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updated: 3/12/2014 2:05 PM

Technology helping District 200 students achieve

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By Brian Harris
Inside District 200

During our last Engage 200 session on student achievement, our assistant superintendent for educational services, Faith Dahlquist, talked about the advantages of expanding the digital learning environment and how doing so can positively impact student achievement.

Student achievement in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 has changed with our changing student characteristics, and we remain a very high-achieving school district in Illinois. And, as we have already begun to see, properly implemented technology in the educational environment can significantly improve student achievement.

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For the past year, we have significantly ramped up our efforts to integrate the use of technology in the classroom. Our district-level instructional technology curriculum coordinator, along with integrated technology coordinators at our two high schools, has been working even more closely with administrators and teachers to provide innovative instruction and professional development.

Staff are presenting and promoting the use of free digital resources like Symbaloo and free student response systems like Kahoot that provide immediate feedback to students and teachers about daily learning.

Our goal is to equip students with 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, problem-solving and creativity. The integration of technology is an engaging way to accomplish this goal with students.

Next school year we will continue to expand our digital learning environment through a partnership with Naperville Unit District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit District 204 called Expanded Learning Opportunities. This partnership will provide online possibilities at the high school level. The online courses such as Mandarin, U.S. history and English, to name a few, will expand opportunities for all students, and also target specific student needs, including those of students who are not best served by traditional courses. The courses will be taught by existing teachers from each of the member districts.

Come hear about our English language learner and special education programs at our next Engage 200 session from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at Monroe Middle School. You can also join us Wednesday, April 16, at the same time and place as we discuss what a 21st century learning environment looks like in our buildings.

I encourage you to visit our website, cusd200.org, for information about student learning, our finances, our Engage 200 community engagement program and more.

• Brian Harris is superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200. His column appears monthly during the school year.

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