One-to-one laptop learning succeeds at Raleigh’s Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School
Online curriculum, professional development, evaluation key to achievement
CARY, NC – Eighth-grade students at Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School dramatically improved performance in just one year in a one-to-one learning environment. A partnership between the school and SAS, the Friday Institute at North Carolina State University and Wake County Schools created and implemented the program.
In one-to-one learning, every student and teacher has access to a laptop. But technology is only the beginning. “Let the curriculum drive the technology,” advises Sharon Irby, project manager for Centennial’s One-to-One Laptop Initiative.
Irby also emphasizes the importance of collaborative curriculum development, organizational structure, strategic planning, teacher leadership, technical support, evaluation and sustainability in one-to-one learning. In a Webcast, Irby and Centennial Lead Teacher George Ward discuss lessons learned, best practices and the value of integrating technology into the classroom.
“Students today grow up with e-mail, IM, text messaging and video games. They think with technology and they learn with technology . We’ve witnessed in just one year what a large impact it can make,” said Irby.
For instance, the approximately 200 eighth-grade students with access to the laptops have seen improvements not just in their computer abilities but in classroom performance.
“I see technical proficiency improving daily,” said Irby. “Our eighth-graders’ scores on the North Carolina Computer Competency Test have risen dramatically since last year.”
The one-to-one initiative at Centennial is a collaborative effort between public and private organizations. The Friday Institute assists with staff development, observation and evaluation. Wake County Schools also contributes to evaluation and provides infrastructure and technical support.
SAS provided more than 200 laptops for teachers and students, plus teacher training on and access to SAS® Curriculum Pathways ®. SAS Curriculum Pathways is Web-based software that enhances student achievement and teacher effectiveness through online curriculum resources in core disciplines.
Ward has witnessed the value of combining technology and curriculum. “My class went from being teacher-centered to student-centered. Students learning at their own paces feel empowered.”
The one-to-one environment has generated positive student results. “The eighth-grade math students were the only ones in our school to achieve high growth as measured by the North Carolina ABCs accountability measures,” said Ward.
Ward says SAS Curriculum Pathways enhances the curriculum he’s already teaching. “With SAS Curriculum Pathways, teachers spend more time diagnosing students’ strengths and weaknesses and less time grading papers.”
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