CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia is changing the way teachers teach so students will be ready to lead in a world that knows no boundaries. The key is technology, seamlessly integrated across core curriculum areas. The solution is a pairing of teacher training with extensive classroom resources for teachers and students.
One resource added to the West Virginia teaching toolbox is SchoolKiT’s techSteps, a systematic technology literacy curriculum for grades K-8. The program will enable West Virginia’s trained technology specialists to lead West Virginia’s public school educators to integrate technology across all core subject areas.
“Quality teaching and 21st century assessment tools, such as techSteps, coupled with teacher professional development will ensure all students are proficient in using digital tools to research, create, communicate and collaborate to solve problems and make decisions in a competitive global environment,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Steve Paine.
With techSteps, all of West Virginia’s K-8 teachers now have a bank of specific activities to instruct and strengthen student technology skills. Students are given real-world situations with a curriculum-based challenge. As students complete these projects, a portfolio of their work is built.
One fifth grade exercise, for example, instructs students to create a survey and gather data on some topical public issue and write a report detailing and graphing the survey results. The techSteps program then provides assessment options that show how students are meeting national and local standards.
“When technology in schools is systemic, with both technology and curriculum naturally and deeply integrated, then SchoolKiT will have accomplished its mission,” said Adam Smith, founder of SchoolKiT, based in Bellevue, Wash.
Teachers like Shawna Zervos of McNinch Elementary School in Marshall County find that helping students become technology literate also means students are able to practice applying curriculum principles in new and relevant ways.
“We did the ‘Famous Person Plaque’ lesson, and it was inspiring to see the students combine what we‘re learning in class and be able to use technology to create a finished product they were proud of,” Zervos said. “The techSteps program was easy for the students to use.”
For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Communications Office at (304) 558-2699 or visit www.SchoolKiT.com.