Students gain more resources through technology at school

On an average day, you can find Seven Gonzalez sitting at her desk with an iPad researching tutorials on the latest mathematics lesson, taking verbal notes on a scientific theory, recording a performance of an original poem for an upcoming project or looking up synonyms for an essay.

Photo by: Maritza Gallaga

From the description, Gonzalez  sounds like any other student at one of the
top universities in the nation, but in
reality she is a fourth-grade student at
Dr. Rodriguez Elementary School. Like students in 89 classrooms across the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, she is in a digital classroom, which incorporates technology into daily curriculum to give them an idea of what it’s like to study at an actual high school or college class. Her classwork takes a 21st century approach as she uses applications and features on her assigned iPad to help her progress her mathematical, writing and reading skills, but for her, she sometimes forgets she is learning with the fun that her technology enhanced lessons can bring.

Digital Classrooms and ILCs are only two
components that make up the district’s digital
initiatives, which also includes the Bring Your Own
Device (BYOD) program. With BYOD implemented,

students have the opportunity to bring their
personal devices to school and use them in class,
just like a Digital Classroom. Instructors have
the opportunity to choose if they would like to
practice BYOD in their classroom, and currently,
the program is being practiced throughout all classrooms at the Dr. Abraham P. Cano Freshman Academy.

With the technological transformation in full gear, the district’s digital initiatives are expected to further expand in the next few years until all classrooms are either digital classrooms
or practice BYOD. The goal is to have all students learning in a classroom that reflects a college or university, while responsibly rolling out the technology, said Boykin.

Anxious for the future, Gonzalez is
 excited for the day that all of her 
classrooms will incorporate technology into lessons. She knows that with 21st century lessons, she will receive the tools necessary
to be an interactive learner as she progresses through her education and works to follow her dream of becoming a therapist, she said.

Read the entire article on the Valley Morning Star at http://www.valleymorningstar.com/education/harlingen_cisd/article_f16a792e-7673-11e3-8653-0019bb30f31a.html

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