Magazine article District Administration

Iowa Students Having Fun While Learning 21st-Century Skills: Tipton School District Integrates Technology Literacy into Existing Curriculum Using EasyTech by Learning.Com

Magazine article District Administration

Iowa Students Having Fun While Learning 21st-Century Skills: Tipton School District Integrates Technology Literacy into Existing Curriculum Using EasyTech by Learning.Com

Article excerpt

It took less than three years for Tipton School District's server-based technology program, once considered state-of-the-art, to become obsolete in 2007. At about the same time, the state legislature added a 21st-century skills requirement, including technology literacy, to the Iowa Core curriculum.

And so, the search began for a new provider of technology literacy curriculum for the district. Years of investigating and piloting different solutions finally resulted in Learning.com being chosen in 2012 to update the district's technology program while satisfying the new state standards, according to Dawn Siech, director of curriculum and instruction. Tipton uses Learning.com's digital literacy solution Easy Tech, which integrates 21st-century skills instruction into teachers' existing curriculum.

"There are fun games and activities embedded within the learning" Siech says. "It's not just 'Here's your home row; now type the letters" Science, math, and language arts are embedded within digital literacy lessons, so the kids are learning how to manipulate a spreadsheet or Word document, while simultaneously developing literacy or math skills."

Tipton School District, located about 45 miles from Cedar Rapids, has 946 students in grades pre-K to 12. EasyTech is used by all K-8 students, who are learning more than how to point and click.

"21st-century technology use requires more than just word processing skills; it's about finding valid and reliable resources online, understanding online etiquette, knowing copyright laws, taking technology and applying it to different situations" Siech says." In EasyTech, students are learning to find valid and reliable sources of information on the internet. That's an important part of the program."

Because EasyTech is web-based, lessons are continuously updated to reflect current topics such as digital citizenship, financial literacy and collaboration skills. …

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