KU program puts technology, expert training, new teaching in classrooms
by the University of Kansas
It’s becoming more common with every semester for a school to hand out new electronics such as iPads or laptop computers to give students a new tool in their educational kit. For years now, a University of Kansas program has been going several steps beyond, knowing it’s not enough to just give a classroom new gadgets, it’s vital to provide teachers with the training on how to use the technology to enhance curriculum and help change how students learn. Since 2003, Technology Rich Classrooms, a project of Advance Learning Technologies in Education in KU’s Center for Research on Learning, has been managing a Kansas State Department of Education program that provides funding to school districts across the state to purchase new technology and fund a facilitator in the school who coaches teachers how to make the new devices part of higher order curriculum. Nearly 90 Kansas schools have received the two-year, Title IID grants, and the program is spreading beyond Kansas’ borders. “When it comes down to it, we don’t talk about iPads or Macbooks, we talk about using any technology the school has that engages students and empowers critical thinking,” said Amber Rowland, project leader.
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