Innovative Educator Program SunsetsMany of you have asked about the Innovative Educator Program throughout the Spring and I wanted to provide you with an update of what is happening with this highly successful program for the 2017-2018 school year.
The Innovative Educator program has provided over 2,000 devices for classrooms over the past two and a half years and due to the purposeful roll-out that engages the early adopters, the WUSD Innovative Educator program is respected as a model for districts in implementing 1:1 across the state. During the course of the past two years, we have brought on over 140 Innovative Educators. We have used Common Core Implementation Funds, Microsoft K-12 Voucher Settlement Reimbursement funds, and Technology Department funds to purchase the carts and devices for classrooms.
Since implementing the Innovative Educator Program, the district has adopted a new Math and English Language Arts curriculum that relies upon access to technology in order to support the content. Given this new and exciting environment the model of one cart per classroom does not support the Innovative Educator model and the program would actually create a greater disparity of those who have access to technology and those who don't across sites and grade levels. As the need for equitable access across classrooms increases to meet the demands of implementing the new adoptions, the initial phase of the Innovative Educator program will be sunsetted at the conclusion of this school year. To continue building digital leadership at sites across the District, we will be launching a new program called Tech Teacher Team (T3) that is open to WUSD teachers. Melissa Oliver, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, is heading this new District initiative and will be providing information on what the T3 program is and how teachers can apply in a follow up email today.
1:1 Access for all StudentsEqual access to technology for all students and our mission to move to a 1:1 environment will continue to be a focus for the district. In order to achieve this, existing Chromebooks, laptops, and tablets assigned to classrooms as part of the Innovative Educator program may be redeployed to meet the need of having devices in all classrooms or having access to devices in an on-demand environment. The planning for redeploying devices across the school sites and district is being conducted in collaboration with teachers, site administration, and the Technology department. As a result of redistributing devices across each school site, all teachers will have access to technology within their classrooms with either 6, 12, 17, 34, or 36 devices available in K-8 and all 9-12 access of devices will be shared across departments. This means that every K-8 classroom will have their own devices to use to support the new adoptions and 9-12 teachers will have access to shared carts in their department. It is essential that 9-12 Innovative Educator carts be available during prep periods and when not in use for department use.
At this time, we have over 5,000 Chromebooks deployed across the district and with more than 7500 students, making us a 2:1 district - at least 2 students for everyone 1 Chromebook. This does not include laptops or tablets. We are much closer to becoming a 1:1 school district each year and will continue to work with site leaders to increase access to technology in subsequent years as we continue to build out the infrastructure and provide professional learning to support a 1:1 environment.
As always, if you have questions, please contact me directly.