Central High makes student achievement, tech access its top priorities

We just implemented ScholarChip to take attendance by scanning student badges when they enter the building. Teachers take attendance online, from homeroom through the last period of the day. This eliminates a lot of paper on a daily basis, improves record-keeping, and makes our attendance figures more accurate.

Administration doesn’t hide things: The point of posting all of this information is to provide students, parents, staff, and alumni with the openness that should accompany public education.

Have you realized an increase in efficiency, a savings in administrative costs, a boost in staff or student performance, or some other tangible benefits as a result of this technology use? If so, how?

School performance has improved, as more information is available to more people more quickly than ever through ProQuest for research, TurnItIn for submission of papers, interim report cards, and most communication through Centralhigh.net.

In addition, Edline allows teachers to target eMail messages to groups of students, and parents if desired, as long as the recipients’ eMail addresses are registered in Centralhigh.net.

How have you financed your ed-tech initiatives—through grants? eRate funds? Local funds? Corporate partnerships? Or some combination of these techniques?

CHS pursues multiple funding sources, including AARP grants, state Classrooms of the Future grants, DonorsChoose (a website that enables community members to specify donations to schools), and alumni donors.

What ed-tech project are you most proud of, and why?

We’re most proud of Edline, because it incorporated so much so quickly.

What have been your biggest challenges in integrating technology into classrooms and school processes, and why? How have you overcome those challenges?

Every system implementation has challenges, and Central High continues to work on several. Key among these are the teachers’ learning curve and teacher training. To help overcome these, we have put in place professional development opportunities, supported by a core of technology teachers, and we’re trying to merge our technology club and staff technology team meetings for teachers.

What’s your best or most useful ed-tech advice for your colleagues?

We have three pieces of advice:

1. Keep the end result (student achievement) in mind.

2. Keep lines of communication open.

3. Ensure that everything you do is student-centered.

eSchool News Staff

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