Santa Ana USD digital transition highlights importance of professional learning
- When California's Santa Ana Unified School District recently put 45,000 devices in the hands of 56,000 students, it employed the services of other district leaders who had overseen successful rollouts.
- The district leader coaches work through Digital Promise, which was authorized by Congress to help schools with launching effective ed tech programs, reports Ed Tech: Focus on K-12,.
- When assisting a district in its tech rollout, the coaches meet with administrators, principals, teachers, IT professionals, students and parents to build a sense of trust and target any issues or barriers early.
One of the biggest impediments to any tech deployment is a lack of teacher training and support. If educators don't know how to most effectively use new tech adopted by their school or district, students will never see the full benefits of having it in their hands in the first place.
This can often necessitate a rethinking of curriculum, as well, since teaching with digital tools and materials is ideally a much more dynamic experience than with a traditional paper textbook. Finding the right fit for your classrooms is key, and being able to seek the guidance of peers from other districts who can share their own best practices and success stories is easier than ever, thanks to social media and other digital tools. Even without the help of an outside firm, educators can form their own professional learning networks through Twitter and similar platforms.
- Ed Tech: Focus on K-12 CoSN 2017: Santa Ana Unified School District Keeps the Promise to Go Digital
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