School & Family Magazine Newstand Frisco ISD November 2017 - Page 28

Technology Drives Student Learning Digital learning coaches help teachers plan lessons that develop lifelong skills critical to students’ future success. Frisco ISD students are more connect- ed and tech-savvy than ever. They are us- ing a variety of tools in the classroom to share their observations and showcase their learning. Each campus and teacher is fully sup- ported with technology resources such as traditional desktop computers, laptops, iPads and Chromebooks. All students in grades K-12 have a Google Apps account, which aligns with international standards for technology integration, and gives stu- dents access to email, word processing, presentation tools and many other collab- orative resources. Additionally, secondary students have access to their own per- sonal Frisco ISD Gmail account. The school district also implement- ed a Bring Your Own Device policy sev- eral years ago, allowing middle and high school students to bring their own smart- phones, tablets and laptops to use in the classroom when needed. “Kids like to have their own device,” said Melissa Fouche, executive director of technology. She and her team like to point out that in this rapidly-changing digital world, there is no perfect device to fit every task. “Sometimes students need a personal computer or Mac, sometimes an iPhone or Chromebook works better,” she said. “And if they can do it on their phone, that’s really what they prefer,” added Cheryl McDonald, director of digital learn- ing services. She offered that observa- tion as both an educator and parent of a teenager. Whatever the tool, it is important for students to learn how to collaborate and THE FIVE C’S Collaboration Communication Creativity Critical Thinking Digital Citizenship communicate remotely to be considered college and career ready. As technology evolves, so does the role of students in the classroom. “Students have changed from con- sumers to producers,” Fouche explained. “And producing is a form of assessment of their understanding. Rather than a paper and pencil test, producing proj- ects with technology gives kids a voice and a choice in showing what they have learned.” Teachers across all content areas fos- ter creativity by allowing students to use During social studies class, sixth graders at Nelson Middle School use Google Expeditions to take a virtual field trip to experience Aztec and Mayan ruins. 28 | FOCUS