Author: Gabi Martino
Role: District admin/coordinator
Location: Orford , NH
Technology is reshaping teaching and learning. Rivendell, a small rural K-12 School District and the first Interstate School District in the nation, has chosen technology to be one of the four "signature" areas for which the district will be identified.
We believe that our lives in the future will be shaped by technology, both current and that yet imagined. To properly prepare our students for the 21st century, we need to teach in the 21st century. This means seamless integration of technology into school life by the students, staff, and community.
At this point I believe we have many of the tools, and are gaining expertise in applying their use in the classroom. We use a distributed model, with 3 or so desktops in most classrooms and laptop labs at the middle and high schools. Our district goal is to provide a curriculum in which technology is embedded throughout instead of offering specific computer courses. I have observed a significant increase in the use of our technology resources, as well as growth in skills and comfort in the use of technology for students and for staff. Technology is becoming a central component of education, for instruction and learning. It is becoming an instant resource for information, providing access to a wealth of information, encouraging students to explore and create, offering ways to make learning more engaging, and addressing the needs of individual students.
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in the NEIRTEC course Designing for Technology Integration, a seven week course that combined online learning and a 2 day face to face institute. The course was provided by TERC, an educational research company committed to enhance teaching and learning by using good models for teaching with technology. The course was inspiring to all participants.
I have been able to apply many of my newly acquired skills in the classroom. I also gained many valuable connections with other technology educators from other areas in New England.
Technology is certainly an enormously powerful tool that is able to reshape teaching and learning.