Livermore Teacher Uses Technology to Provide Kids and Parents
with 24/7 Access to Grades and Assignments
For students in Lisa Wilson’s combination fourth and fifth grade class at Arroyo Seco Elementary School, technology that meets them on their own terms is promoting engagement, responsibility, and academic success.
LIVERMORE, CA – March, 2015–– In Mrs. Wilson’s fourth/fifth grade class, students are taking responsibility for their own learning in ways not possible before technology entered the picture. In Wilson’s class, kids are watching video-based math lessons, instantly submitting assignments, and keeping up with their grades and homework at home and on the go through laptops, smart phones and other Internet-connected devices. Busy parents are also keeping up with their children’s progress through regular digitally delivered progress updates. The result has been a significant increase in student engagement in class, new interest in making up missed assignments and motivation to achieve at higher levels.
Wilson, who has a “no excuses” policy when it comes to homework and class projects, opens up her doors at seven-thirty a.m. for any students who may not have access to technology at home. The kids use Google Chromebooks to check their grades and assignments on the learning management system, School Loop; review math on the Ten Marks and XtraMath websites; reinforce spelling through online games at Spelling City, and more. “I’ve seen a significant change in student behavior with the use of technology,” says Wilson, who is in her 24th year of teaching. “When students have the power to instantly check on their standing in class, and know their parents are being informed of their progress on a daily basis, they really step up to the plate and take ownership of their learning.”
Wilson also says technology saves her precious time. “At parent conferences, I can instantly pull up grades, assignments, and even graphs that show a student’s progress and grade trends. This saves me about 20 percent of the time I used to spend on such common tasks.” She also says technology allows her to address both struggling and excelling students’ individual needs through a management system that immediately flags low and high academic performance and software programs that automatically adjust to a user’s level of mastery.
Students from Wilson’s class are also eager to weigh in on how technology is affecting their learning experience. Fourth-graders Irina and Tori say they like to email their teacher with homework and technology questions, and to check grades and assignments to see where they need to make improvements.Fifth-grade studentRyan says it’s much easier to type using a word processer than to write in cursive, and his classmate, Joaquin, says using Google Docs is great because he can share work with others and get help along the way. Another fifth-grader, Mufaro, addresses an issue of concern to many parents and educators when she says,“Using technology in class will help with my future career because now I‘m good at using many tools.” All the students think turning in assignments online is “cool,” says Wilson, and they love the paperless classroom.
School Board President Kate Runyon,[email protected] (925) 454-1139
Arroyo Seco Principal Denise Nathanson, [email protected] (925) 606-4700
Arroyo Seco Teacher Lisa Wilson, [email protected] (925) 606-4700