Our 1:1 Journey
As part of the district's 2014-2018 Strategic Leadership Plan 1.0:
- A Technology Integration Coach position is created. Adam Watson becomes Shelby County's first TIC.
- Laptops are distributed to teachers and administrators. Staff are allowed to choose either Lenovo Yogas (Windows OS) or MacBook Airs as their building-wide device.
- Adam Watson begins leading professional development for Shelby staff on integrating education technology to make teaching and learning more effective.
- Shelby County creates a Google Apps for Education domain (now known as G Suite for Education).
- March 26, 2015: Shelby County has its first Edtech Share Fair, where Shelby educators share digital tools that have impacted student learning. This becomes an annual event that is as popular for visitors outside the district as it is for Shelby staff.
- Several public presentations by vendors of learning management systems are given, open to all Shelby staff. Based on their input, the district decides on Schoology.
- After research and visits to other school districts, Shelby decides on Chromebooks as the predominant 1:1 student device. (For more information on the advantages of Chromebooks, read Mr. Watson's blog entry "Why Chromebooks?")
- Adam Watson becomes the district's Digital Learning Coordinator. Two Shelby teachers leave their classroom for one year to become Digital Learning Coaches to help with professional development -- one embedded at Shelby County High, the other at Collins High.
- Cliff Chandler becomes the district's Network Engineer. His expertise is invaluable in preparing our wireless network for the thousands of student devices that will be accessing the Internet.
- In September 2015, our first Chromebook deployment begins for high school students.
- In January 2016, middle school students received their Chromebooks.
- In September 2016, elementary students received their devices, completing the 1:1 deployment. Kindergarteners received iPads, while grades 1-5 received Chromebooks. In recognition of their unique needs, MacBook Airs and Lenovo Yoga laptop from school carts are redistributed to juniors and seniors.
- January 5 and 6, 2017: the district had its first SnoGo days. For many students, this relied on e-learning access.
- In February 2017, the district reached a new milestone: three-fourths of our students and teachers are using Schoology.
- March 22, 2017: At the third annual Edtech Share Fair, students present for the first time. In May 2017, the Kentucky School Boards Association publishes two different articles on the Edtech Share Fair (here and here) in its Kentucky School Advocate magazine.
- Edtech professional development begins to shift from simply "how to" introduction of tools to learning about SAMR and the need to be transformative in the integration of technology. The role of technology in personalized learning and resources for digital curriculum is also highlighted.
- The wireless network equipment is replaced and recalibrated with the newest technology. Among other capabilities, it can more than double the previous system's load of wireless devices accessing the network.
- Plans begin for building the new K-8 school off of Discovery Boulevard, named after Marnel C. Moorman. The center broke ground in 2018. As part of the planning, SCPS instructional leaders and building architects meet with the network engineer and the Digital Learning Coordinator to discuss what a "Classroom 2023" in Shelby County should look like, where technology fuels collaboration, creativity, dynamic exhibitions, and flexible learning spaces.
- In May 2018, the Shelby Board approved an expansion of the IT department. This included having a building technician at every elementary and middle school, with two technicians at each high school. Also, a new classified position of Digital Technology Coordinator was created to supervise the technicians and lead the IT department; Chad Hebner became the first person in this role in August 2018.
- Based on the district's Profile of a Graduate (created in spring of 2017), the learning community spends 2017-2018 creating the next four year Strategic Leadership Plan 2.0. "Personalized Learning" becomes one of the main strands, which asks technology to ensure all stakeholders can access data dashboards of student mastery, as well as creating "anytime, anywhere" opportunities.
- Teachers and staff requested a learning management system that better allowed tracking of mastery and support Shelby's shift to a competency-based educaton system. After vetting several programs, the consensus led SCPS to purchase Empower, which began piloting in classrooms in late summer 2018 and replaced Schoology for the district in July 2019. Empower is key for the "data dashboard" part of our SLP 2.0 Personalized Learning strand.
- Also as part of SLP 2.0, the adaptive learning systems of Lexia, Reading Plus, and DreamBox were chosen (after input from staff across the district) as district digital platforms to enhance student literacy and numeracy, as well as provide personalized opportunities for practice, intervention, and enrichment of academic knowledge and skills. 2018-2019 marked the first full year of integrating these systems with district expectations of usage fidelity and intentionality. The Digital Learning Coordinator provided principals with school and district level qualitative and quantitative analytics to track student learning.
- Lenovo Yogas are retired at the end of their lease and returned to the vendor. Teacher devices are now all MacBook Airs. Chromebooks remain the dominant student device for grades 1-12. As kindergarten iPads begin to age out, SCPS is slowly replacing them with Chromebooks as well as evaluating other devices.
- The Shelby County Digital Citizenship Curriculum, which Adam Watson began creating in spring of 2016 and implementing in fall of 2016, was finalized in the fall of 2018. This spiraling curriculum has 65 unique K-12 student lessons organized in five focus strands throughout the school year, ensuring 5+ instructional hours of digital citizenship every school year for every student. SCPS librarians have a vital role in teaching the lessons and/or overseeing the implementation of the curriculum.
- The Share Fair is rebranded (dropping "Edtech" from its title) with sessions on both edtech and competency-based education. Highlights from the fifth year of the conference included launching a new event website and having a building tech lead a session for the first time.