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Initiative: Integrating edtech into curriculum
Where: Las Virgenes USD, Calabasas, California
At LVUSD, we have long moved beyond the worries of laptops and 1:1, convincing teachers to use technology in their classrooms, and technical support and sustainability concerns. Laptops and learning are both a presumed and transparent part of every classroom at every school. Access to computing resources are abundant, as we have chosen to utilize real computers and robust applications through our use of open source software. Students expect to be able to work anytime, anyplace, and to dive deep into how their technology and tools work, without restriction or limitation.
Students are fully integrated into the technology team at LVUSD, with student tech teams providing support to their peers and sections devoted to the finer details of hardware design, repair, and support. We even have a summer internship program that enables middle and high school students to work side-by-side with the (adult) technology team as they prepare for the new school year.
STEAM, coding, and robotics are more than a couple of electives or activities in a rare enthusiasts classroom, they are a vertically integrated program intent on preparing students for their real future. Whether our elementary students participate in Hour of Code and Scratch coding, programming Ozobots and Dash and Dots, building with Makey Makey kits, or even 3D printing, our young ones get an early start not just doing, but building and designing. Middle school students are programming Arduino boards and 3D printing robot parts, writing apps and coding, and pitching solutions and ideas to venture capitalists and local leaders. And our high school students participate in a variety of computer science and engineering opportunities, including advanced coding, designing and building their own products, or utilizing scene shops and fabrication labs to design and build solar boats from scratch for local competitions.
In short, you don’t have to look far to find innovative learning taking place at LVUSD.
Jim Klein is Chief Technology Officer for Las Virgenes USD in Calabasas, California.
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