Representatives from the Riverside County Office of
Education and Probation Department visited the San Diego County Office of
Education (SDCOE) Jan. 27 to learn more about integrating technology into the
The visitors from Riverside County were interested in
SDCOE’s ongoing efforts to incorporate technology into lessons in its Juvenile
Court and Community Schools (JCCS).
“We wanted to see how it would work for us,” said Ebon
Brown, an adult-education principal at the Riverside County Office of Education
who helped organize the trip.
The juvenile detention facilities in Riverside County have
computers but no wireless devices. They’re hoping to add wireless access next
The visit included discussions with some of the SDCOE
leaders who helped facilitate and oversee the technology rollout as well as a
visit to classrooms in Girls Rehabilitation Facility and Sarah Anthony School,
which are partnerships between SDCOE and the San Diego County Probation
The visiting officials said they gained some insight and
strategies that they were going to be able to take back with them as they work
to incorporate more technology in the classroom.
“This is the first time I’ve seen something like this in
real life,” said Christina Martinez, director of Riverside County’s Southwest
They also said they were impressed with how engaged the
students were during their tour of the two facilities.
“When you walk into a typical high school environment, you
hardly ever see the kind of engagement that these incarcerated juveniles were
showing,” Brown said.
rollout started about two years ago when teachers received professional
development focused on blended learning. The teachers who completed the training
received computers for each student in their class.
JCCS students have already created thousands of electronic
documents and presentations with the help of the increased access to online
tools. This work includes internet-researched publications, team projects,
animation, and videos that align Common Core State Standards.
“We are providing students with an educational experience
that mirrors what they get in the free world,” said Joanne Finney, a JCCS
Students have said that using the computers and online
resources has helped make things more fun, efficient, and challenging. It also
better prepares them for college and careers.
“In order to compete in the 21st Century, we’ve
got to give our kids access to technology,” Brown said.