Delaware: Digital Tools Help Build Skills, Remove Barriers

William Penn High School

William Penn High School in New Castle, Delaware, is organized around three College Academies: STEM, Business, and Humanities. Within each college academy, students choose a degree program and often graduate with professional certifications. Along the way, there are countless opportunities for digital learning. For example, students who major in Communications learn how to design and build websites, and are about to launch a TV station so they can broadcast news and interviews with people in the larger community.

While technology allows students to learn new skills, it also removes significant barriers. When a culinary arts teacher wasn’t able to be in the classroom, Skype made it possible for students to watch him do a demo from his home kitchen. Although many students at William Penn don’t have computers at home, they can still use their iPhones to access virtual learning content, watch instructional videos, and see their homework assignments.

In one English class, which includes many special needs students with Individualized Education Plans, the teacher uses Chromebooks, Google apps, and virtual learning content to tailor instruction to each student’s needs. She even creates and shares online videos of herself modeling skills like how to write an introduction or how to take notes, so that students can access these videos when they need extra help – and show their parents what they’re working on.

Source: EducationSuperHighway, Colonial School District