Community Conversation

The iTeach Tech Forum showcased how digital technology is currently being used in the MCCSC and highlighted how digital tools will be used throughout the district in through 2016.

HT September 20,2012 by April Toler

Nancy and Ronnie Goswami know their children need to be technologically savvy, and the parents of triplets are enthusiastic about MCCSC’s plans to integrate more technology into the classroom.  But the couple wants to make sure they know exactly what their children are using and how they are being supervised.  “We want to know how are they accessing information, where are they getting their information from and who are they interacting with,” Nancy said.  “We want to guide that on using the Internet, making sure its safe for them.”

In an effort to learn more about that issue and Monroe County Community School Corp.’s digital initiative, the Goswamis attended Wednesday’s iTeach Tech Forum, hosted by the Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools and MCCSC.

A handful of parents attended the event at Bloomington High School North. It featured demonstrations of some of the programs currently being used in the classroom, programs such as Skype, MyBigCampus, Splashtop and Khan Academy.The public also heard from a panel of educators about the district’s push for more technology in the classroom and were able to ask questions.

Third-grade teacher Katie Phillips, of Grandview Elementary School, was one of the teachers on hand to demonstrate how technology is being used in the classroom.  One of those ways is through Khan Academy, a free website which features thousands of videos covering K-12 math, science and humanities.  Students choose lessons, watch videos and do practice problems, which Phillips said allows students to learn at their own pace.  “It’s really good for kids that are struggling, because they can watch the same video over and over until they get it,” Phillips said. “It’s good for kids who fly through everything, because they can go on and get ahead.”  Students can also use the site at home. Phillips can view and monitor what lessons they are working on and how many they have completed. Phillips also uses other programs and websites to teach and currently uses Twitter to keep in touch with parents.  When it comes to integrating more technology into her classroom, Phillips is enthusiastic and said whether we like it or not, technology is, and will continue to be, a part of our lives.

“We’re dealing with a 21st century learner here, where they are going to have to be able to use computers, they are going to have to know all different ways to get information besides just a teacher telling it to them,” she said. “It’s what they are used to and what they need to be exposed to.”

All MCCSC staff members have been given an iPad to use.  The district is currently in the process of purchasing 2,500 iPads for students to use and plans to purchase an additional 2,500 in April.  The district’s goal is to provide iPads to all students by 2016.

Parents can learn more about MCCSC initiatives during upcoming community conversations.

According to Sara Neeley, foundation executive director, the conversations are simply a way for the foundation to educate the public about issues and programs happening in their school district.  “The foundation feels it is important to bring to the community those initiatives that are impacting and will be impacting our students,” Neeley said.  “These collaborations with MCCSC allow a fresh discussion on current topics.”

State of MCCSC

The next community conversation will be the State of the Corporation, which will be from 8 to 9 a.m. Nov. 7 at the Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave.

The event will feature a state of the corporation address and questions and answers from Monroe County Community School Corp. Superintendent Judy DeMuth.