Dacula High School’s eClass model incorporates formative assessment and engaging and differentiated instruction in every period, every day. Instead of teaching to the middle, teachers use digital tools to quickly identify students who need remediation or additional practice, and students who have mastered the material and are ready to move on to something more challenging.
The school does not have a 1:1 program. Instead, each classroom has 18 devices, mostly laptops, on which students access various curriculum platforms, assessments, and other digital tools. The laptops “let teachers execute at a higher level,” says Long, “but it’s about the steak, not the sizzle.” The steak is the approach of differentiation and regular assessment; the sizzle is the set of digital tools that keep students engaged.
During regularly scheduled digital learning days, teachers plan the next few weeks or months of lessons, based on their students’ progress. “Digital learning days have been huge for us in getting the teachers the planning time they need to accomplish their vision,” says Long.
The model is working. “I am blown away by the level of student engagement,” says Long. “Students really do learn more when we meet them where they are as learners.” He credits the success to teacher buy-in; the teachers chose this model and are committed to implementing it.