The Harrisburg School District has embraced digital learning for its 5000+ students, with a 1:1 program for all students in grades 2-12. But “the digital tools have not changed the instructional practices,” says Travis Lape, the innovative programs director. “The pedagogy is still there, but we try to implement the tech in a way that engages learners into showcasing what they know.” Tech integration specialists at each school work with teachers on the best ways to incorporate digital tools into their lesson plans.
In the youngest grades, students read aloud and record themselves on their tablets, so that “when something clicks, we can share that moment with their parents.” Elementary school students use their tablets to create digital dioramas and stop-motion video book reports, as creative ways to showcase their understanding of settings, characters, and plots. In one middle school science class, instead of having students label the layers of the earth on a paper diagram, students were asked to create something to demonstrate their knowledge. One group of students spent several weeks building LEGO models, writing a script, and creating a six-minute video, with music, that they uploaded to YouTube. High school classes are more task-driven, but students still have opportunities to create audio and visual reports in many of their classes.