Instructional Technology in District 86
Clearly, the field of education has been impacted by the rapid expansion of technology devices, tools, and applications as our personals lives have been. Educators can no longer passively or actively resist this evolution. In fact, adapting to this new educational construct provides us with the perfect opportunity to model for our students that we are the life-long learners we aspire them to be. Most importantly, District 86 needs to be attuned to the world of e-learning and the need to prepare our students as technologically literate, skilled learners, who are able to succeed in post-secondary settings and to flourish as digital citizens of the future. Accomplishing these goals will put new demands on our teachers, infrastructure, tools, and technology personnel. If we remain vigilant to this ever-changing digital learning landscape, we will be prepared to face those challenges in a way that is consistent with our tradition of excellence if we act boldly.
The Advent of Online Assessments
Mandated state testing has evolved from a paper and pencil experience to a computer-based process for all of our students. The online testing protocol is now used for state-mandated tests, known as PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), Dynamic Learning Maps Alternative Assessments for Special Education Students, and ACCESS 2.0 for English Language Learners. The Illinois State Board of Education also requires districts to conduct a electronic school culture survey with students, staff, and parents every two years. In addition, our district has moved from a paper-based EXPLORE test as a placement tool for incoming freshmen to the computer-based Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which will also be used to screen all freshmen and sophomores in reading and math. Finally, our district will be administering the ScholarCentric Resiliency online survey to all juniors during the upcoming year. The explosion of online testing is putting a strain on our computer labs and mobile computer carts, blocking classroom and individual student access and increasing the need for additional devices. As a result, District 86 is currently conducting a 1:1 Chromebook pilot, which you can learn more about in this section of the website.
Instructional Innovation in District 86
Recognizing that instructional tools and strategies are constantly changing to keep pace with the requirements of the global economy that awaits its graduates, District 86 continues to support the ongoing professional development of its teaching staff. Through the work of Instructional Innovation Coaches, teachers at both Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South continue to bring technological innovations into their classrooms in order to challenge their students to be creators - not just consumers - of knowledge.
Through this ongoing professional development, the teachers in District 86 continue to seek ways in which they can thoughtfully incorporate technology (such as Chromebook devices) into their ever-changing instructional toolset.