Every K-12 student in Marion Independent School District has been issued a hand-held device to assist with their learning. At the start of the 2018-2019 school, year Chromebooks were issued to every student in grades 5-12 enabling them to have access to individualized technology both at school and at home, as students are allowed to take those devices home. Before the end of the calendar year, 3rd and 4th-grade students at Francis Marion Intermediate were issued Chromebooks to assist them in their learning in the classroom. In January, K-2nd graders received classroom sets of iPads to enhance their learning in math, reading, and more.
This vision began a few years ago with a desire to prepare all students with essential skills they will need in high school, college, and the workplace. The district leadership team, technology team, and School Improvement Coordinators, overseen by Superintendent Dyer, have created a program at MISD that enhances learning opportunities to never-before seen levels for the students as well as the teaching staff.
Long before students were given the laptops, teachers were attending blended learning workshops at the MISD Summer Institute. The Summer Institute was a two-day training for teachers on how to move past the traditional thought of students sitting in chairs aligned in rows facing towards the blackboard. Staff were encouraged to think outside the box on how to best meet students’ needs by allowing them to learn at varying paces and receive differentiated instruction, engaging with students based on their individual needs.
Peggy Murphy is the District Technology Integration Coordinator, tasked with integrating technology into classrooms in way that is impactful for teachers and students. Murphy says, “The 1:1 program will enhance our already progressive, world-class education by challenging learners to believe in their power to embrace learning, to excel, and to own their future.”