Dimmitt Middle School pilots district’s one-to-one laptop program
May 30, 2017 — Dimmitt Middle School teachers and support staff believe that to more effectively prepare students for life in today's global world, they must be engaged and learning at school in the same fashion that they are engaged and learning outside of school.
For many years, the focus of technology and digital learning has been woven into classroom instruction, and district goals. We know that access to quality technology is just one tool that teachers have to direct students in meaningful classroom learning. At most schools, the district has provided a ratio of nearly one computer for every two students. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Dimmitt Middle School students will each have a laptop or Chromebook computer assigned individually. The goal of the one-to-one computer pilot is to strengthen the ability of each individual learner by increasing resources and enhancing classroom instruction and experiences. The program will also extend the district’s West Hill Now! focus through the middle school, and better prepare Dimmitt students for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Renton High School.
How will a student 1:1 computer device improve access to learning?
At Dimmitt Middle School, our goal is to empower every student to achieve more. Computers and technology is only one tool in how teachers provide students with meaningful classroom instruction. Providing increased access to technology is a step in the continual transformation of classrooms to provide a more personalized and student-centered approach to teaching and learning. The use of technology can link students to global audiences, turn them into creators of digital media, and help them practice collaboration skills that will prepare them for the future. Technology is used to enhance learning, personal productivity, collaboration, and access to instructional resources. The student 1:1 learning initiative aims to enhance student learning by creating a personalized, student-centered learning environment where every student has a laptop to use in school and, eventually, at home. Students will leverage these tools in the classroom to learn how to collaborate, analyze data, and be effective members of a team.
Dimmitt Middle School staff have been preparing for this next phase in personalized learning
Earlier this school year, Dimmitt teachers and support staff began work to be better prepared to include more technology into their classroom lesson plans. With the help of the district’s Digital Learning department, technical teams have worked closely with Dimmitt teachers and staff over the past school year at intense professional development sessions to support a growth mindset and help teachers envision how best to continue to use technology in a one-to-one environment. They’ve held site visits at other schools in the region; they’ve worked to determine expectations for themselves and their students; they’ve learned how to increase capacity in content areas in all of their classrooms; and they’ve determined how to measure progress.
Additionally, Dimmitt staff have held family nights to share the plan, and the district has increased Wi-Fi connections at Dimmitt to support a more robust classroom technology experience.
What do Dimmitt Middle School students think about the new learning opportunities?
Students have been asked what they think about the new learning opportunity: they say they like the opportunity for more personalized learning that have an individually-assigned computer offers. They also asked good questions about where the budget for the program comes from; how the pan will be equitable and inclusive and does the school and district have an action plans for damaged and lost computers. Dimmitt staff were able to use data from the student input in creating expectations and process for students.
The digital learning 1:1 computer program will be implemented at other schools over the next school years.
See an update on the progress of the Dimmitt Middle School student 1:1 laptop pilot program here.