Technology Integration in Las Virgenes Unified Schools

We read an article recently in the local Acorn publication about the proposed integration of technology into the Las Virgenes Unified School System  and want to share some of the details. When we were in school, computers weren’t part of the equation but times have changed and continue to evolve quickly. Our daughter attends Bay Laurel Elementary and in third grade is doing some lessons on tablet. Las Virgenes Unified School District has a mind to integrate technology in to the schools’ curricula. One of the reasons many people move to Calabasas is for the public school system so it is encouraging to hear that LVUSD wants to develop an “emphasis on communication, real-world relevance, problem-solving and critical thinking”.

At the Las Virgenes Unified School District Board of Education meeting on Feb. 25, chief technology officer Jim Klein demonstrated how Common Core State Standards, with a focus on collaboration among students and the use of computer technology, will usher in a new educational age.

The new standards have an emphasis on communication, real-world relevance, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Computer technology in all forms—including laptops, tablets, cellphones— will be embedded into lesson plans. 

Klein said even kindergarten lessons will incorporate digital tools. The youngest students will learn how to publish their writing online while collaborating with other students on computers.

Fourth-grade students, he said, will use the Internet to research and produce writing projects. Kids at that age are mastering keyboarding skills, so typing out essays and other writing assignments will be faster than handwriting them.

The new standards will expose eighth-grade students to the advantages and disadvantages of print versus digital text or video versus multimedia in the presentation of a class project.

Technology will be used in reading, writing and speaking, Klein said.

During his presentation, the technology officer wondered how the ubiquitous use of computers will affect the lives of children outside of school. He said that students are already “hyper-connected,” so teachers and parents should help kids learn when to disconnect…

…Klein said some schools, including Round Meadow Elementary and A.C. Stelle Middle School, may be ready to move forward with a tech test run.

Klein added that he was meeting with school technology committees and parent-teacher groups, as well as talking to coaches about how technology will be incorporated into physical education classes.

“This is a broad, overarching idea,” Klein said. “We want everybody’s buy-in.”

Board member Dallas Lawrence said he thought the kind of devices used were not as important as how technology would be integrated into the curriculum…

…Jim Klein said there’s time to work out the details of how technology will be incorporated into the school curriculum.

For now, he plans to visit schools outside the district that are a few steps ahead with their technology plans. He said he’ll give board members more information at upcoming school meetings.

The Acorn

 

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