The district’s focus on ed-tech accessibility has helped it become a leader in the state of Kentucky and nationwide.

Fort Thomas Independent Schools in Kentucky has made it a priority to improve building security and efficiency, as well as student engagement and achievement, through the judicious use of technology.

This district of 2,600 students ensures adequate time for teacher professional development so they learn to become coaches and facilitators of student learning rather than simply lecturing all day, and full wireless coverage and a “bring your own device” pilot project have helped educators leverage technology’s power to enhance instruction.

The district’s focus on ed-tech accessibility has helped it become a leader in the state of Kentucky and nationwide, with 94 percent of its students from the Class of 2010 going on to college.

For these reasons, we’ve chosen Fort Thomas Independent Schools as our “eSchool District of the Month” for January. Here, Diana M. McGhee, the district’s director of technology and information, describes some of its ed-tech accomplishments and its keys to success.

(Editor’s note: To nominate your school or district for our “eSchool of the Month” feature, and to read about past winners, go to http://www.eschoolnews.com/eschool-of-the-month.)  

How do you use technology to advance student learning?

The vision of the Fort Thomas Independent Schools is to create a technological environment that will enable all students to meet state-mandated goals and objectives, to expand upon the accepted curriculum, and to allow students to enrich their educational experiences. To that end, we begin technology instruction in kindergarten and increase time and skills as the students age. Each elementary school uses Renaissance Place, Successmaker, Everyday Math, and other software programs. All schools use Encyclopedia Britannica and Follett’s Destiny Library Management program.

Have you noticed an increase in student performance and/or motivation as a result of this technology use?

When students are actively engaged in their learning, motivation does increase. We have increased our use of mobile computing and have found that student motivation has increased as well.

How do you use technology to streamline school administration and aid in decision-making? What tangible benefits have resulted?