SIERRA VISTA — The Sierra Vista Unified School District is offering a look inside the district’s new technology platforms and how they’re being used by students and teachers with their “texpo” event Dec. 8 at the Rothery Educational Center.
“Our inspiration really stemmed from four to five years ago when the bond passed and we received funding from the community,” said Kathryn Wright, SVUSD instructional technology coordinator.
With the $28 million bond that passed in 2016, the district was able to allocate $6,623,620 for technology upgrades.
“We got our 1:1 devices, we received a lot of instructional classroom hardware,” said Wright. “And our teachers are doing some really cool things with it, and we want to share that with the community.”
The event will be in the complex’s conference room from 4-6 p.m., and members of the public will be able to view demonstrations of the various software and programs. The event is free.
Wright said the event will be a poster session to showcase the various programs and the projects students have been able to complete using the technology.
“We have things from Google Classroom to Canva to YouTube,” said Wright. “(And) the different programs that we’re using like PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) and HMH (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which is our new math curriculum.
“We’re going to have the parents’ side shown, so parents can get kinda ‘how can I help my kids with math?’ We’re going to have it very informal, you’re just going to be able to walk around, engage, ask questions, see what’s going to be happening in the classrooms.”
SVUSD Public Information Officer Valerie Weller said the district will be previewing some incoming technology, specifically a new website and app.
“We’re switching to new platforms,” said Weller. “It will be a much more user-friendly, much more open communication — we’ll have push notifications, so the parents can download those apps and stay much more connected than they’ve had the ability to do so far. It will really help streamline that parent communication.”
Wright and Weller highlighted the increased efficiency of using these new platforms with student learning.
“We have Pear Deck across the district,” said Wright. “With Google, it inserts different slides and templates so that you can ask your students questions — providing direct instruction — so that you can get instantaneous feedback, you can see what your students’ thought processes are, ‘are they getting it?’ or ‘are they not getting it and do I need to go back?’ or ‘hey, they’ve got this, let’s move forward.’ ”
Weller highlighted how Google Classroom makes setting up and grading quizzes quicker and more efficient.
“It’s a time-saver as well as finding all those cool ways to keep students engaged and use that technology to really push their education,” said Weller.
Wright said the goal is to prepare students for entry into the workforce, specifically helping students become fluent in technology.
“We want to produce students that can go into the workforce, and we know that technology — we have a lot of openings, a lot of availabilities in career options for kids,” said Wright. “We want to make sure that they feel confident in doing those types of things that will be expected of them.”