Vermont: Access for Immigrant Students and Creative History Projects

Winsooski Schools

The single-campus Winooski School District has a well-established 1:1 program that includes all students in grades 3-12. The devices, and how they are used, vary from class to class and grade to grade.

The district is small but diverse–it serves students with almost 30 different native languages and cultures–so access is a top priority. That includes translators, ESL instruction, and letting students use English-learning apps outside of class. Teachers also provided technical support for several immigrant students who approached them, through their translators, about a project they wanted to do. The students wrote a song about how much they loved school, choreographed the dance moves, and had it recorded so they could upload it to YouTube.

Students take standardized reading and math assessments on their laptops and use digital tools creatively to demonstrate what they have learned. For example, in a high school history unit about the Civil War, students might choose to create a web page, a podcast, or even a video newscast where they report “live” from the scene.

Math teachers recently spent months overhauling their curriculum, rebuilding it in the learning management system so that it is student-driven and self-paced, with plenty of opportunities for teachers to provide feedback to students. “Tech doesn’t drive the bus,” says Drew Blanchard, the district’s technology integrationist. “The curriculum drives the bus.”

Source: EducationSuperHighway