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Friday, May 6, 2016

Future of education discussed

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

At the recent Clay Community Schools board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tim Rayle gave a presentation on the "One-to-One" initiative, an initiative he says "is not a technology initiative, it's an instructional initiative," that will "change the way we educate kids."

The One-to-One initiative is focused on using technological products like Apple iPads to educate students in new ways at Clay Community Schools.

Phase one of this project is set to begin this year. Before the products are used in the classrooms by students, CCS teachers will be given extensive training to not only learn how to use the products themselves, but how to adapt their teaching and lesson plans to those products.

Rayle spent a large amount of time talking about how instruction will be given to teachers to help them understand the electronic products that will be used in classrooms so they may properly instruct students.

"We don't want a situation where we grab a product, throw it to the teachers and say 'Fend for yourself,'" Rayle said. "We have a couple three-year plans that were already in place, and we're going to build upon that. Our work with the teachers is going to drive how we are going to plan out the student initiative. They have to confer what they're doing now to the tablet format and not just have them say 'We have these, now what are we going to do?'"

The main mission of the One-to-One initiative, as described by Rayle, is that "Graduates of Clay Community Schools will have the capacity to succeed in a global society and to be contributing members of society."

Rayle noted that, for some time, students have been asked to learn and understand what they've been taught in school. He said new testing in the future will ask students to apply, analyze, evaluate and create something new from what they've learned. According to Rayle, this initiative will help students learn to do those things.

Having tablet-based products will also help students receive faster, one-on-one attention and feedback from their teachers. Rayle noted the turnaround rate for assignments is often delayed, as teachers have to take completed assignments home to grade them or aren't able to return assignments immediately. Tablet products will allow teachers to see what their students are learning on an instantaneous basis and will allow those teachers to give feedback almost immediately.

Through the One-to-One initiative, CCS will partner with Five-Star Technologies, a professional service organization that offers technological solutions for the workplace. Five-Star representatives will work with CCS teachers to help develop, not only their tablet skills, but a way of using the tablets for teaching purposes.

Rayle said the goal for the school year is to have teachers know these products and learn how to adapt their teaching to it. If this initiative with teachers is successful, the goal is to move on to introducing students to it in the following school year.

Rayle admitted it "May be hard to wrap your mind around (this) because (we were) all textbook people," but said this is "a new era of learning."

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