West Virginia: Equity, Access, and a STEM Bus

Monroe County Schools

Monroe County was one of the first districts in West Virginia to implement a 1:1 program. Now in its fourth year, the program provides devices for all 1,800 K-12 students, with technology integration specialists who help teachers integrate digital learning activities into the curriculum.

These activities include everything from basic keyboarding to coding small robots to experimenting with virtual and augmented reality. At the elementary level, an engaging digital science curriculum combines storytelling with images, videos, and hands-on activities.

The benefits of digital learning and the 1:1 program are hard to overstate. Students are excited about learning; they enjoy working on projects together. If they don’t have printers at home, students can easily print their papers and reports at school. Assessment takes a fraction of the time it used to, and test scores are going up, especially in math. Equally significant is the equity and access these tools provide. “Everyone has their own device so there is equality among all students,” says Technology Director Bobbie Tuggle. “Everyone has the same thing. It’s not like there’s one kid with a fancy Mac and another kid who doesn’t have anything. We’re equal.”

The district is also turning a retired school bus into a mobile STEM lab. Starting this summer, the bus will travel around the county, offering kids both meals and opportunities to do STEM activities.

Source: EducationSuperHighway