Desert Meadows School’s vision is to have all students reach their academic and social potentials, with technology serving as a catalyst to learning. And, to reach that goal, the school has launched a number of technology initiatives throughout its classrooms.
Meadows has created a blended learning environment where technology is used along with traditional learning strategies to keep students fully engaged. Teachers use Google Classroom to build assignments, ask questions, and create discussions for their students to access online. This also allows them to create a “flipped classroom” where students review the lesson online at home and complete projects and exercises in class with their peers. Desert Meadows students take notes digitally with Chromebooks and have access to safe email accounts. Middle school students use digital portfolios to set goals and show academic growth to their families.
The blended learning model complements the Laveen Elementary School District’s curriculum which is available online, as well as in traditional textbooks. All district and state assessments are taken online using Chromebooks.
Technology is not only found in the core academic areas, but has been integrated in specials as well. Students are offered a technology class focused on using technology in the classroom and at home, iPads are used in music and art, and there are coding and media clubs that further promote the use of technology.
Meadows staff have seen positive changes since increasing technology. Students are more engaged in their classes, they are excited to learn, and they like being able to challenge themselves through real-time assessments.
Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, all Laveen schools will have a 1:1 student to computing device ratio. This initiative will allow Desert Meadows further integrate technology into the daily lessons.