LWSD’s Mobile Access for Students initiative brings mobile computing devices – such as laptops and netbooks – into the classroom to improve learning. The program is possible thanks to a technology levy passed by voters in 2010.
The Mobile Access for Students initiative has been carefully designed to help students learn the information and communication technology skills outlined in the district’s Student Profile. At the elementary level, mobile devices are shared between classrooms, becoming group learning labs that teachers use to enrich and expand their lessons. Depending on the grade, computers are available on a three to one or two to one student to computer ratio.
At the secondary level, mobile devices will be used individually. Beginning in September 2012, each student in grades 6-12 will be assigned a laptop to use at school and at home.
The Mobile Access Initiative is bringing great benefits to students throughout the district:
- Every student future ready. The world is changing fast, and we need to give our students the information and communication technology skills to keep up. The Mobile Access Initiative allows students to become skilled users of new technologies, helping them in particular to find, analyze, and present information carefully and quickly from among the confusing wealth of resources that is available on the Internet.
- Innovation and exploration. Mobile devices give students many different ways to learn. A student can explore interactive videos of geologic formations, view step-by-step tutorials in geometry, participate in an online discussion about The Great Gatsby, or call up a personalized rubric for a science lab. Mobile devices also allow classrooms to “flip,” by having students view pre-recorded lectures at home and then using classroom time for problem-solving, group work, and individual help from the teacher.
- Mobile learning opportunities. With mobile devices, sometimes paired with specialized peripherals, any space can become a classroom. Students can conduct biology experiments outside at a spawning stream, record videos to document their work on group projects, practice note-reading for a music class, or record observations on a field trip.
- Well-prepared, enthusiastic teachers. Mobile devices are powerful in the classroom only when they enhance the efforts of excellent teachers. To ensure that teachers are able to use mobile technology wisely and well, teachers have been deeply involved in selecting and pilot testing devices, and most importantly, collaborating and sharing innovative lessons and approaches to learning using these tools. Every teacher in the district will receive specific training on a continuing basis to help them integrate this technology into their teaching practice.
- Equal access for all. With school-provided mobile devices, all students have equal access to the Internet and to the latest interactive software and technologies. In addition, students are no longer limited to textbooks for learning. With mobile devices, students can access a wide range of digital resources for learning.
All Lake Washington secondary schools will participate in the Mobile Access Initiative beginning in September 2012. Parents will learn more from their students’ teachers and principal about the devices and programs that will be used at each school.