As Wenatchee Public schools moves to making learning personal, choosing the right place to start and build from is critical. Over the past few years our Instructional Technology Planning Committee has worked on the school district's long term plans for technology.
Through this work and data from our Wenatchee Learns outreach survey(s) and continued emphasis within our strategic plan, it was determined that the intermediate to middle grade levels were the best place to start with personal technology devices. Since budgets are not infinite we narrowed the focus for the initial implementation and decided on 5th - 7th grade, with the eventual goal of a device for every student building from the middle outward. Budget allocated by our board will allow us to bring on approximately 150-300 students per year and their respective core area instructors. Classrooms were chosen in cooperation with building administration to provide a multi-faceted pilot environment in order for us to test equipment, pedagogy, teaming, content, and workload.
In the fall of 2014 and 2015 we hired two outstanding former pilot teachers to lead the training and implementation of this pilot project. Instructional Technology Facilitators Ray Birks and Mark Woolsey are an excellent addition to our team and will enable our district to create a relevant and replicable plan for rollout to more district staff.
The following teachers were selected and continue to be participants within our personal device pilot. Students were placed into the classrooms using very traditional methods; assessment scores, ability, behavior, cooperation, etc. The only exception to student placement continues to be where we have a feeder program into the pilot rooms.
Participating teaching staff are provided an iPad, an Apple TV and some other training and tools to begin to shift their thinking and teaching, thus readying them for when students also have devices.