The effort to integrate more technology into the classroom
for Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) students with a laptop for each
student continues to move forward and prepare even more students for college
The technology rollout started about two years ago when
teachers received professional development focused on integrating blended-learning
opportunities for all students in San Diego County Office of Education’s JCCS
program. The teachers who completed the rigorous eight- to 10-week Leading Edge
Certification training received computers for each student in their class.
So far, about 65 percent of JCCS teachers have received the nationally
recognized certification and about 1,400 laptops have been distributed. The
goal is for all of the students in the court and community schools to have them
“It’s important that all JCCS students have these
opportunities, including those in our locked facilities as these skills can
make the difference for their success,” said Dr. Dennis Danielson, a technology
coordinator working with JCCS.
A key part of this process was supporting teachers to adopt
new teaching and learning models and to plan for the purposeful integration of
technology to their lessons. It’s not simply a matter of teaching class the
same way but using computers instead of paper and pencil work.
“The process is working to transform learning in the
classroom from lower-level recall activities to more collaborative and creative
projects,” Danielson said. “We’re seeing much greater student engagement and
higher-level outcomes as the teachers are working collaboratively in professional
learning communities. They are challenging students to think and work
JCCS students have already created thousands of electronic documents
and presentations with the help of the increased access to online tools such as
Google Apps for Education and the Haiku Learning Management System. This work
includes internet-researched publications, team projects, animation, and videos
that align Common Core State Standards.
Students have said that using the computers and online
resources has helped make things more fun, efficient, and challenging.
"The work is harder, which is good for us,” said a
student at North County Technology and Science Academy. “When we have to work
harder our brains grow stronger."
Much of the success of the effort is the result of it being
led by teachers and centered on students, said Jose Villarreal, senior director
Personnel from throughout the County Office of Education
have helped with the planning and preparation of the effort, including Integrated Technology
and Operations, and JCCS.
The process started by looking at what the teachers’ and
students’ needs were and finding a device that would best serve them.
Chromebooks were selected based on those needs.
Having access to the computers will help students in many
ways. Not only will they learn important technology skills and have access to
far more information than they have in the past, but the computers will also
help boost students’ self-esteem and sense of responsibility.
“It’s a very positive thing for students,” Danielson said. “They
see meaning and value in what they’re doing.”