St. Vrain's Learning Technology Plan enters its third year
Think buying school supplies is hectic? Try prepping 18,000 iPads to be handed out to students across St. Vrain Valley Schools. Such is the start of the academic year for Michelle Bourgeois, Project Manager of Learning Technology Plan, and her team at District Technology Services.
What is the Learning Technology Plan? It’s the district's plan to meet the digital needs of teachers and learners in St. Vrain. In 2012, voters across the district approved a mill levy override that, among other improvements, greatly strengthens the capacity to equip St. Vrain students with 21st century technology tools. It was out of this, that the Learning Technology Plan was born.
In many years past, access to digital resources, while nice, wasn’t a required part of the curriculum. The shift in current standards changes the expectation of access to technology. In fact, the district's curriculum documents have more than 150 direct mentions of technology use in every subject from Art to English to Social Studies and Mathematics.
The Learning Technology Plan provides schools and students a variety of technology tools including iPad minis, Chromebooks, and desktop computers.
“Our students take great care of their devices,” Bourgeois said. “Last year, only 5.5 percent of our iPads experienced accidental damage.”
As an additional safeguard, St. Vrain families can enroll in an optional iPad insurance program through their school for $35 per year, which covers the first incident of accidental damage for families at no cost.
“Seeing as how the average cost of a repair is around $150, it's a great value,” Bourgeois said.
New this year St. Vrain middle schoolers is an app to help them learn more about being a good digital citizen. Called Digital Compass, it gives students a chance to walk through scenarios to learn more about staying safe online. Students can download it on their school-issued iPad from the LANrev app.
Bourgeois said parents and families can also get a little help thanks to two new resources designed to help navigate the Learning Technology Plan so their student can have a successful school year:
- ltp.svvsd.org is a helpful website with links, support documents, FAQs, and information about the Learning Technology Plan.
- “Family Connections” is an e-newsletter published bi-weekly during the school year that has information and tips for learning to navigate digital learning and device use at home and at school. Sign up at tech.svvsd.org/family.