Volusia County Schools Enhance Learning Through Digital Classrooms
Part of a blog series celebrating schools recognized by Innovate to Educate, Ed-Tech Awards sponsored by Xirrus.
Volusia County Schools set into motion a 5-year technology plan in order to transition to all-digital classrooms by 2020. Comprised of nearly 50 elementary schools, more than 20 middle and high schools, and over a dozen charter schools and alternative learning facilities, the Volusia County School District has made it a priority to leverage technology in support of superior learning opportunities. In fact, one of the district’s campuses, Edgewater Public School, has already achieved Advanced STEM certification by ensuring its students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their postsecondary pursuits and career opportunities as part of the 21st-century economy.
Volusia County Schools follow three guiding principles, which encapsulate the priorities of the faculty in service of their students: 1) Dedication to Increased Student Achievement; 2) Commitment to Finding Solutions to Problems; and 3) Mutual Respect and Positive Relationships with All Stakeholders.
When the 1:1 computing initiative got underway, Volusia County implemented three new goals:
- Build a Culture for Learning. Realizing that positive relationships and student engagement are the lynchpins of learning, the faculty agreed they would seek opportunities to know the students and their families better in order to cultivate respect and commitment.
- Make Instructional Shifts. Beyond teaching the Florida Standards with fidelity, or providing rigor in the classroom, Volusia County is working to raise the bar so that students may reach their highest potential. The 5-year technology plan is a large part of creating differentiation and personalized learning to reach students at their individual levels.
- Create Personalized Learning. Personalized Learning is designed to meet the needs of individual learners, which includes both students and adults.Personalized learning might look like small group instruction, virtual instruction, learning in pairs, blended learning, or even project-based learning.
Currently, Volusia County is making sure teachers know how to use their digital devices. By utilizing the talents of digital leaders at each school the staff is trained via seminars and hands-on time with the equipment. The goal is to create digital fluency through professional development that focuses on technology integration. Moreover, each school is shown how to build capacity on their campus by using collaborative technology tools and classroom management best practices. As Volusia County shifts toward all-digital content in the classroom, digital learning teams along with the curriculum department are helping ensure the content they create maximizes instruction. This includes Wi-Fi on busses and charging stations on campus. Xirrus is proud to help students reach their highest potential with powerful Wi-Fi networks that keep students connected around the world.