The following was provided by Elaine Hughes, Education Technology Administrator for Wakefield Public Schools:
As excited as children (and some adults) get about the upcoming big candy night, it is nothing compared to the buzz and anticipation our students (and teachers) feel about technology this October. Thanks to the Town Capital Committee’s funding of our Wireless project, we opened the school year with full Wireless access in five schools and limited access (due to construction) at the Galvin. With the freedom and flexibility to use technology applications anywhere in the classroom, our teachers are able to find new ways to engage their students and enhance the classroom experience.
We have recently kicked off two new initiatives at Wakefield High to capitalize on our expanded technological capabilities. Through the Technology Connections class, motivated students, under the supervision of two tech-passionate teachers, staff a computer help-desk. By addressing the needs of their fellow students and teachers, these students have the opportunity to expand their own technology and problem-solving skills. Also, although still in its initial testing phase, we have implemented a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program where a small group of students are allowed to bring in a device (a tablet, laptop, or even a smartphone) to class. If successful, we look forward to expanding BYOD program to the entire high school by the end of the school year.
However, some of our best accomplishments will coincide with the completion of the new Galvin Middle School. We are working with the District Leadership Team, our Technology Council, and Galvin teachers to ensure our new school will be “state of the art.” Along those lines, we are planning for the new Galvin to be a “1 to 1” school where every student is issued a device (such as a Microsoft tablet, ChromeBook, or iPad). Already successfully implemented in surrounding school districts and elsewhere around the country, ensuring every student’s access to a device will exponentially improve the students and teachers’ experience. Imagine a math class where the teacher can have a student wirelessly send his or her solution to the classroom projector for the rest of the class to see. Or a music class where students can review the teacher’s instructional video as many times as necessary. While a final decision regarding what device to issue is still pending, we are excited to bring this reality, already implemented in other districts, to Wakefield.
Clearly, this October is a very exciting time for our schools with regard to Technology. More treats are just around the corner.
Education Technology Administrator
Wakefield Public Schools