The 20 percent of students taking the SAT also consistently earned higher averages, with the 2010 math composite score of 648 setting a school record.
Most convincing are data from the state writing assessment. Between 2005 and 2010, all students went from being 92.91 percent proficient to 99.56 percent proficient. Black students’ scores jumped 26.09 percent, Hispanic students’ scores jumped 10 percent, and Asian students’ scores jumped 6.67 percent. Scores for students of poverty jumped 16.22 percent.
How does your school use technology to streamline school administration and aid in decision-making?
Technology affects school administration 24/7. PowerSchool is the hub for student demographics, attendance records, archived PowerGrade scores, and transcript information. FileMaker Pro frequently repackages data for easy use. Streamlined access to attendance data, with automated phone calls and eMail appointment scheduling, caused a precipitous drop in unexcused absences over the past year.
Because everyone expects online teaching and learning to happen every day, security is of utmost importance. The iPrism filtering system operates whether students are in classrooms, at home, or on an Apple-sponsored trip to London to talk about technology integration. Remote Desktop runs constantly to assure legal, ethical, and safe use of hardware, software, and network resources. Password-protected PowerSchool, PowerGrade, Blackboard, and eMail accounts and wiki and podcast servers keep teaching and learning information safe. The Safari Respondis locked-down browser maintains online testing integrity for Blackboard and state assessments.
Modular scheduling gives students independent study time and freedom to move around the building, so communication is vital. Administrators and hall supervisors use mobile devices to check student schedules and communicate regarding building security. Cable TV students use http://www.twitter.com/westsidesports to tweet play-by-plays and reviews from sporting events and activities.
Has your school realized an increase in efficiency, a savings in administrative costs, or some other tangible benefits as a result of this technology use? If so, how?
Technology integration makes the world larger than it ever was, and it improves staff and student performance. Staff and students can’t conceive of teaching and learning in a modern high school without the technology integration they enjoy every day. As the world’s information base grows exponentially, teachers and students access global perspectives, the newest ideas, and improved resources 24/7. “School” is no longer a six-hours-a-day event.
Technology integration also makes the world smaller than we ever thought it could be. Staff and students know communication and stakeholder involvement are better with technology integration. What formerly took days now takes minutes, as all the stakeholders who should be involved in educational decisions are just an eMail, iChat, tweet, automated phone call, website, or text message away.