FARMINGTON—How do you train students for jobs that don’t even exist yet? That’s one of the goals of the Digital Learning Grant available to the Davis School District to promote a “21st century” classroom through both teacher and student training.
“Davis School District received the second highest grant of approximately $3 million over three years,” said Don Beatty, district administrator over digital teaching and learning. “It requires the district to do a needs assessment to see the gaps that need to be filled. Davis is already great and well ahead of the state average with infrastructure. Now we can go to the next level to train teachers and make them ‘learning ready.’ The timing is perfect for us. We have a robust infrastructure but we want to stay ahead of the curve.”
Beatty recently gave a presentation on the grant to school board members at their Feb. 21 meeting.
“We recognize the need to train not just teachers but administrators to best fit the students’ needs,” he said. “How do you design an instructional program to get ready for jobs these students will do in the future?”
Beatty said there are four super skills they are focusing on: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. “Students need to learn how to adapt,” he said. “Right now a student has more information at her finger tips than Reagan had as president of the United States. We need to train them how to use that. They have anytime, anywhere learning. Kids can access online tools to do their work at the library or on the soccer field. Learning is not just happening on our real estate.”
The grant isn’t intended for purchasing a bunch of devices for classrooms, he said. “We’re looking at innovation – new ways to use them and maximize the devices we already have.”
The funds will also be used to enhance the district’s current network by optimizing 2 GB service now in place at each school to full 10 GB as it becomes available.
“When employed as part of a comprehensive educational strategy, the effective use of technology increases teaching opportunities, significantly enhances learning, increases access and promotes efficiency,” Beatty said. “It’s not just about the money but we want students to get excited. We hope to spend the funds responsibly and get better educational results for the kids.”