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Lexington County schools join ‘dynamic’ pilot program

Sep 13 2017

Each day, millions of people turn to Google for the latest news, weather reports and answers to search questions. This year, four Lexington County School District One schools launched a pilot program at Google’s headquarters with the goal of improving the use of educational technology.

Principals and digital learning coaches from Carolina Springs Middle, Gilbert Middle, Pelion Middle and White Knoll Middle schools participated in a week-long summer institute, held July 17–21, as part of the Dynamic Learning Project, a national pilot program supported by Digital Promise, the EdTechTeam and Google for Education.

Program organizers aim to bridge the digital divide by equipping educators with the skills and tools they need to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms. They chose a total of 50 schools nationwide based on need (measured by the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch), existing technology infrastructure and innovative leadership.

Lexington District One’s participating principals and digital learning coaches received training focused on empowering their school’s greatest assets: teachers.

“Technology is just a tool. It can only be transformative when it’s in the hands of an educator who uses it to create meaningful experiences for students,” reflected Liz Anderson, head of Social Impact Programs at Google for Education.

During the summer institute, principals and digital learning coaches learned how to help teachers identify and tackle classroom challenges, brainstorm technology-based solutions with teachers, and support teachers as they implement solutions.

“We have been provided strategies and resources to empower teachers and impact student learning by using technology in transformative ways,” said WKMS Digital Learning Coach Suzanne Brooks.

Armed with fresh tools and techniques, CSMS, GMS, PMS and WKMS will see growth in teachers’ confidence using technology. Effective use of technology will also sharpen students’ 21st century skills such as research and analysis, critical thinking and problem-solving.

PMS Principal Jeff Matthews said, “In utilizing the appropriate technology, our students will experience things not previously available to them.”

The Dynamic Learning Project will provide ongoing mentoring support to digital learning coaches, as well as collect data on the program’s impact.