Lake Zurich District 95 explores digital resources in classrooms
In the glow of a computer screen, Lake Zurich High school senior Andrew Dawson does class work Friday. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 6, 2012 11:44AM
LAKE ZURICH — District 95 leaders and technology instructors are joining with 19 select districts nationwide for a conversation on how to best integrate electronic resources with student learning.
“District 95 believes that creating a digital-rich environment will assist students in achieving our mission,” said Crystal Steker, the district’s director of technology.
The initiative, “Teaming for Transformation,” was created by the Washington, D.C.-based Consortium on School Networking. Superintendents and technology instructors in selected districts will hold a digital conversation on how to most effectively apply a student-centered approach to teaching by using collaboration tools to broaden curricula.
Steker mentioned that textbooks, although useful, are no longer the only means of obtaining important information.
“Students need to realize that one resource does not provide a complete understanding of an idea, issue or concept,” Steker said. “Our district must encourage students to use technology to move beyond the classroom.”
Because the conversation is in its beginnings, Steker was unable to say specifically how the districts are going to work together to provide a more digital-rich environment.
“I do know that it will be a blended learning experience,” she said. “As a team, we are looking forward to working with other educators across the country who have the same goal. “
Steker said the district applied for the program through a comprehensive process that included a self-assessment of the district’s progress toward one-to-one (one computer for each student) policy and other initiatives.
In October, Steker, Superintendant Michael J. Egan and Assistant Superintendant Jodi Wirt will meet face-to-face with teachers in the Moorseville Graded School District in Mooresville, N.C.
“We want to learn from other schools’ success and failures and be able to provide District 95 students with the best possible resources,” Steker said.
The initial team going to Mooresville is small because of the preliminary stage of the program.
“Right now, we’re still in the learning stage of how this is going to work,” she said. “We will come up with an action plan, and then it will be more inclusive.”
Other districts participating in the initiative include Talladega County Schools in Talladega, Ala., Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas, Merced River School District in Winton, Ga., and Barrington Community Unit School District 220 in neighboring Barrington.