Vision: Empower learners, of all ages, to be prepared for limitless future opportunities
In Personalized Learning, we advance the digital agility of teachers and students through culturally responsive instruction and practices by:
- Providing mentoring and instructional coaching that transforms learning
- Positioning teachers to create inclusive, equitable learning environments through the use of technology
- Promoting digital citizenship and secure use of resources.
iPads in SPPS
What Is Digital Learning?
Digital Learning is an instructional strategy that tailors teaching and learning to Saint Paul Public School’s diverse student body. Through Digital Learning:
Teachers have access to resources that support rich, rigorous instruction aligned to district standards while nurturing individual learning styles.
Students have multiple ways to access information, think critically and demonstrate what they've learned.
Student voice and choice is integral to student engagement and the classroom experience. With Personalized Learning, students are taught how to advocate and take responsibility for their learning.
Saint Paul Public Schools has committed to personalized learning through technology. This means that all students in the district will be given more student voice and choice, and that teachers have better ability to tailor instruction and learning support for the students in their class in a technology-rich environment. To that end, the iPad allows for enhanced learning experiences across grade levels and curricular areas for all students.
A vast number of educators and school districts have seen first hand the implications for student engagement and learning when coupled with a robust technology and pedagogy shift that utilizes the iPad as it's main technology tool. Watch the video to see how some schools around the country are leveraging the iPad for increased mobility, innovation, and critical thinking.
Benefits of 1:1
When every student has a device in their hands, the technology moves to the background and the learning takes center stage. Teachers are able to customize and tailor their instruction for all students providing an equitable learning experience across classrooms and buildings.
A one-to-one device program means:
Every student in the district has access to the device during the school day and carries it with them from class to class.
Students are able to take the device home after school hours to extend the learning experience.
Because each student is the only user of a device, it can be personalized to suit individual learning needs.
Putting devices in the hands of every student in Saint Paul Public Schools prepares the children of our community to be career and college ready as well as life-long learners. Benefits include:
creating personalized learning environments through individual devices assigned to students.
empowering students to find their voice and share it.
fostering collaboration among students.
encouraging critical thinking skills.
providing greater online security, as devices can be set up for individual use only.
increasing opportunities to teach digital citizenship and online stewardship.
allowing all students to have 24/7 access to instructional content.
facilitating increased communication with teachers.
More information on the Personalized Learning Through Technology Referendum
Elementary Technology Skills
In grades PK-3, students use Seesaw as a platform to access digital instructional materials and submit their work. Seesaw is a digital portfolio that allows students to access instructional materials and activities and submit artifacts of their learning to share with their teachers and family. Students learn to use Seesaw tools, like audio and video recording tools and drawing tools, throughout their time in elementary school.
In Grades 4 & 5, students transition to the Schoology Learning Management System. Schoology allows for creating, organizing and delivering online content for courses. It also allows teachers to monitor and assess assignment completion and provide feedback on work and students to interact with course requirements and conveniently access course information. Schoology also allows guardians to view their child’s progress in order to provide support at home.
At the elementary level, students learn the basics of how to use iPad features like accessibility features, screen recording, and split screen to support their work flow. They also begin to learn SPPS core apps like Clips, Keynote, Google Docs, or Google Slides to access instruction and create artifacts that show their learning.
Personalized Learning Support
At the Elementary Level, school administration can choose to partner with Personalized Learning to provide on-site support and professional learning opportunities to school staff. Utilizing a coaching model, whole and small group modeling, demonstrations, or co-planning, staff continue to build their technology integration skills to support student learning.
Elementary Technology, STEAM programs, and Makerspaces
Several schools have Technology or Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) classes provided for students as part of a Prep Specialist rotation. Additionally, some schools have dedicated Maker Spaces with a variety of technology and other tools for students to create.
Secondary Technology Skills
In Grades 6-12, students use Schoology as a Learning Management System. Schoology allows for creating, organizing and delivering online content for each of the courses students enroll in. It also allows teachers to monitor and assess assignment completion and provide feedback on work and students to interact with course requirements and conveniently access course information. Schoology also allows guardians to view their child’s progress in order to provide support at home.
At the secondary level, students expand their knowledge of iPad features to personalize their digital workspaces and work flows. They also use SPPS core apps like Clips, Keynote, Google Docs, or Google Slides to deepen their content knowledge, collaborate with peers and instructors, monitor their learning progress, and create artifacts that show their learning using photos, audio, video, and animations.
Secondary Schools and Technology Integration TOSAs
At the secondary level, each school has the support of an on-site Technology Integration TOSA, or Teacher on Special Assignment. Technology Integration TOSAs provide on-site support for effective technology use and building digital skills among teachers and students. Their work includes:
- leading large group professional development sessions to build digital agility among teachers and staff
- providing ongoing coaching for teachers that address challenges related to technology use
- modeling best practices of effective technology use
- creating and distributing asynchronous support, video tutorials, infographics and other materials
- advising Genius Squad students as they assist students and teachers with access to devices and technology use in the classroom
- serve as liaison between district technology initiatives and implementation at schools
Secondary Schools offer coaching to build digital agility
Secondary teachers interested in receiving coaching to improve their classroom technology use should reach out to their building Technology Integration TOSA. St Paul Public Schools uses The Art of Coaching Model by Elena Aguilar, and coaching resources from Apple Learning Coach and Google Certified Coach programs to support teachers as they work toward transformative teaching and learning with the integration of technology.