We know that HSE21 is all about teaching and learning in authentic and relevant ways to prepare today’s students for the modern world. It’s an inquiry-based approach to content (and to life!); it’s about collaborating with others to create, discover, and problem-solve.
This HSE21 approach to learning is exactly what is taking place among a group of HSE teachers this year as well. During the 2015-16 school year, twenty-three teacher leaders – we call them the Elementary Design Team – have come together as pioneers to discover best practices for the implementation of 1:1 technology in grades K-4.
Why a focus on K-4 technology integration this year? Easy. Our K-4 buildings are ‘on deck’, slated to roll out 1:1 student iPads in 2016-17. It will be the culmination of a three-year K-12 plan to get a digital tool for learning into the hands of each and every student. To be clear, technology is just that – one tool – but it’s an important tool when the goal is to foster collaborative, globally-connected learning and to prepare students for the future.
Our Elementary Design pioneers are tasked this year with several things – all under the umbrella of this driving question: What are best instructional practices when considering 1:1 technology integration in grades K-4? The Team is exploring digital content and resources; they are using technology to promote project- and problem-based learning, as well as using the technology to promote inquiry and creativity. As pioneers, this group of teachers is also wrestling with more practical questions: screen time, Internet safety, and device logistics for starters.
As the year unfolds, the Elementary Design Team will continue to innovate and experiment, curating resources and lesson ideas as they go, coming together often to debrief and share their learning (meeting in-person and virtually). They will practice creative problem-solving as they work to develop best practices to share with their colleagues. Teachers as learners – an example of HSE21 in action.