Andrew R. Sprang
GREAT THINGS GOING ON IN FOSTORIA CITY SCHOOLS
* How has technology helped our district over the last year?
With the district being a 1:1 District 5-12 for a couple of years the district had resources available for instruction to continue when we were forced to go remote last spring. In order to cover our younger grades, we handed out devices to families with students PK-4 that did not have at least one device in their home for students to complete work on.
* What technology was most used?
Our students use Chromebooks so the common features such as Google Classroom, Google Meet, and Zoom were prevalent. Our team also shared out numerous resources that were found to be available with free trial editions, etc. over the course of the spring.
* What new technology has the district implemented?
The district expanded our 1:1 program down to grades 3-4 this year
The district applied for the Project 10 million grant with T-Mobile and was able to get hot spots for families that had connectivity issues.
Schools PLP is being used in our district for remote learners, the students that have not returned physically into the classrooms this school year. This is an online curriculum that allows the students to complete courses that they need to continue progressing through their education.
* What have been some of the challenges been?
Structure, structure, structure. It is so important for students to have routines in place in order to stay focused on the completion of tasks. Monitoring progress and communicating can be a challenge when it is not face to face. There is nothing that can replace entirely the day to day of being in a school setting.
* What have been some benefits?
Our curriculum resources come with technology components so when the district moved all students to a remote setting after Thanksgiving and through the holiday season students were able to continue working through the curriculum with their teachers.
Time and learning experiences were pivotal to our success. We noticed a difference in attendance and structure from our first attempt at remote learning in the spring to our remote learning period in the fall. This is a testament to the staff and their efforts to engage with students daily.
* What kinds of technology will the district be adding?
The district is looking at expanding our 1:1 Program in order to include all students in the district.
* How have teachers and students adjusted to the continued use of technology?
They have been committed to learning the various features and doing all they can to have as productive of a learning environment as possible. Our Instructional Technologist, Mat Swortchek and our Director of Curriculum, Tera Matz have been instrumental in making sure that software was ready to go and that tutorials, tip sheets, etc. have been prepared and shared.