While the use of technology is integral in today’s learning, students are best served when the technology enhances their understanding and learning of the fundamentals. Strong instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and the arts remain a cornerstone of a child’s education. Effective use of technology enhances these foundational aspects of education. At Ontario Schools, ongoing professional development is committed to helping our teachers use technology in ways that will benefit our students’ learning and future prospects.
The 1:1 initiative, which gives each student a device, is not new to the area. Several other local schools have been 1:1 for several years. The District has communicated openly with these schools, learning about the benefits and strategizing to avoid the pitfalls. This past school year, the sixth and ninth graders at Ontario each received a Chromebook. Now, Ontario will be expanding their 1:1 initiative next school year. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, all Ontario students in grades 6-12 will receive a Chromebook. This is exciting! While our elementary school will not be 1:1, each classroom in second through fifth grade will house 16 Chromebooks. The kindergarten and first grade classrooms will use iPads as an instructional tool. These affordable, online devices enable students to access and share educational information and resources. For the price of an average textbook, students are able to gather materials and produce work for everything from science class to physical education.
In today’s collaborative world, these devices are essential to learning in the twenty-first century. In addition to the core curriculum, students need to learn the 21st century “soft skills” which include critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Ontario Schools has always strived for “excellence” in our schools and we believe that our technology plan will enhance the learning and success for every learner.