Since rural Lyon County, Nevada expanded its network infrastructure about 18 months ago, the district has been taking a gradual approach to implementing digital learning in classrooms. This year, most middle and high school students are in a 3:1 program, where three students share a laptop. Eventually all grades will be using a 2:1 model, so that students must collaborate “around a device, not through a device,” according to Professional Development and Data Manager Amber Westmoreland, who says the district wants to encourage creating and uploading, as opposed to simply downloading and consuming digital media.
The district is also implementing the H.A.C.K. model ). In practice, this means teachers model what the digital learning tools can do before they assign projects to students, who then have some choice about which creative tool or platform they want to use.
So far, students are enthusiastic and engaged with the technology, which is removing some barriers for English-language learners and students with special needs. Teachers and parents are also responding well to the changes. Parents appreciate that Google Classroom keeps them apprised of what’s happening at school, and teachers are able to differentiate their professional development, and provide feedback more efficiently to their students.