Magazine article Technology & Learning

Casey Wardynski: Superintendent, Huntsville City Schools, Huntsville, AL

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Casey Wardynski: Superintendent, Huntsville City Schools, Huntsville, AL

Article excerpt

In just one year, Huntsville City Schools completely transformed education for its nearly 25,000 students. And the district owes it all to the plan put forth by a brave and visionary leader, Superintendent Casey Wardynski.

"The American education system, for the most part, is run the way it was over 100 years ago, before mankind flew in an airplane, much less flew in space," says Wardynski. "We can keep taking the assembly-line, one-size-fits-all approach, with everyone moving at the same rate, or we can revolutionize education and make it more student-centric."

Huntsville chose the latter approach.

Wardynski's plan, which the board unanimously approved in June of 2012, was to use one-to-one learning and launch a digital curriculum. It is one of the largest school systems to go digital in every school. "My goal was to better prepare students for college and careers by personalizing the learning and removing any barriers to an equitable curriculum for all students," says Wardynski.

The district prepared for the transition by reallocating funds and saving money through operational efficiencies. Instead of textbooks, they purchased interactive, digital curricula and assessment tools for laptops, netbooks, and iPads. Schools were connected with robust networks, and WiFi was installed in school buses and expanded in public areas throughout the city. More than 1,700 teachers and administrators were trained to infuse technology as they developed their lesson plans. And hundreds of students and their families attended school workshops in preparation for the move to one-to-one learning. …

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