GCPS is ‘On The Move’ With Technology in Schools

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-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

The Granville County Public Schools Technology Department is excited to share some updates regarding student devices, a special cohort of teachers, online professional development for our teachers, and some exciting enhancements to the Boardroom.

We are thrilled that with Northern Granville Middle School going one-to-one, take-home student devices this year, all secondary schools in our district are now 1:1. Every student in a middle or high school within Granville County Public Schools is issued a Chromebook to be used at school and at home. We are so excited to offer this to our students as we extend learning through digital technologies.

When asked what technology devices they value and why, one teacher said, “One-to-one in the classroom. It makes teaching so much easier if everyone has their own device. Plus, with EOGs online, it just gets the students more prepared and comfortable.” Another added, “We are finally one-to-one with computers in the classroom. It is wonderful! There are so many more things you can do with the students when they all have access to technology.”

We also want to share with you about a special group of teachers that was made possible by an NCDPI Digital Learning Initiative Grant in the amount of $150,000 over the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. This cohort consists of thirty teachers and administrators who are committed to transforming their teaching and learning to a digital-age culture where classrooms are student-centered and students exhibit digital literacy skills focused on collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication.

Our cohort participants were given the opportunity to visit model classrooms in Wake County and Rowan-Salisbury, attend NCTIES (a well-renowned technology conference in Raleigh) in March and participate in a digital immersion lesson by Beyond the Chalk in April. They also earned at least one micro-credential on a 4C awarded through Bloomboard.

Participants were asked to video themselves teaching a lesson aligned to the NC Digital Learning Competencies (DLCs).  These videos are compiled in an online repository to be shared out with other school districts across the state. These experiences allowed our STARS to increase their digital skillset. Each GCPS Digital STAR could earn up to $450 in stipends for their hard work and be provided $1,000 to spend on emerging technologies for their classroom.

Our STARS are working toward their classrooms becoming five-star digital-aged classrooms where technology runs seamlessly in the background. They will be available for site visits in the spring. We hope you’ll come by! To see pictures from our journey so far, please visit: https://goo.gl/mmpJn2

Our Instructional Technology department has worked hard to meet the needs of our GCPS staff members who are required to earn 20 hours of technology professional development CEUs in each five-year license renewal cycle. After surveying our staff and learning of their desire for more online options in addition to what we offer face-to-face, we have written over 20 online modules that range from two hours to ten hours and cover topics such as Seesaw: Student Driven Portfolios, Student and Staff Feedback Through the Use of Google Forms, Ways to Use QR Codes, and Connecting Students to Curriculum Through Google Tour Builder. These modules can be completed by educators any time during the school year, at their own pace and at a time and place of their choosing.

Finally, we have invested in some technical improvements to the County Office Boardroom which include improved audio with mixer board, amplifier, microphones and speakers in the gallery and integrated audio and video with new video cameras for recording or streaming events.

Our next phase of improvement plans include replacing the existing projector screen with an LCD panel. Board Meeting meetings are currently recorded and available for access after the meeting, but starting in October, Dr. McLean hopes to have our Board Meetings live-streamed. Be looking at our district webpage for more information on how to access these live-streamed events.

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