The technology goals are targeted on four areas of relative advantages for student achievement: data management, home/school connections, and 21st century teaching and learning styles, and the school to work connection.
By starting with assessment data gathered from formal assessments, teachers and administrators are empowered to make decisions based on real data in a timely fashion. By using student data in various compilation formats, teachers and administrators can look at particular students, grades, or curricula to make changes to grouping, instruction, or curricula. Informed decision making leads to quicker responses to individual student needs, group needs, building needs, and district needs. Student learning will increase when instruction meets needs. Focusing on Student assessment data at regular intervals will allow for flexible groupings of students throughout their elementary careers affords the opportunity to maximize student achievement at the earliest stages of development. As Middle School and High School Teachers begin to focus on student assessment as tied to curriculum advancement we will be able to better indicate student success for PSSA test results.
Study after study reveals that a key component of student success is home support. One way to increase the home/school connection is through the use of an online grade book, which parents can access 24 hours a day/7 days a week from anywhere. In this way, parents stay informed about missed assignments and poor grades and are able to support their children as they try to improve in particular classes. Another important way to increase that home/school connection is through the use of regularly updated teacher web pages. In this way, teachers can regularly post assignments, resources, podcasts, calendars, pictures, and other information that connects parents and the community to the activities of the classroom.
21st Century Teaching and Learning Styles
Student and teachers both can gain from professional development for the purchased hardware and software. 21st century skill sets require our students to practice learning in new ways, which requires teachers to teach in new ways. New technologies invite collaboration, interaction, and analysis. These higher-level thinking skills engage students in new ways, leading to higher student achievement and better school to work connection.
School to Work Connections
In order to be competitive, our students need to have the highly-technical skills of a well-trained workforce. Employers are looking for basic computer knowledge, the ability to manipulate and reconfigure information, and the ability to create new items from the collection of data. Employers also expect their employees to work with others from around the office or around the world to create new products. Universities expect their students to be well-versed in computer skills, information searching and refining, and collaborative skills necessary to create integrated projects.