Maryville City Schools has embarked on an extraordinary journey to capture a vision that will forever change learning for all students from kindergarten to graduation. The need for a digital conversion, for both teaching and learning, is a shared vision of school districts across the nation. To make this conversion a reality for current and future students, this vision must be shared by internal and external stakeholders throughout our school community.
This conversion will require a paradigm shift in instructional methodology, while harnessing twenty-first century technologies in ways already used in industry, business and academia. These changes will allow teachers to incorporate the newest standards in curriculum, while utilizing best and next practices to engage today’s students.
Our mission statement is clear and should resonate with all stakeholders on many levels:
To infuse technology and shift instructional practices in ways that create limitless learning opportunities for all twenty-first century learners in the Maryville City Schools.
This journey, which began in the fall of 2013, is now underway on many levels. However, the journey to embrace technology in the classroom began a decade ago with the introduction of many new tools for teachers, including interactive white boards, slates, response devices, projectors, document cameras, and wireless connectivity. While this new initiative includes the procurement and implementation of personal devices for students, our vision for change is far more comprehensive.
In keeping with the tenets of the district strategic plan and the guiding principle of our mission statement, this conversion is yet another shift that will take our instruction and the learning opportunities for students to a new level. By providing equitable access to every child, we hope to erase the digital divide and elevate the learning potential of every child. With a rising population of economically disadvantaged students, providing technology for every child is a winning proposition for students, families, teachers, and the community. Technology, well-used, engages students in school, makes learning relevant, and can be personalized to meet each individual child’s needs.
With technology at their fingertips, students are becoming more globally aware of their citizenship as digital natives. While the new digital format for teaching and learning will not fully replace textbooks, the use of 21st century tools are becoming a vital resource for students and teachers. Students at all levels are gaining valuable critical thinking, problem-solving and higher-order cognition skills. Our administrators and teachers are making the leap as Digital Immigrants to connect with the Digital Natives – our students.
Reinforced with new tools and training, teachers are presenting lessons centered on experiences that lead students to be active participants in their own learning. Teachers are in a position to model what it means to be a 21st century learner and a responsible global citizen. Professional development, a priority for this digital conversion effort, will be critical for successful implementation. Teachers are eager to become early adopters and even more excited about participating in high-quality professional development and professional learning communities . Support for teachers, both instructional and technical, are also critical success factors.
We hope you are inspired to join us on this mission – where preparation for tomorrow starts TODAY!