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Staff Report
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District is equipping its classrooms with iPads, Chromebooks, iMacs and wireless access points in the first phase of a five-year technology integration plan, the 2020 Learning Initiative. Second-grade classrooms will have technology carts with 20 devices, each fourth-grader will have a personal mobile learning device for use in their classroom and sixth- and ninth-grade students will receive personal mobile learning devices that they can take home. “Part of ensuring that our students are ready for college and careers means that we provide them the skills to navigate various forms of technology, ” NLMUSD Board President Karen Morrison said. “We must provide our students with computer arts instruction that will allow them to compete in an increasingly connected world. ” Each year up to 2020, additional grade levels will receive their respective technology upgrades. Transitional kindergarten to third-grade classrooms will be provided with technology carts stocked with 20 devices. All tablets and laptops will stay in the classrooms. Fourth- through 12th-grade students will receive personal mobile learning devices. Beginning in fourth grade, lesson plans will emphasize a one-to-one device environment focused on personalized learning based on each student’s specific needs. The District will provide cyber-safety coaches to assist teachers and administrators in monitoring student use of computers to prevent cyber-bullying and unauthorized software from being downloaded. For cyber-safety reasons, all District-issued mobile devices will be programmed with District-approved software and applications. “Our goal is to develop a comprehensive education where we provide our teachers and schools with the required technology and training, as well as access and equity for all students, ” NLMUSD Coordinator of Instructional Technology Ernesto Centeno said. “By spreading the rollout over a five-year period, we can ensure a seamless transition from year to year. ” The District held two blended learning summits over the summer to prepare teachers on the full capability of the new technology. Teachers and administrators attended hands-on workshops to learn how to integrate the new technology into their curriculum. Some of the workshops focused on specific software, including: Google – interactive classroom platforms including Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms Schoology – learning management system Explain Everything – collaborative and interactive whiteboard PicCollage – photo editor ThingLink – interactive media platform Apple Life – software suite that includes iMovie for film and GarageBand for audio recording QR Codes – barcodes that can be scanned by a smartphone reader app Notability – note-taking app for iPads “Our students will receive the highest level of academic instruction with the most effective technological tools relevant to their education and careers, ” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Our teachers and staff will receive continual training and workshops to successfully integrate the technology into their curriculum. ”